Since the start of the pandemic, most companies around the world have had to quickly pivot to meet evolving client needs.

They’ve also needed to shift employees to hybrid and remote work models.

As a result, it’s no surprise that digitization has become a key business priority to help enable and expedite convenient information access across the business.

However, other changes in records and information management (RIM) are also inevitable as employees require remote access to documentation. And ease of access to records and information security are at the top of the RIM priority list in the current era.

Budget and staffing restrictions, along with overcoming resistance to change, are also important concerns as companies adjust to the new normal.Impact of covid-19 on records & information management

Understanding the Impact

To understand the extent of how all of these changes have affected the records and information management industry, Access invited RIM professionals, including ARMA members, to participate in a survey. The survey answers helped us better understand and/or validate emerging trends, and the industry’s challenges, priorities, and expected future changes. 332 RIM professionals responded to the survey, covering a broad spectrum of job roles and responsibilities across many records and information management topics.

The following graphic breaks down the specific results that survey respondents indicated were the top records and information management challenges over the next 12-24 months:

44% of respondents see moving physical paper to digital as their greatest rim challenge in the next 12-24 months.

The next takeaway is highlighted in the following graphic. It highlights what the survey responders felt were the major impediments to achieving records and information management goals. It is plain to see that responses were pretty evenly divided between ‘Resistance to Change’ and ‘Budget Restrictions’… although ‘Insufficient Staffing’ was a close third hurdle.

46% see resistance to change as a major impediment to achieving RIM goals.

And finally, the third interesting takeaway from the report was that survey respondents are expecting that certain changes in RIM programs will happen in a post-pandemic world. Those top-ranked expected changes are detailed in the following image:

13% of respondents expect to increase cloud retention schedule management services.

Outsourced Information Management Services

In addition to covering the top information management challenges, impediments to achieving information management goals, and expected RIM program changes in a pre- and post-pandemic world, the survey also explored the idea of leveraging outsourced information management services as a smart and viable option in the ‘new normal’.

The fact is that companies willing to outsource all the physical components of their RIM programs to managed services experts will accelerate their digital transformation process. Information management services remain a great option because it enables businesses to mitigate resistance to digitizing records, are a cost-effective solution to supporting hybrid work environments, and help companies become more efficient and productive. By outsourcing administrative tasks, staff are empowered to focus on higher-value tasks and this, of course, enables quicker success for all.


In summary, the survey results indicate that change is afoot in the traditionally slow-changing world of physical records and information management. The global pandemic appears to be the catalyst that will finally push companies to implement changes that will help them achieve the digital transformation goals they identified over a decade ago.

To read the survey report and analysis in full, download it here: What the Pandemic Taught Us About RIM Services

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