Information Is Your Most Valuable Stuff - MANAGE IT!

By Bryant Duhon posted 03-01-2013 13:55



In this AIIM 2013 Q & A, EMC’s Garth Landers goes beyond the usual platitudes about governance to explain why pervasive governance is GOOD for your business.

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Garth Landers (@GarthLanders) is Director of Cross Category Marketing for EMC. He is ahighly experienced, versatile software executive with comprehensive skills in strategic planning and a history of success working with all facets of the modern day software enterprise - sales, marketing, and product development.

Duhon: “The Digital Universe is a vast place of promise and risk.” I love that from your website. What is the promise of effectively managed information?

Landers:Every year, studies indicate the velocity and volume at which information is growing. It can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task to attempt to manage it effectively, particularly unstructured information. When EMC works with our customers, we look at information as an asset: it’s your organization’s DNA. It’s the most valuable stuff that allows you to track and response to business and market conditions, what your customers are doing, and what the future might look like. And as the output of bright, capable knowledge workers, effectively managing this content allows your organization to get maximum leverage and reuse from that information. Harnessing this information growth allows your organization to be more agile, improve the productivity of individuals and teams, and ultimately, lower costs.

Duhon: What are the current trends in information governance, what is new/different in the approach organizations are taking?

Landers: There is a real maturity in this area relative to organizational requirements. Enterprises are evolving their requirements to move beyond platform-only approaches. That doesn’t mean archiving isn’t still a very valuable approach, because if you can move relevant content to a secure repository, apply security and retention management, you can meet many information governance requirements. That is exactly what EMC SourceOne archiving does. However, in addition to traditional approaches such as archiving, more and more organizations need to embed both governance and compliance mechanisms into their business processes, as well as security and access policies into the content itself. These best practices enable your organizational requirements to be supported off platform. Organizations want unobtrusive, transparent governance and compliance technologies that do not interfere with the trusted information exchange and work patterns among your employees, customers, partners, and suppliers. We live and work in very distributed and virtual environments, and enforcing governance and compliance must be dynamic and able to support a wide array of use cases. At EMC, we call this pervasive governance: the fundamental ability of an organization to identify, secure, protect, and produce critical information wherever it exists—whether in a secure repository, in transit, in the cloud, on mobile devices, and any combination thereof.

Duhon: How do the cloud and mobile fit into ECM? What are the governance implications?

Landers: The move to the cloud does not change information governance requirements, but it does transform the risk factors and will increasingly challenge IT creativity in developing new strategies and mechanisms for policy compliance and enforcement. Organizations are grappling with questions like-

o   Where is my information stored?

o   Are there any data jurisdiction mandates?

o   Are there any privacy mandates?

Mobile devices are increasingly the vehicle of choice for content access and retrieval and process centric work. Users expect almost no limitations with regards to content and mobile use. Organizations are really grappling with governance policy enforcement and execution when coupled with the growth in mobile devices and users. This is a large reason for why we are seeing such renewed interest in Information Rights Management (IRM). With IRM, organizations have the ability to support governance and compliance off platform, across mobile devices. They have the security of knowing that content can be wiped remotely and that restrictions can be enforced- for example, if you have valuable product/business plans being accessed on an iPhone, and you want to limit viewing and access to a particular user, we can eliminate printing, copying, forwarding etc. This also happens with zero user interference, so we are helping organizations maximize and leverage access to content, while also protecting it and not encumbering productivity.

Duhon: With organizations facing growing ediscovery requirements, how does EMC meet information needs for legal stakeholders?

Landers: EMC’s ediscovery offering provides early case assesment capabilities for organizations looking to manage and streamline their response to litigation, regulatory issues, HR cases, customer/supplier disputes, or other external audits.. It enables legal, compliance, and IT teams to respond rapidly and efficiently to these event-driven investigation demands and ongoing information governance needs. As a part of a complete information governance strategy, the application can discover, classify, manage, and preserve information according to business value and legal risk. We saw a tremendous interest in our ediscovery solutions recently at the LegalTech New York conference this past January. You can really sense that organizations are focused on this problem and are quite savvy about what needs to be done.

Duhon: What does big data mean to Documentum? Is there a fit for managing big data with unstructured content?

Landers: As we know, content management systems really are a mix of structured and unstructured information, with the index databases providing plenty of valuable data about our content, and often times, its value to the organization. At a more granular level, however, there is a move towards managing big data and big content together. For example, when you have enterprise applications that generate large volumes of structured information, there is a wealth of information that might be vital to the organizations interest, information that is hard to be manage because it is as the name implies, “Big”. This is information that might not be easy to manage in a traditional content management system, due to scale, content type and the tools necessary to repurpose and utilize the information

One of the areas I worked with recently is our enterprise archiving solution. This is a solution that does utilize elements of Documentum such as XML management in addition to capabilities to manage large volumes of structured information - often application created content, that is rife with data. This could be statement information for organizations in the banking, insurance, telco, and energy where the content and layout of the information remains the same over time, but the data is highly variable and again, can tell organizations how to forecast demand for services, usage patterns, and other metrics. This is an area where scalability is paramount. Organizations in this area are often mandated to retain information like this for some time – even decades – and when you combine this with the density of the information, it becomes quite sizeable. We see the opportunity for lots analytics in this area.

Another good example -Insurance companies when pricing applications for insurance today have a limited set of data points available to them to optimize their pricing.

One new trend for insurance provider is to leverage telematics and big data to get as close as possible to the optimal price point. Upon opt-in, customers install sensors in their cars that capture information such as driving time, how aggressive of a driver they are, etc. The combination of big data and xCP enables these vendors to take action on insight. From a technology perspective, we see a lot of synergies with our colleagues at EMC Greenplum.

Duhon: Where do you see ECM headed? How do you reconcile ECM platforms like Documentum with new technologies, such as enterprise file sharing and synchronization?

Landers: EMC made a key acquisition in sync-and-share technology in May 2012 with the investment in Syncplicity. Recently, we announced support for connectivity between Documentum and Syncplicity. We see a number of key opportunities. For one, Syncplicity is a key vehicle for sharing content and mobile access- and as such we have integrated IRM with Syncplicity to support those governance needs. In addition, I think you will see a number of use cases where organizations will look to create, share and collaborate using Syncplicity and then utilize Documentum for process intensive work, case management etc. Syncplicity makes our content, process, and collaboration story stronger.

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