Thursday, 19 January 2012

Interesting AIIM Research on the Management of Social Media

The recently published Treasury Board Guidelines for the use of Web 2.0 provides a governance framework within the public sector. From an IT perspective the challenge is how to systematically capture, manage and control social media content as part of a formal system of record. The Treasury Board Directive on Recordkeeping provides for a broad and inclusive definition of a record as “published and unpublished material in any format”. This definition includes social media content. Provided that such content is created in support of government “programs, services and on-going operations” then it may be deemed as an information resource of business value which must be subject to formal retention and disposition rules.

A helpful resource to assist in the integration of social media content within a formal system of record such as an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system is the recently published report by AIIM: "Social Business Systems – Success Factors for Enterprise 2.0 Applications". The report suggests three business drivers that necessitate controls over the use of social media: information governance, statutory/legal obligations and security/privacy considerations. The AIIM report suggests a number of IT approaches to mitigate risks: regular “sweep” of social media into a the corporate ECM, utilizing natively supported social media extensions provided by ECM system vendors that support the profiling, classification and retention of social media content, integration of social media tools to already in place workflows and use of social content analytics to monitor use, trends and sentiments. A companion AIIM survey "Managing Social Content to Maximize Value and Minimize Risk" underscores the primary impediment organizations face with the proliferation of social media. The survey found that less than 50% of organizations have formal record keeping best practices in place for the management of social content.

The implementation of effective social media strategy requires a balancing of what may appear as diametrically opposite interests. Social media is designed to facilitate dynamic and informal knowledge creation processes, while systems of record are designed to transform and control such informal processes into re-usable best practices in the form of explicit knowledge. The AIIM report concludes that “The challenge with social business content management is to achieve control and governance without inhibiting the free and easy exchange of social interaction.”

We encourage you to share your perspectives with us.

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