Top 5 takeaways from AIIM 2023

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The AIIM 2023 conference provided a great opportunity to learn the latest trends in intelligent information management from industry experts. From managing legacy records to leveraging the cloud marketplace, there was much to be discussed about how the records and information management (RIM) space has evolved and how we can continue to work together to calm the content chaos.

Amanda Werner
Amanda Wener
June 16, 20237 mins
Iron Mountain Employee Scanning
The AIIM 2023 conference provided a great opportunity to learn the latest trends in intelligent information management from industry experts. From managing legacy records to leveraging the cloud marketplace, there was much to be discussed about how the records and information management (RIM) space has evolved and how we can continue to work together to calm the content chaos.

Now that I’m back from New Orleans and have had time to let these learnings sink in, I want to share some of my key takeaways, including insights on how physical records can be transformed into digital, what data and information mean in the current landscape, and global investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technologies.

Here are my top five takeaways:

1) Legacy records are still a major challenge for organizations

Legacy paper records are still a huge challenge that hinder an organization’s ability to move toward a more digital way of working. Physical records present a range of issues and risks, from lost productivity searching for information to over-retention and high storage costs. Organizations struggle to gain clarity over which documents need to be kept, and for how long, to satisfy regulatory requirements.

At AIIM, experts discussed various strategies that organizations can use to move away from physical records and increase efficiencies by going digital, including deploying scanning and digitization technology, implementing cloud storage and collaboration tools, and establishing automated workflows that can help move paper-based processes into more efficient digital formats.

To achieve the full benefits of digital transformation, you first need to build a good foundation by identifying what to scan, store, or defensibly destroy. At Iron Mountain, we’ve established a five-step process for digital transformation, which provides guidance on that critical first step.

2) AI will shape the industry moving forward

I attended several sessions that centered on AI, and it was clearly one of the most popular topics at AIIM this year. At Iron Mountain, we’re focused not only on how AI can power intelligent document processing, workflow automation, and content classification to extract value and insights from information but also how it impacts information governance in new and complex ways.

The rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT is simplifying everyday processes, but often at the expense of compliant records management. When it comes to generative AI, records and information managers will face new challenges in governing and regulating content that is generated from these tools.

If this topic interests you, watch our on-demand webinar, Generative AI and Information Governance: Friends or Foes?, where we examine the security, ethical, and governance concerns around generative AI and what records and information managers can do to safeguard their organizations’ information.

3) The distinction between data and information is blurred

Several sessions explored the definitions and differences between data and information. Records, documents, and information are all just “data” now, and the trend seems to be that many professionals at the C-suite level don’t care to distinguish between them anymore.

When the extended AIIM community was asked whether their organizations made a distinction between “information” and “data,” the response was split. Certainly, the two are used interchangeably, but information management pros know that unstructured and semi-structured content has vastly different characteristics.

It’s not about what you call it, but how you can access it, gain insight from it, and ensure alignment between information management and business objectives. While the lines between them are blurred, it’s vital that we understand the difference to ensure compliant, secure, and efficient control over, and use of, an organization’s records and data. For deeper exploration into this topic, check out Iron Mountain’s practical guide to managing data, records, and information.

4) Global investments in technology adoption through the cloud are increasing

Accelerating adoption of AI and machine learning (ML) technologies through the cloud services marketplace was another hot topic this year, including the main focus of Iron Mountain’s keynote address with our partner, Amazon Web Services (AWS). Despite economic conditions, many organizations have strategic initiatives to adopt AI/ML capabilities into their current systems and migrate workloads to the cloud marketplace, where they have access to a large ecosystem of partners who have the right offerings and can simplify the procurement process.

Intelligent document processing tools use AI to classify documents and power data-driven insights by extracting value along the information lifecycle. Automating the document classification process and workflows through technology saves time, reduces costs, and improves the customer experience. From cost savings associated with switching from physical storage systems to cloud-based solutions to advanced technology features available through cloud services providers, there are many reasons why companies are making this investment.

Here’s a snippet of our onsite interview with Helene Fox, Global Director of Digital Solutions at Iron Mountain, on this topic.

5) Information governance and management remains fundamental to every part of the organization

This year’s AIIM event highlighted the intersections between practices like records management and cybersecurity, records management and data privacy, and how to make sure those connecting threads and themes are brought together. These roles and functions will need to include one another in the conversation and collaborate closely as technology continues to evolve.

Experts at the conference addressed the importance of information governance and management when building an effective RIM program, especially in light of current global trends such as GDPR and increased emphasis on customer privacy. Information governance helps organizations ensure control over sensitive information while providing structure for how information should be handled, creating an effective way of managing data throughout its entire lifecycle—from creation to disposition.

As new regulations emerge across industries, including the rise of important topics like customer privacy and generative AI, having an effective information governance strategy will be key in helping organizations remain compliant while protecting company and customer data.

Let’s get to work

While AIIM 2023 has come and gone, these insights will help drive the information management industry forward. It’s an exciting time for our industry—with all this innovation, technology, and new tools, and collaboration across organizations stemming new opportunities and efficiencies. I could feel the passion in the air as professionals discussed, engaged, and learned together. v Now it’s time to dig in and apply what we learned.

See how Iron Mountain can help you with your information management program.