31 October 2014

ARMA's Morph to IG Positive

ARMA International is all-in on Information Governance.  I am not privy to ARMA Board meetings, nor have I talked about this with the staff HQ.  But walking into the annual conference in San Diego this week, the switch from RIM to IG was inescapable.

Traditionalists may bemoan the blurring focus, seeing it as a dilution of discipline or a paean to fashionable modernity.

I see it as ARMA’s devotion to its mission: improving the professional lives of its members.  That’s not new.

The Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles were more than the latest codification of the millennia-old discipline of records management.  The Principles were designed to show other professional disciplines, such as Law and Accounting, that RIM is a counterpart deserving a seat at the Board table.  The Principles aligned RIM in a way that made it comparable, understandable, and estimable to other professions.

The move to Information Governance is the next step.  It goes beyond the assertion, “We’re equal.”  Now ARMA is bold to say, “Not only are we equally important, we are essential to organizational success.  Further, that success requires creative interaction between RIM and other disciplines.”

The result is twofold:

  •       RIMmers practicing IG rise in status and influence.  The rise includes respect and salary.
  •    Organizations endorsing IG enjoy an advantage over competitors who employ the old, dysfunctional siloed style of operation.  

I don’t know if the old stereotype of records managers was ever true.  You know, the introvert who went to library school to get a quiet, out-of-the-way job, checking records in and out.  If it ever was true, it went the way of physical card catalogs.

Today’s Information Governors (neé Records Managers) are Three Musketeers, along with Legal and IT.  And D’Artagnan may be Accounting, Security, Compliance, or others.

ARMA has seen this and pushed it.  Not everyone wants to move forward and wear this mantel.  But it is the path to success for both ARMA members and the organizations they serve.


  1. as was mentioned numerous times at the conference, RIM is an essential part of IG and if an organization doesn't have an established RIM program in place then implementing IG will be extremely difficult and problematic

  2. True. RIM is essential to IG. There is no Information Governance without the application of Records Management.