e-Records 2019: Better Together in a Digital World: Security and Retention Conference Recap

Truly bringing to life this year’s theme “Better Together in a Digital World”, the TSLAC and Department of Information Resources (DIR) co-sponsored annual e-Records conference was a flat out success due in no small part to the 25 vendors, 15 knowledgeable presenters providing 9 superb sessions, and countless staff that worked tirelessly to put on a great conference.

This year we saw approximately 400 attendees, including vendors and speakers, at the J. J. Pickle Center on November 15th. 61 state agencies and 59 local governments were represented with 4 attendees coming all the way from El Paso, Texas, not to mention the keynote speaker flew in from Phoenix!

The conference kicked off with “Bridging the Gap: Overcoming Barriers in Information Governance“, ably (and humorously) explored by returning e-Records 2018 rockstar and this year’s keynote speaker, Deborah Robbins of the Salt River Project.

Debra Robbins captivating the e-Records 2019 audience.

Robbins took the audience on a journey introducing all the conference themes that were then touched on throughout the day– building and growing relationships between records management and other related groups, namely cybersecurity and information technology.

In order for information governance to be successful, records management needs to be prominent; reality isn’t matching these intentions, so what are the barriers to communication and work flow?

Robbins laid out three goals:

  1. Understanding Communication Barriers
    • Language barrier
    • Difference in goals and approach
  2. Building a Common Language
    • Avoid using “record” as “data” and “information” are more familiar and easily understood by these groups
  3. Sustaining a Growth Mindset
    • Know yourself, to know others
    • Be prepared to ask questions and embark on conversations

She used an inspirational quote from Conor McGregor and the quip that made everyone laugh was,

“The “Cloud” is not a cloud, it’s just a different building with your stuff in it”.

Book-ending the conference was Mark Myers, Senior Electronic Records Specialist from TSLAC, who delivered the yearly update on the Texas Digital Archive (TDA) with his presentation, “Protecting the Bits: Securing Records in the Texas Digital Archive“.

“Send us your stuff!”

Myers’ presentation married the conference themes of security and retention through his discussion of the TDA, an archival materials repository, in combination with the steps and decisions that must be made to ensure the records are protected– secured, preserved, and accessible.
Controlling and protecting electronic records — archival or otherwise– starts with records management:

Until technology and media can be universally read and interpreted, we must continue to take steps to protect data for the future.
  • Retention schedules
  • Record-keeping systems
  • Policies and procedures

After that, in order to ensure access to the records can be continued, preservation steps and care need to be taken:

  • Integrity checksums
  • Sustainable file formats
  • Awareness of change
    • Technological dependence and obsolescence

Want more recaps? Tune in regularly as we’ll be recapping more sessions over the next few weeks.

If you weren’t able to make it to the e-Records Conference, please view the slides of the presentations here.

We sincerely look forward to our 20th anniversary e-Records Conference next year and we know we can outdo ourselves for the occasion!