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Digital Landfill, blog by AIIM President John Mancini

Just a few more days until World Paper Free Day

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 29, 2014 2:33:00 PM

Have you gotten your "Paper Free" badge yet?  What are you waiting for?  World Paper Free Day is next week -- TAKE THE PLEDGE.

Or if you’re not quite ready to take the pledge, do one of the following…

Just “like” the World Paper Free Day page on Facebook and show your support.

Or follow World Paper Free Day on Twitter.

Or check out our cool YouTube videos on the World Paper Free Day You Tube channel.

Check these videos out...

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Watson and Professional Associations

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 29, 2014 1:28:00 PM

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently out at IBM Insight, and thought I would share some impressions of the event (see ECM – Rodney Dangerfield or “Intel Inside”?).

As an association guy, the Cognitive Computing/Watson keynote session caught my attention.  Watson is now focusing on professions with a deep technical knowledge base and terminologies and technologies particular to that profession – a use case of particular interest to associations.  Watson “has been learning the language of professions with the objective of democratizing information discovery and putting information in the hands of anyone who wants to use it.”

For those unfamiliar with Watson, it achieved its greatest fame during the competition with Ken Jennings and other human opponents on Jeopardy.  What makes Watson cognitive? Three things: 1) it operates in natural language; 2) it makes evidence based recommendations; 3) it is not bound by volume, memory or format.

One profession-focused use case discussed focused on oncology. “Watson Oncology is a cognitive computing system designed to support the broader oncology community of physicians as they consider treatment options with their patients. Memorial Sloan Kettering clinicians and analysts are partnering with IBM to train Watson Oncology to interpret cancer patients’ clinical information and identify individualized, evidence-based treatment options that leverage our specialists’ decades of experience and research.”

This whole concept is a revolutionary one for professional associations to think about.  Those of us in the association space have built our business models around being the trusted curator and validator of a body of knowledge linked to our particular profession. We continue to build much of this body of knowledge around manual processes and "association-ish" approaches that often haven't changed in decades. 

This whole model is about to be disrupted. What does it mean to be the curator of rich technical expertise in an era of exploding volumes of information? What does it mean to be the information gatekeeper in a profession when so much new information is being developed beyond our control or beyond our traditional geographic reach or even beyond our awareness?

What is the role of cognitive computing for associations and professions in helping sustain our competency in an era of information abundance and chaos?

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#ECM – Rodney Dangerfield or "Intel Inside"?

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 28, 2014 6:11:00 PM

I am currently out at IBM Insight, and over the next few days I thought I would share some impressions of the event. From Day 1, and in no particular order…

As always, this event is an awesome display of the power of branding.  IBM just gets this and does a really good job of it.

It might come as a surprise to many of my generation who remember IBM execs as the ones who could wear any shirt they wanted to work as long as it was white, but IBM does an exceptional job at the social media side of event management. This is definitely a “connected” event and the volume and speed of new tweets (hashtag for the event is #ibminsight) during any of the keynote events is pretty overwhelming. They also have some fun with running their analytics platform against the social engagement of attendees.

I will admit that the overall theming of the event – “The Conference for Big Data and Analytics” – had me wishing for at least a mention of “information” or “content” in the title.  In some ways, our industry is like the Rodney Dangerfield of the IT space.  I suppose it is the curse of ECM to ultimately be critical to everything, yet simultaneously somewhat invisible if actually done properly. Perhaps we need a campaign like the “Intel Inside” or that BASF “We Make Everything Better” campaign for ECM.

This event is structured around hundreds of smaller educational sessions (120 for ECM alone) sandwiched around morning General Sessions and technology specific keynotes during the day (Business Leadership and Industry, Information Management, Enterprise Content Management, Business Analytics, Watson and Cognitive Computing, Security, Infrastructure Matters, and Mobile/Social Engagement).  Per my comment about “Intel Inside,” ECM is “inside” just about all of them.

I give props to the IBM ECM crew for their keynote and telling the ECM story in a way that connected together, was compelling, and even funny at times.  The bumper on ECM at the beginning (this won’t do it justice, the visuals were very good and actually got you excited about ECM) went like this…

“Enterprise content management puts content to work. Beyond capturing and sharing, it's responsive, immediate, and actionable. A unified customer experience delivering the right content to the right people where and when they need it. Putting context around content, empowering every employee so organizations can make smarter decisions, realize new value, and deliver better customer service. Smarter content is transforming business around the world, right now.”

