April is RIM Month
An Interview with Nick Inglis, Executive Director of Content and Programming at ARMA International
Published: April 1, 2020 by Kenna Wulker
April is Records & Information Management Month! This month is designed to celebrate the RIM profession and bring awareness and recognition to our practice and practitioners. Nick Inglis is the newest member to the MARA Program Advisory Committee, graciously joining us from ARMA International. Read on to learn more!
Hi Nick! What is your current title?
I’m currently the Executive Director of Content & Programming at ARMA International. In this role, I guide our thought leadership and oversee our array of resources like the IGP Certification, webinars, publications, our magazine, white papers, research, educational content at our annual conference, and our models and standards.
How did you get started in Records & Information Management? How long have you been in this field?
I came into the RIM field through technology – I started my career at a small scanning service bureau and began teaching professionals about technology. I’ve now served as a Director at AIIM, co-founded and led the Information Coalition, and then merged the Information Coalition with ARMA International, where I currently serve. In all, I’ve been in this profession for nearly 15 years.
How did you get started/involved with ARMA?
I initially got involved in ARMA as a member. Later, I worked with my good friend, Jim Merrifield, to develop ARMA’s original IGP training course. Now, I’m leading up the content and thought leadership initiatives, helping to develop the next generation of leaders in this profession.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing our industry today?
I think that the biggest issue facing our profession is our lack of standardization, and it rears its ugly head in some very interesting ways. For example, our use of language is incredibly inconsistent – Records, Information, Content, Documents, Data – each has a separate and distinct meaning and far too often folks use those words interchangeably. While ARMA has been working on developing a standardized body of knowledge for our profession, it hasn’t taken hold in all corners of our profession yet – I believe that when it does, we’ll be able to move our profession forward and garner more respect and attention from organizational executives.
How have you seen our industry evolve since you started out?
Wow, it has been a wild ride – when I started, we were scanning paper files and digitizing them – and some of what we were doing was the cutting edge of our profession. Now, we’re talking about the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning – we’re taking our knowledge and learning how to apply it to these new technologies. When I started, most organizational processes were incredibly siloed, we had just come out of the ‘one-system-to-rule-them-all’ approach and started talking about integration, which eventually led us to the Information Governance approaches that are dominating our discussions today. I think we’re heading in the right direction again, whereas, earlier in my career, our profession was facing marginalization. To the professionals who’ve headed towards information governance and overall organizational information strategy, marginalization isn’t the issue; it’s the daunting scope of what we’re all trying to achieve now (because we’ve now seen that applying high-level information strategy is not only possible but can be transformational to organizations).
What do you envision our field will look like in the next 5-10 years? What’s the next big thing?
I think our next big thing is wide recognition of our discipline – we’ve lagged behind other disciplines and have taken direction from data management and data governance, information technology, and the like. What I see coming on the horizon is that our knowledge as Records and Information Management professionals and Information Governance professionals, that expertise is what organizational executives are going to be seeking out next – the technology projects, lacking our expertise, are not achieving the desired results, and organizations are just now, beginning to turn to our expertise. As that takes hold, the future is looking incredibly bright for our profession.
Nick lives in Rhode Island with his wife and 10 year old, 1 rescue pit bull mix, and 4 rescue cats. His hobbies include politics, ethics, writing, and advising startups. Currently, he is an Ethics Commissioner for the city of Providence, Rhode Island. Previously, he was a lobbyist for Providence Student Union and led the passage Rhode Island Promise, making community college tuition-free for every graduating high school student in Rhode Island. He also worked on Rhode Island’s net neutrality proposal which became an executive order from Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. Last year, he released his first book, INFORMATION: The Comprehensive Overview of the Information Profession. Moving forward, he is looking forward to writing his next book. He has also enjoyed advising a handful of startups and companies on their go-to-market strategies over the past few years.
Thank you, Nick for entertaining this interview and being a part of our MARA Program Advisory Committee. We are happy to have you! Happy RIM Month, everyone!