SURVEY: The Uncertain Future of the Records and Information Management Professional
Iron Mountain Study Shows Impact of the Digital Information Age on Information Management Professionals
Boston — May 21, 2015 — Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) today released the results of a study[i] highlighting disconnects between what business leaders and records and information managers (RIMs) perceive as the most critical skills for future success in records and information management. Records and information managers are central to an organization’s information management strategy, but as the information they are tasked with managing has and continues to become increasingly electronic; priorities, and therefore required skills, are also evolving. In fact, nearly half (48 percent) of North American information managers believe their role and responsibilities have changed significantly over the last five years.
However, while RIMs still prioritize some of the core competencies of their role like compliance, security and accessibility, the business leaders they report to are placing more importance on soft skills like understanding and alignment on business strategy and goals. The survey found that both business leaders and RIMs agree that the ability to add value, insight and analysis around the information they manage, beyond simple reporting, is the most critical skill for RIMs to master in the digital information age, with a third (37 percent) of U.S. business decision makers and a 25 percent of RIMs agreeing. However, while business leaders cited a strategic outlook and awareness of business goals as the second highest priority, at 23 percent of the respondents, RIMs ranked this fourth highest at only 13 percent of respondents.
According to the records and information managers surveyed, the second most critical skill set is compliance and security capabilities; with 21 percent naming it as a priority compared to just 12 percent of decision makers. Similarly, information professionals rank the understanding of digital transformation in third place with 17 percent, compared to a mere four percent of business leaders. Both the records and information managers and their business leaders are confident that information professionals have the ability to meet these emerging needs, although information managers rate themselves higher across all areas of expertise.
“The study reveals worrying gaps in perception and expectation between business leaders and their information professionals. Companies wishing to harness the full business value of information should look to close this gap and close it quickly,” said Sue Trombley, director of professional services at Iron Mountain. “Business leaders and records and information management professionals carry a responsibility for achieving this. Business leaders need to ensure their information management teams are effectively integrated into all areas of the business and have access to the professional development they need. However, records and information managers will need to take on the challenge of developing the skills demanded to navigate a shifting information landscape.”
According to the results, it’s clear that the information management professional of tomorrow must not only have a solid grasp on the technical requirements of the profession but also excel in interpersonal and business skills, including communication and leveraging information to drive real business value.
For practical tips on how to future-proof your records management career, visit: http://www.ironmountain.com/Knowledge-Center.
The Iron Mountain research surveyed senior business executives and records and information professionals in 900 mid-sized European and North American organizations.
About Iron Mountain:
Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) is a leading provider of storage and information management services. The company’s real estate network of over 67 million square feet across more than 1,000 facilities in 36 countries allows it to serve customers with speed and accuracy. And its solutions for records management, data management, document management, and secure shredding help organizations to lower storage costs, comply with regulations, recover from disaster, and better use their information for business advantage. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of information assets, including business documents, backup tapes, electronic files and medical data. Visit www.ironmountain.com for more information.
[i]Coleman Parkes for Iron Mountain. Coleman Parkes surveyed business decision makers and records and information managers at 900 organizations with between 250 and 999 employees, within the healthcare, public sector, retail, legal, financial services/insurance, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and energy sectors, in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany and in the United States. Research was undertaken online in January/February 2015.