Managing Information: Make Your Own Luck

By Bryant Duhon posted 03-08-2013 16:07



When it comes to effectively managing information, sitting back and hoping for it to happen, well, won’t. In this AIIM 2013 Keynote Q&A, a look at how Silicon Valley has gone to war against the enterprise, how peace could break out, and thoughts on BYOD and organizational effectiveness.

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Laurence Hart (@piewords) joined AIIM in 2012 as the Chief Information Officer where he is working to bring the Information systems supporting the AIIM Community to the leading edge of the industry. Prior to joining AIIM, Laurence spent nearly two decades as a consultant helping organization develop and implement strategies for managing their disparate information. 

Join him on Thursday, March 21 at 4:30 for his keynote: Brokering a Truce in Silicon Valley’s War Against the Enterprise

Duhon:What do you mean by “War against the enterprise”?

Hart:While there have been no declarations of war, we are seeing an intense Cold War between Silicon Valley and the Enterprise. For years, organizations have struggled to effectively implement strong systems and strategies around information. The struggle to be perfect has led to a lot of dissatisfaction. Newer cloud-based vendors are coming in with less functional applications and getting users in these organizations to adopt their solutions. Like funding a rebel faction in a country, these Silicon Valley companies are working to undermine the traditional Enterprise and take over.

Duhon: A central thought of the Silcon Valley side is that if it’s old, it must suck. While that might work for the consumer world – I much prefer my iPod over my Walkman – it’s not that easy in the enterprise. How do you break that perception?

Hart: I don’t know if you can break that perception. To be honest, most of the old ways of doing things do suck. What Silicon Valley needs to understand is that it isn’t enough to try and make it not suck. They need to understand the needs that led to the suckiness and find a less sucky way of solving the problem.

For example, traditional records management is hard to implement and maintain across the organization. That doesn’t mean that it should be ignored. New vendors need to understand the need, determine why everyone has failed, and find a way to make it practical.

Duhon: What’s the most disruptive thing to IT about BYOD in a “Uh oh, this could go really badly” way?

Hart: If the organization doesn’t know what information is out there because it is locked in unknown apps and devices, how can the organization leverage it for progress? This isn’t just about lack of control or managing risk, that is the fear side of the equation. It is about making sure that value can be gained and that everyone in the organization has access to the latest information.

Duhon: Flip the previous question; what could go right? Seems like an internal app store for self-provisioning would be enticing to IT.

Hart:It can go very right. One of the best things are apps that address gaps that IT hasn’t been able to address. A file-sharing application is wonderful if it is managed. It can solve the issue with giving everyone access to content. The apps are great. It is when they are unknown and creating silos and security risks that things really fall apart.

Duhon: As your session description points out, BYOD/consumerization makes it harder for the enterprise to use information effectively. BUT, that same trend can enable workers within the enterprise to be more effective. How do you square that circle?

Hart:I wrote that? Hmmm, I guess I did. If you saw the latest Batman movie, you may have noted that Harvey Dent, aka Two Face, had a double-sided coin. He made his own luck. Organizations have the same opportunity. When people bring in these apps and start using them without IT’s approval or knowledge, they are potentially creating new silos of information. If IT can work with staff and the newer vendors to choose apps that work well and can tie into the traditional systems of record (which still matter), then the overall organizational efficiency can go up. The difference is between individual and organizational efficiency.