 

Now I know some will say, what’s so great about that? But for the ECM industry -- our elevator speeches seem to usually require a 400-story elevator – I thought it very succinct and punchy.

They also had a bit of fun with my Information Chaos theme under the phrase “Age of Distraction.”  Take a look at part of Doug Hunt’s keynote that I captured - I hope the IBM folks don't mind...

http://www.screencast.com/t/ig0FHsTZcc9i

IBM sees three major sources of disruption in which how you manage content can be either constructive or disabling: 1) data; 2) cloud; and 3) engagement.

The key concept relative to data is to adopt tools that allow you to view it with discernment – the ability to determine what is important and what is not and the ability to draw conclusions from data. Cloud technologies are enabling, but “without structure it is just another shared drive.”  The take here, differentiating from consumer sync and share, is that “this is business content, and with 62% more security breaches this year than last year, you just can’t take it lightly.”  Lastly, you position your organization to win when you engage with content in a way that allows for “inner focus” (relevance to the business), “other focus” (relevance to the customer) and “outer focus” (leading to an understanding of the market).

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Note:  Kevin Spacey and Captain Phillips are keynotes on Wednesday.  I remember one evening at the beach with my sons last fall in which we drove my wife nuts by spending the entire evening speaking in a Francis Underwood voice (“Claire! Claire!”). I am hoping to reenact if I get to meet Kevin Spacey. 

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Take the World Paper Free Day pledge and go paperless for a day

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 27, 2014 10:32:00 AM

Everywhere I go, I hear the same complaints from people about all of the paper in their personal lives…

  • "Tell me again why I am keeping all of those old credit card statements?"
  • "Exactly how long do I need to keep all of those old tax returns?"
  • "I feel terrible about the volume of paper coming into and going out of this house."
  • "Why are we printing things and wasting resources just to stick the paper in a file folder?”

For that matter, I also hear people bemoaning the “sludge” that paper creates in their business processes…

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ECM Chicken or Egg -- Technology or Services?

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 24, 2014 5:10:50 PM

Businesses need to act swiftly in order to maintain a competitive advantage, but swift action without proper planning results in unnecessary delays, potential compliance risks, and increased costs. As much as 40% of an ECM implementation’s costs could be the result of rework due to poor planning and requirements gathering.

Many organizations use a technology-first approach to quickly address a perceived business problem, often coming up short in their results. Enlisting experienced services personnel, with expertise in requirements gathering, ECM technology application, and process improvement ensures that a thorough assessment has been conducted, problems identified, stakeholder issues and considerations contemplated, process improvements made, and proper technology applied.


There are typically 3 types of external help you can procure. These are help from an external consultant in modeling processes, shaping the requirements specification and selecting systems; professional services supplied by a vendor post-selection to plan and drive the implementation; and help from a Systems Integrator (SI) to stitch together different elements and sub-systems, and to help with integration to existing enterprise systems.

Using the rework costs as an example, it stands to reason that an additional investment of 15% upfront to get the requirements and planning correct can save you as much as 30-40% in rework costs after the fact. As a first step forward:

  • Assess your internal expertise and identify the gaps
  • Solicit your suppliers and external resources to fill-in where you need the expertise
  • Look at the process, content and people before applying technology
  • Assess options of on-premise versus cloud applications, and mobility can be used to augment or supplement the traditionally high value proposition of ECM Solutions

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12 Recommendations to Get "Search Smart" -- What would you add?

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 16, 2014 1:32:00 PM

We've been thinking about some ways for organizations to be more effective in deploying search technologies.  

Clearly organizations have an INTENTION to do so -- 71% of the organizations we polled in Search and Discovery: Exploiting Knowledge and Minimizing Risk thought that search was "vital or essential."  (Check out 15 "Must Knows" About Search.)  

However the REALITY is a far different question -- only 18% or organization have cross-repository search capabilities, and 58% show "little or no" signs of search maturity.


So here's our list of recommendations on how to bridge this gap.  

What do you think?  What would you add to the list?

