The following is a quote from Information Week in an article entitled, “The War On Military Records.” The article looks at the changing landscape of records management due to digital records. Much talk has been made about going paperless, but a simple fact that this article makes is that if you go paperless it must be a tactical decision with an electronic records management software in place to protect records. Without an audit trail organizations will find themselves in the same boat as the military.

The Second Iraq War (or the “Second Gulf War” or “Bush’s War” — whichever name future historians will choose) may also be known as the first Digital War in our nation’s history. More than 99% of all the records created during the conflict were born digitally and resided only in digital form, thus no paper copies were available.

This was a dramatic paradigm shift from our last major conflict where the vast majority of the records were created in paper form. This shift has made records far more vulnerable than they were in the past as the destruction of paper is far more difficult than simply hitting the delete key.