The Information Management Agenda…It’s Plural

CIOs must balance managing internal IT systems with creating business technologies that help win, serve and retain customers, says George Colony, the CEO of Forrester Research. “If you’re a great leader, you should be able to handle two agendas simultaneously.”
-WSJ, February 4, 2015

I had a good laugh at this quote because the CIO’s and IT professionals that I know handle a couple of dozen agendas simultaneously! However, it did make me sit back and ask myself:

What are the Information Management agenda(s) in a typical global organization?

Complex IM AgendasWe compiled a list of information management agendas that are deeply impacting today’s organizations and their executives. It was more of a brainstorm and reflection than a primary research effort. But it is based on many of our clients’ requests for assistance. What is surprising is the shear number of information management agendas that face today’s company and even the effort that goes into prioritizing these challenges, as they can’t all be tackled at the same time.

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Big Wheel Keep on Rolling: Implementation Balance is the Key to IG and ECMS Success

Information Governance wheel

The big wheel keeps on turning


US-Based IT groups are enamored with technology. We love the ‘new, shiny object’ and spend enormous amounts of money on the latest and greatest. We believe that having the newest and best hardware and software provides with us a greater chance of success and competitive advantage. However, in our experience, it is almost exactly opposite for ECMS and IG efforts. We’ve generally found that the greater the spending on technology, the less chance the ECMS or IG project will be successful.

As both a rookie and highly experienced ECMS and IG consultant, I have been fortunate enough to have worked and lived abroad as an expat. Of my 20 years of doing ECMS and IG work, about 8 years was spent working for clients outside of the US. Most of that time was for clients within the Commonwealth countries, such as the UK, Canada, and Australia. A global perspective is the one thing that one obtains from living and working outside of the US. And I gained a great deal of perspective that has helped us drive successful ECMS and IG implementations for years. We’d like to share some of that perspective with you.

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The Role of Indemnification in Cloud Data Storage

cloud data storage

Storing data in the cloud

Content and regulatory compliance woes can hit businesses deep in the pocket, and data security and compliance is a growing concern across all industries. One way companies can protect themselves is by negotiating strong indemnification agreements as part of any contract involving outsourced storage and handling of their data, documents, and records by cloud vendors.

Why Indemnification for Information Management?

The cost of a data breach, accidental exposure, spoliation, or inappropriate record loss can be as much as the cost for a lawsuit in some instances. Recent data exposures have cost companies millions of dollars in legal fees and fines, and that doesn’t even include financial impact to brand value or the cost of communication and customer retention following a data breach. [Read more…]

Records Management Challenges When Using Cloud Vendors


Records Management Cloud Challenges

From healthcare to retail, records management is a growing challenge for companies of all types and sizes. HIPPA, PCI, and other regulations put responsibility on companies to safeguard customer data. Those requirements extend to data housed on cloud servers or with cloud vendors, but extending compliance and legal procedures to your cloud vendor isn’t always easy.

Enterprise Content Management Responsibilities

Enterprise content management, or ECM, duties usually fall to a group of individuals in departments such as knowledge management, record management, or corporate compliance. Best practices often keep several departments involved to help manage technical, production, and legal requirements related to records. [Read more…]

Data Ownership: Who Really Controls Your Data?

social media cloud security

Who owns your data in the cloud?

Who owns the data?

Cloud data ownership is becoming a growing concern among businesses and individuals, particularly in the wake of data leaks or controversies involving Apple’s cloud or social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook. Individuals and companies are starting to realize that they don’t always maintain ownership of information sent, received, or stored via cloud resources, especially social media cloud security. The same concerns exist for companies that contract with cloud vendors for business records management. [Read more…]

Some Cloud Data Locations Could Derail Your eDiscovery Strategy

cloud_storage_derailedElectronic records management is supposed to make your data easier to manage and access, but when it comes to eDiscovery requests, the server location housing your data may make it more difficult to deliver timely, unspoiliated documents to requesting counsel. Understanding how data location impacts eDiscovery processes can help you select the right vendor for your enterprise content management solutions. [Read more…]

Remaining Compliant with Holds and eDiscovery Requests: What to Look for in a Cloud Storage Vendor

Companies facing holds and eDiscovery requests from opposing counsel during the course of litigation can’t afford to ignore such requests.

cloud-based storage vendor

What to Look for in a Cloud Storage Vendor

Not being able to lay quick hands on documents or records is not seen as a valid reason for failure to produce, and delay can cost companies valuable litigation preparation time and lost moneys in the form of adverse interference instructions, summary judgments or fines.

With many companies moving to cloud-based storage options, they may think the cloud vendor bears ultimate responsibility for timely hold requests and eDiscovery responses, but that may not be the case. Even if records are unavailable through no fault of your company because of the cloud vendor’s slow response or mistakes, the court is likely to hold your company responsible. The same is true if records are deemed to have been tampered with or spoiled in some way.

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Cloud synced storage is not content management…yet

I recently received a gigantic amount of free cloud storage from a leading provider. I thought, “Hey, drop your Amazon S4 account, save a few bucks, and continue cloud backup/sync for free!” While I did cancel my S4 / Jungledisk account…which worked flawlessly, I have mild regrets since the new provider’s sync tool is more like a beta (it’s not Jungledisk, Carbonite, or Time Machine). Moreover, it got me thinking about my file drive “content management” and how I still live in the 1980’s, despite designing and building content management solutions for a living!

I have Office 365 for email and SharePoint, but Mac-SharePoint sync is still love-hate. Like the days of my 486SX, I have my files

The cloud-based storage that I’m using allows me to create folders and subfolders. Wow, I’m using Windows Explorer! I can search my folders and files with a traditional free text search. I’m thinking “Finder” now on my Mac.

From ECM Project to Steady State

One often overlooked, yet critical component to enterprise content management (ECM) implementations is role design and ownership for post go-live sustainability. We find that many tasks that are project intensive activities are left unmanaged and unattended once the application is in steady state.

This experience is more commonplace with small-scale ECM implementations, while we’ve seen the same issues with large-scale deployments, as well. Project managed structured communications, change management, and training programs are orchestrated during the project’s solution development lifecycle; application governance and operational support tends to default to IT project stakeholders post implementation. This may suffice for organizations with a strong PMO group and well-defined content management roles; it often becomes unsustainable for long-term ECM manageability and growth.

Specific areas that often go overlooked post-implementation for enterprise content management maintenance and support includes content architecture maintenance, site and collaboration standards adherence, and content management practices. Governance and organization role design to manage these ongoing activities should be defined during the project to assure maintenance and growth of your ECMS.

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Start small, scale fast…

I remember the slide and deployment planning mantra “start small, scale fast” from very early in my career working in Accenture’s Human Performance Service Line. I see this corporate lingo bingo is back in vogue with consulting marketeers. Back in the early 2000’s it was a slide that we’d throw into our approach decks in preparation for defining scope for our portal, content or knowledge management integration projects. Even though most of our client projects followed a typical waterfall SDLC methodology, we would advise our clients to bake in iterative prototyping, early adoption usability testing, and focus on manageable scope deployments that provided value early…and often.

Since those days of trying to sell this approach within our program planning, the IT project-sphere has embraced this approach through methodology (Agile), more pay-for-play and bite-sized technology offerings, and the urgent desire to show bottom-line customer value immediately. With the rapid pace of business and technology innovation, large long-term deployments have become the dinosaur of the past for our information management deployments. I believe the deployment of now and the future is to plan, design, and deploy with immediacy, value, and the least business strain on internal and external customers.