The Night When Santa Visited An Information Manager

By Jeff Lewis posted 12-25-2013 07:10

  

Twas the night before Christmas.  I had the kids all nestled in their beds with dreams of santa and his presents in their heads.  Myself, I could not sleep on this night.  All the presents were wrapped and the cookies for Santa were eaten.  My head was spinning as I sat there with my holiday eggnog pondering problems of content chaos, digital landfills and metadata messes.  

I am not sure if my head was spinning from adding too much brandy to the eggnog or the risk and compliance problems my organization was mired in.  When my head stopped spinning I noticed that on the lawn there arose such a clatter. Who could it be, but jolly old Saint Nick.  He was different than what I learned of him from my youth.

 

As I was sizing him up trying to figure out if he was real, he broke the silence and said, “I am a figment of your buzzed stupor here to help with your information management woes.  My naughty and nice list has recently been moved to the cloud and my elves are more efficient due to the North Pole’s BYOD policy.  With all the information my team manages, to keep track of the children around the world and deliver presents in one night, I feel like I can provide some aid.”

 

Santa then proceeded to pull out a bag with all of the best enterprise content management and social tools telling me that any of them could be at my disposal if I met certain stipulations.  I knew that my organization was not on the nice list, but he read my mind and told me that North Pole Consulting could get us to the nice list and all of this software could be mine as a down payment if we promise to change our ways.

 

“I know you have your own information governance maturity model for your organization, but I have my own naughty list for your organization in terms of where I want to see growth,” stated Santa.  

 

“The first item on my list,” Santa says, “Is social media governance.  I am watching and so is everyone on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Your marketing department which acts on behalf of the company on social media is on the nice list.  Whether you are aware or not, the interns in accounting have social media aspirations and have made unauthorized social media comments.  They are definitely on my naughty list.”

 

Santa was pacing the room and I could tell he was just getting started.  “Next on my list is email management.  I am concerned about PII going out in non-secured e-mail.  When that doesn’t keep me up, I am aware of no virus scan for incoming attachments.  Lastly, the size of those e-mail boxes makes my waistline look tiny.”

 

I started to wonder what was in his bag and if it would really make my life easier or if it would be more work as I know that no technology is a silver bullet solution without culture change and process improvement.  Before I could get a peek inside his bag Santa handed me an iPad and stated, “Lastly, and I didn’t want to kill a lot of trees so I uploaded a big portion of it to Google Drive so I could share it with you.  I’ve been watching you for years now, waiting for your organization to get a records retention schedule in place.  My hope is that this visit will be what it takes for you to get motivated and complete this task.  You will find on your tablet a draft retention schedule for your organization, samples of retention schedules from organizations in your same industry and resources for implementation and change management.”

 

The moment that I had been waiting for finally arrived.  Santa opened up his bag to reveal goodies such as Opentext Email Management Tools, Hootsuite Pro, Office 365, Laserfiche, TunnelVision from Mindseye and so much more.  I was very tempted to take Santa up on his offer, but I knew had to be honest with him.  “Santa all of these tools are way beyond my organization’s information management budget.  I know we could make great strides and get on your nice list if I accepted.  I also know it would only be temporary.  We don’t need better tools to automate our processes.  We need better processes to make our information more manageable.  If we automate without the proper process improvements than instead of fixing our current train wreck, we will just be moving faster to the same train wreck.  To get where we need to be to fix our information management problems, instead of better tools, I need to become a better information manager, I need to become a Certified Information Professional.  As a CIP I can better navigate the challenges of mobile and social that lay ahead.  Also, becoming a CIP will help me to keep my skills current and competitive with all of the new tools that are coming into the enterprise via the consumerization of IT.”

I expected him to act slighted, but instead, with special twinkle in his eye, he patted my head and told me that a better bridge between IT and business is the best Christmas gift any information professional could desire for their organization.  He rose up the chimney and went off to his sleigh.  Just like that I jolted up from my chair, as I woke knowing that it was all a dream, but validated my path for 2014.



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