Dedicated records managers could help prevent data loss

Headline-grabbing data losses could be averted by giving the role of records manager greater prominence within organisations, according to content management firm Tower Software

Its survey 'Document Mayhem in the UK and Republic of Ireland' highlighted differing information management practices between the public and private sectors ̵1; despite both dealing with similar issues of risk mitigation, regulation, compliance and growth.

The role of a group records manager (GRM) ̵1; comparable to the CIO ̵1; could play a greater part in safeguarding data in the private sector. "The private sector would have much to gain from emulating the way in which records managers function in the public sector," said David Oates, vice president EMEA for Tower Software (pictured).

"Records managers are aligned to IT function, but report to the enterprise legal team, because data management is a compliance issue. But they represent a vital stage in the process."

The 1997 Blair Government "put a mandate on central government public service stating that all new public records will be electronically stored and retrieved by 2004", added Tower's Oates. "Five years on from the main impetus to implement electronic records management systems and we see important data being lost because physical data carriers were not managed as a corporate competency."

Oates continued: "There is a process issue that's allowing these things to happen - it's not down to use of technology."

Image: Tower Software's David Oates said "the private sector has much to gain from emulating the way records managers function in the public sector"

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