Survey identifies skills needed of future RIM professionals

MARA Blog

Published: September 8, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Each year, the agencies of the U.S. federal government complete the Records Management Self-Assessment, and the statistics generated by these results are pretty telling. The 2015 Self-Assessment revealed that “only 50 percent of federal records officers are dedicated full-time to their agencies’ records and information management (RIM) programs.”

This year, Iron Mountain and Market Connections partnered to conduct a survey of federal RIM professionals, asking them to identify their priorities and concerns for the next three to five years. The survey indicated that future RIM professionals will need to show proficiency in:

1) Managing all information, regardless of format – A holistic approach to records and information management is a necessity for an RIM program—and a RIM professional. The Iron Mountain and Market Connections survey revealed that electronic records retention and disposition, and email and social media management were ranked in the top five areas needing improvement.

2) Analytical capabilities – Increasing the use of taxonomy and metadata and using predictive analytics to anticipate future RIM needs will be important skills for the next generation of RIM professionals.

3) Information security awareness and application – In the realm of physical, paper records, the records custodian is often the front line for security. The same will need to be true for custodians of electronic records. According to the Iron Mountain and Market Connections survey, information security and access control will be in the greatest demand in the next three to five years.

4) Honing their “soft skills” – Records and information managers of the future will need to be more effective at persuading stakeholders to buy in to the importance of RIM programs, and will also need to be more innovative when generating support and funding.