Administrative Challenge

By David Coursey  |  Posted 2004-12-03 Print this article Print

Midsized companies may find it most difficult to implement successfully as many will try to roll RMS out across all users at once, even before administrators really understand how RMS works. Creating rights templates, for example, is an important step in making sure users dont find themselves locked out of their documents. A really lousy installation could, conceivably, lock everyone out of everything, at least for a time. No matter how easy Microsoft tries to make set-up, it will still pay for administrators to be thoroughly familiar before rolling RMS out to the corporate masses.
One thing that may work against RMS, at its least heavy-handed use, are social issues. Users who suddenly find themselves unable to access or use information as they have in the past will presumably be unhappy. Management may be surprised to discover these "unauthorized uses" were in fact necessary for real, if not well-understood or documented, business purposes. For that reason, RMS is perhaps best begun with a light touch with users themselves helping to decide how much security is really necessary.
For more insights from David Coursey, check out his Weblog.

Despite Microsofts best efforts and even if RMS proves thoroughly hacker-proof, information may still not be completely safe. Permitted hard copies of documents can still find their way into the wrong hands, information can be copied longhand and carried out of the building, and cameras can be used to photograph screens. Or a program like SnagIt might be used to grab screen images for printing or saving as files. Whatever its shortcomings, Microsoft RMS strikes me a useful, even necessary new technology for business networks. It will be interesting to see how successful the company will be in making its use both simple for administrators and transparent to users. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

One of technology's most recognized bylines, David Coursey is Special Correspondent for, where he writes a daily Blog ( and twice-weekly column. He is also Editor/Publisher of the Technology Insights newsletter and President of DCC, Inc., a professional services and consulting firm.

Former Executive Editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Coursey has also been Executive Producer of a number of industry conferences, including DEMO, Showcase, and Digital Living Room. Coursey's columns have been quoted by both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CBS News, and other broadcasts as an expert on computing and the Internet. He has also written for InfoWorld, USA Today, PC World, Computerworld, and a number of other publications. His Web site is

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