Monday, December 2, 2013

You know you're a records & information specialist when....

Many of us have taken walks outside during the day or at night. It's a great thing to do for yourself--you get fresh air and exercise. It might be a way to calm your nerves, answer an unsolved problem, clear your head or just enjoy. That is what most people do when they go for a walk...however, not me. I try to let my thoughts wonder around looking at the scenery, but I start seeing records! 
  • On seeing a fallen tree, I'm very likely to go over to it to see how many rings in it. The tree rings show how old a part of the tree is. A tree can be 40 years old, but the branch may only be 10 years. (It's a record of nature)
  • On seeing flowers and trees blossom in the spring, wonder how do they know how to tell time? Surprisingly enough its in their genes
I've searched around for information on how mother nature has kept records through the years and couldn't find a specific site to recommend. However, I've come to the conclusion that the record keeping for mother nature is recorded in the DNA for each species and is passed along to each generation. Its complete and intact. We could learn a thing or two from her. Apparently, scientists agree and have been working on designing a DNA storage device. In 2012 a complete book was encoded onto DNA. "A trio of researchers has encoded a draft of a whole book into DNA. The 5.27-megabit tome contains 53,246 words, 11 JPG image files and a JavaScript program, making it the largest piece of non-biological data ever stored in this way." According to the article recording the information is not fundamentally different than what we do today, but rather a creative use of technology that is available. 

It'll be interesting to see if this type of bio-technology might become the wave of the future and the implications it has on storage--especially long-term storage.  Other issues that will need to be addressed is the WORM aspect that is needed for many records in the financial world. Security and privacy issues will also need to be addressed if they aren't already part of the culture for the organization.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I recently ran across Tom Koulopoulos, Delphi Institute blog in which he speaks 
about the end of his life in two worlds. No he wasn't talking about his imminent death. He discussed how Google Glasses changed his perception of the world from the plugged in world and the unplugged world to actually having the two worlds merged. His blog speaks about how he used the glasses and how long it took him to get used to them. In his blog he speaks about the differences between how the generations view the world, specifically how Gen Z views the world as opposed to their parents. Gen Z according to Tom sees no difference between the two worlds. They only see the "integration of offline and online will multiply the potential opportunities to live, work and play." This statement made me think. Who are these Gen Z's and when will they be entering the workforce? There is no clear cut answer on the dates for this generation, however according to a Forbes blog they are pragmatic and tend to face problems rather than hiding from them. 

What will happen when these kids come into the workforce? There is no telling what exactly will happen, however, they will impact the way we work, communicate, and deliver information/records. There will probably be an end of the "paper record" and the "electronic record" distinctions that we have so carefully crafted. Will this change the way that we manage records--most certainly it will. The question for us, as records managers or members of the records management community, is do we embrace the new ways of doing business or do we try to keep with the traditional approaches?

Even as we learn to deal with new technologies, we should never forget that information is everywhere and needs to be managed. If we don't embrace the new technologies our functions will become obsolete