E-Records Institute

At IMERGE Consulting, Inc.

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New 2011 Report!

Evaluating & Deploying

Cloud Computing

for

Electronic Records Management

Technology, Security & Implementation Issues

 A Management Primer

Robert F. Smallwood, MBA

E-Records Institute™ at IMERGE Consulting

 


Who we are

The E-Records Institute™ is a specialized consulting practice in IMERGE Consulting, which is North America's largest and most experienced team of experts in the fields of enterprise content management (ECM) and business process optimization. IMERGE is also a leading provider of education courses in records management, electronic document capture and e-discovery. IMERGE has offices in major cities including Boston, San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle, New Orleans and Washington, DC.

What we have achieved

Our track record speaks for itself: We have completed more successful projects, published more articles and given more expert presentations than any other enterprise content management consulting firm in the world. We are proud that our organizations include some of the world’s best and largest public and private organizations. Learn more about us at imergeconsult.com or contact an IMERGE professional today to discuss putting our expertise to work for you.

About the Author

Robert Smallwood, MBA, Master of Information Technology, Laureate of Information Technology is a founding Partner of IMERGE Consulting and has been recognized as one of the industry’s “25 Most Influential People” and “Top 3 Independent Consultants” by KM World magazine. Some of his past organizations include Bank of America, AT&T, Xerox and IBM. He has published more than 100 articles and given more than 50 conference presentations on document, records and content management. He is the author of the book, Taming the Email Tiger, and several others.



 Cloud Computing for E-Records

Table of Contents

Executive Summary. 4
The Cloud Surged in 2010. 5

Defining Cloud Computing. 5

What Cloud Computing Really Means. 6

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
9
4 Key RM Implications of Using the Cloud. 12
EU Warns of Cloud Use for Sensitive Data. 14

Records Management Challenges in Cloud Computing. 15

8 Guidelines for Policy Creation for RM in Cloud Computing. 16

A Practical Approach to RM in the Cloud. 17

The Google Apps Records Problem.. 19

5 Key Cloud Developments in 2010.
19
Top 5 Cloud Computing Predictions For 2011. 21
Electronic Records Management 28
Introduction to Records Retention

Why Are Retention Schedules Needed?. 29

What information should be included in a retention schedule?. 30

10 Benefits of Records Retention Schedules. 30Types of Retention Schedules. 31
Principles of Records Scheduling
. 326 Key Steps: How to Compile a Retention Schedule
. 38Vital Records: Definition and Role.
42
Four Key Points for Managing Risks and Protecting Vital Records. 45
Cloud Computing as a Vital E-Records Resource.
45
6 Critical Identifiers for Vital Records. 48Vital Records Program –
9 Key Audit Checklist Points. 50

Glossary of Terms. 51

Executive Summary

Cloud computing is a new resource that can assist in an overall records management program.  Cloud computing is using the Internet and remote servers to store and process electronic files. It can also be defined as enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned. It has great scalability and cost-modulation advantages.

However, it has its risks and is not recommended as a primary backup source for vital e-records. In January, 2011[1] a report published by the EU's European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) warned that, at present, government agencies in the EU bloc should only deploy cloud services for applications that do not process sensitive data.

Electronic Records Management (ERM) is the management of electronic records AND the electronic management of non-electronic records. Records retention is the process of determining how long an organization needs to keep its records, taking into account the operational business needs, legal, and/or regulatory requirements.[2] A records retention schedule provides an approved list of records series indicating for each series the length of time and format(s) records are to be retained and their associated disposition process at the end of their lifecycle. A retention schedule sets out the amount of time that an organization needs to keep certain types of records. [3]

Vital records are mission-critical records that are necessary for an organization to continue to operate in the event of disruption or disaster, and cannot be re-created from any other source.

Cloud computing, among big metatrends, is the hardest one to argue with in the long term; the idea of loosely coupled services running on an agile, scalable infrastructure should eventually make every enterprise a node in the cloud. [4] Records managers must prepare for this inevitable onslaught.

This Management Primer will assist senior managers, records managers, IT managers,  compliance managers, and others involved in records management policies and e-records implementations to make intelligent, informed decisions.


[1] http://www.information-age.com/channels/data-centre-and-it-infrastructure/news/1514033/dont-use-cloud-for-sensitive-data-eu-warns-members.thtml

[2] http://www.aiim.org/infonomics/abcs-of-records-retention-schedule-development.aspx

[3] http://www.recordsmanagement.ed.ac.uk/InfoStaff/RMstaff/Retention/Retention.htm

 

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