October 20, 2014

Trends in Customer Communications Archiving: Why is the Responsibility for Customer Communications Archiving so Decentralized?

Recently CrawfordTech, in partnership with AIIM, the global community for information professionals, conducted a market survey into customer communications archiving practices. The survey questioned 226 respondents from North America and Western Europe from a range of sectors including government, banking, insurance, telco/media/utilities and healthcare. The survey provides an insight into the trends affecting customer communication archiving.

AIIM reports that “More than one-third of organizations have no person or role responsible for outbound archiving, while 22% expect departmental staff to be responsible and 14% place the responsibility with IT. Administrative and customer service staff are found to be the primary users of outbound archives followed closely by sales, marketing and records managers.”

The interesting takeaway from this is that 14% indicate IT is held responsible for archiving outbound customer communications. Our experience at CrawfordTech is that while IT certainly has the right focus to manage and maintain the infrastructure for archiving digital information, the question is does IT have the right focus for archiving business communications that are not IT related.

I contend that the need and responsibility to archive outbound customer communications should be with the business unit. It is here that the decision of who is responsible for archiving resides and the development of business requirements to support this activity. However, if responsibility resides within departments, the opportunity to rationalize the mechanisms is likely to be missed compared to a more coordinated IT initiative.

In my experience outbound customer correspondence archiving should be viewed as a team effort in that IT is there to support the business in selection, implementation, and maintenance of the infrastructure, while the business unit is responsible to establish the policies, procedures, roles and responsibilities.

AIIM’s report is a great place to look at the trends associated with customer correspondence archiving and can be downloaded here.

And look out for our next blog in the “Trends in Customer Communications Archiving” series.

If you haven't read the previous blogs in this series I invite you to read them here:

Introducing All-New Archiving Trends in Customer Communications - CrawfordTech and AIIM Announce the Results of Survey into Trends in Customer Communications Archiving

All-New Archiving Trends in Customer Communications- Statement and Invoices make up 68% of Outbound Correspondence

Trends in Customer Communications - 39% of Organizations Archive Outbound Correspondence

Trends in Customer Communications - 34% of Organizations Cite an 'Ad Hoc' System for Archiving

Trends in Customer Communications - The Top Reasons Companies Keep Correspondence is for Historical Record Keeping