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RIM professionals of the future.

Fast-forward 15 or 20 years into the future. The year is 2023. Records and information managers are now called "records and information technologists" because the primary tools of their trade--file cabinets, file folders, and paper documents--have been permanently replaced by virtual filing systems, digital storage, and electronic documents. In this future, instant messaging (IM) and e-mail have replaced phone communication, online libraries have made physical libraries all but obsolete, and electronic records have rendered paper records a mere rumor.

What will the profession and your job be like in the next few decades? Only time will tell. But today, whether or not the fabled paper-less business environment ever becomes reality, the fact remains that our professional lives will he markedly different. We can safely predict that records and information management (RIM) professionals will rely much more on technology to help them do their jobs in the future--IM, the Internet, electronic storage, radio-frequency identification systems, and perhaps even eye or fingerprint-scanning security systems will be common in the workplace.

In this issue of The Information Management Journal, we explore the future of RIM and technology that may change the face of the profession in the coming years. Patrick Cunningham, CRM, discusses a sometimes-controversial technology that is gaining popularity in the corporate world, for better or worse, in his article "IM: Invaluable New Business Tool or Records Management Nightmare?" Love it or hate it, IM--continuous, free flowing, stream-of-consciousness communications involving two or more individuals simultaneously--is presenting risks and challenges for businesses and RIM professionals from Wall Street to Walla Walla, Washington.

In her article "Electronic Discovery in 2010" Deborah Juhnke explains how the document has changed in the past 10 years and what to expect in the future. Collaboration software, data warehousing, Internet service provider-hosted e-mail, and Webbased content all present challenges for RIM professionals today and into the next decade.

In their article "Managing Electronic Records in the 21st Century," Caryn Wojcik, Deborah Gouin, and Mimi Dionne provide details about implementing records management application software to solve electronic recordkeeping problems. They also relate the challenges they encountered in doing so, as well as lessons learned.

When new technologies, processes, and procedures knock at the door, we must be open to them. Seeking out and testing new solutions will benefit us as professionals and our organizations by preparing both for the future of RIM. We may not be able to fully predict this future, but we can prepare for the day when RIM professionals may play a central role in the management of all information--regardless of its format.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Association of Records Managers & Administrators (ARMA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:records and information management future
Publication:Information Management Journal
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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