Survey: President’s Forthcoming Mandates for Improving Federal Records Management Eagerly Anticipated by Government Agencies
Monday, July 23, 2012
Managing electronic records and adopting cloud applications top of list of concerns in advance of July 31 directive
BOSTON – July 23, 2012 – Despite overwhelming confidence in their current records programs,
85 percent of those charged with storing and managing information for government agencies favor President Obama’s Memorandum for Managing Government Records, which aims to cut costs and aid public access to records. Not only do records managers embrace the reform, 83 percent believe it will succeed, according to a survey conducted by information management company Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM). The survey was done in anticipation of a Federal Directive expected July 31 from the White House and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Chief among the survey findings, respondents reported less confidence in their ability to manage digital data and use newer technologies like cloud storage—two of the central areas marked for improvement in the Memorandum.
The survey sought to understand records managers’ attitudes toward the Memorandum and the overall health of their current programs, as well as to identify their concerns for the pending directive. The key findings include:
- All in favor – 85 percent said they personally supported the President’s Memorandum and
93 percent said their agencies have prioritized improving records management processes;
- High grades for current programs – Respondents overwhelmingly gave themselves high grades for their current records management practices, including 100 percent indicating they were “strong” when it came to protecting records and 97 percent saying they were “strong” when it came to complying with the Federal Records Act;
- Lack of confidence in managing electronic content – On the contrary, only 9 percent said they were “very strong” when it came to using cloud-based applications, and only 51 percent are comfortable in their ability to store and manage electronic data;
- Value in collaboration – Federal records management teams that partnered with other departments like IT, Legal and COOP had higher confidence in the effectiveness of their records management practices than those who didn’t partner;
- Roadblocks to success – The success of the Directive may rest on federal records managers’ developing new skills as 71 percent cited a need for training as their top concern. Sixty-eight and 61 percent named staff and budget resources, respectively, as additional worries.
“The results support what we’ve been hearing from federal records managers. They have embraced the Presidential Memorandum and rightly see it as an opportunity to further improve their programs,” said Sue Trombley, managing director of consulting, Iron Mountain. “While the requirements and mandates outlined in the Memorandum are significant, it has become clear that broader, cultural changes will need to take place before government organizations are fully prepared to comply with the forthcoming Federal Directive. The Directive encourages federal agencies to take the necessary steps to make those changes, including developing a strategic plan, collaborating with key stakeholders, embracing new technology, committing to training and education, and aligning with industry partners, all helping to shape the future of records management.”
KRC Research conducted the study, surveying 100 federal workers who are involved with records management at their agencies. Interviews were conducted by phone between June 4-14, 2012.
For tips on effective records storage and management practices, check out “Empowering Employees for Efficient Government Records Management” on Iron Mountain’s “Information Advantage” blog.
About Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) provides information storage and management services that help organizations lower the costs, risks and inefficiencies of managing their physical and digital data. The Company’s solutions enable customers to protect and better use their information so they can optimize their business and ensure proper recovery, compliance and discovery. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain manages billions of information assets, including business records, electronic files, medical data, emails and more for organizations around the world. Visit www.ironmountain.com or follow the company on Twitter @IronMountain for more information.