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Enterprise Content Management and the Records Continuum Model as strategies for long-term preservation of digital information

Proscovia Svärd (Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Article publication date: 25 November 2013



The purpose of the paper is to establish whether Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Records Continuum Model (RCM) frameworks could be used to mitigate long-term preservation challenges.


Qualitative research was undertaken using two case studies and interviews were conducted with the different categories of the municipal personnel to solicit answers to the research questions. The questions were designed using the lens of the RCM and its four dimensions that cover the creation, capture, organization and pluralization of records and prescribed factors of ECM which include business process management, enterprise architecture, collaboration, system integration, re-purposing of information, change management, knowledge management and the life cycle management of information. Not all the ECM factors are dealt with in this paper: the remainder have been dealt with in the author's earlier works.


Challenges of long-term preservation of information still persist despite the enormous research that has been generated over the years. The municipalities that were subjects of this research are still grappling with issues of lack of long-term information management policies, enterprise architecture, disparate information systems, collaboration and system integration. This is likely to work against the investments that are being ploughed into e-Government developments should the municipalities fail to espouse strong information and records management regimes. Embracing the ECM prescribed factors and the RCM thinking might mitigate these challenges.


The author's licentiate research proved that there was no discourse between records managers/archivists and ECM proponents. Therefore, the originality of this article lies in the application of the two frameworks of ECM and RCM. The findings confirmed that even within the records management framework the municipalities were addressing factors similar to ECM prescribed factors. Embracing both the RCM model and the ECM prescribed factors might mitigate the challenges of long-term preservation and hence the re-use of information and enhancement of the societal memory.



The author would like to acknowledge the financial assistance received from the European Union Objective 2 funding for this project within the Centrum för Digital Informationsförvaltning (CEDIF). She would also like to express her appreciation of the support received from the participants in both municipalities.


Svärd, P. (2013), "Enterprise Content Management and the Records Continuum Model as strategies for long-term preservation of digital information", Records Management Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 159-176.



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