  1. Set out a strategy for search that recognizes its importance for both information exploitation and information governance.
  2. Agree where responsibility for search should lie. If you have an Information Governance Committee or Chief Information Officer ensure that search is on their agenda, perhaps by creating a Knowledge Management Steering Group – or consider creating a Head of Knowledge Management.
  3. Audit existing search tools within the organization. Establish what specific search needs there are within each department, and how well they are being met.
  4. Evaluate the search capability of your ECM system(s), and whether they can be optimized or tuned for better results
  5. Look to connect your ECM system search to other repositories to provide a single-point search portal.
  6. If your ECM system does not provide a strong search tool, is not readily extensible to other repositories, cannot support mobile access, or does not provide the transparency and tune-ability you need, make the business case for a dedicated search product.
  7. If you do not have the in-house expertise to support and tune your chosen search tool(s) consider specific training or help from a specialist consultancy.
  8. Include end-user training in search techniques in order to maximize the benefits from your search tools.
  9. Evaluate your ability to respond in a timely manner to a legal-discovery, FOI, compliance or audit request across the relevant repositories, particularly email.
  10. Ensure that you have a robust hold mechanism across each repository, and look at your IT support for the downstream review process.
  11. Consider specific e-discovery or litigation management products to manage the workflow for pre trial.
  12. Look to use content analytics or predictive coding to speed up the review cycle.

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15 "Must Knows" About Search

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 14, 2014 7:33:22 PM

These 15 “must-knows” are drawn from a new survey of information professionals conducted in July. Get a copy now!

Full survey results are available for free - Search and Discovery: Exploiting Knowledge, Minimizing Risk.

  1. For 71% of the organizations polled, search is vital or essential, yet only 18% have cross-repository search capabilities. 58% show little or no sign of search maturity.
  2. 75% of respondents would not disagree that information is easier to find outside of the organization than within. 65% agree that employees struggle to access internal information from mobile devices. Only 39% have natural language search.
  3. Improved search is a priority over big data/content analytics for 73%. There is some movement (19%) towards a unified search and big data strategy (although 59% have no big data strategy).
  4. The IT Department takes responsibility for search in 52% of organizations, although only 25% feel it should be so. 44% feel RM/Compliance/IG would be a better owner, although there is also strong support for the concept of a Head of Knowledge Management (34%) or Chief Knowledge Officer (29%).
  5. 25% have no advanced or dedicated search tools. 13% have five or more.
  6. Those with advanced search tools are most likely (45%) to acquire them through their ECM product or provider. 42% of users have on-server search products outside of ECM, including 14% using Open Source. 21% are using a dedicated search appliance, and 8% SaaS.
  7. 38% have not tuned or optimized their search tool at all, including 8% who have not even switched it on. Half of responding organizations allocate less than half an FTE to support search applications. Only 12% have used external expertise.
  8. Beyond SharePoint, intranet and ECM systems, most content is beyond the scope of the search tools. Only 19% have advanced search across email, with less than 10% extending to other enterprise systems.
  9. 47% feel that universal search and compliant e-discovery is becoming near impossible given the proliferation of cloud share and collaboration apps, personal note systems and mobile devices. 60% are firmly of the view that automated analytics tools are the only way to improve classification and tagging to make their content more findable.
  10. Better decision-making and faster customer service are given as the top benefits from improved search tools. Only 14% were required to make a financial business case for search investment.
  11. 42% consider that they have achieved payback from their investment in search tools within 12 months or less. 62% achieved payback within 18 months. .
  12. 53% of respondents agree that their legal discovery procedures are “ad hoc, manual, disruptive and expensive.” 28% have no policy, process or precedent for legal discovery and legal hold.
  13. 29% rely on instructions not to delete, rather than more robust hold procedures. 47% admit that their email retention and hold policies expose them to risk
  14. 74% rely on manual processes to manage the downstream legal discovery process. 10% have dedicated legal-case products, and 9% have a discovery workflow as part of ECM.
  15. On the whole, users are likely to increase spend on all aspects of search and discovery in the next 12 months, in particular content analytics, mobile device apps, and consolidation of multiple search tools.

A note on the sample -- 415 individual members of the AIIM community took the survey between Jul 11 and Aug 02, 2014, using a Web-based tool. Invitations to take the survey were sent via email to a selection of the 80,000 AIIM community members. Survey respondents represent organizations of all sizes. Larger organizations over 5,000 employees represent 30%, with mid-sized organizations of 500 to 5,000 employees at 35%. Small-to mid sized organizations with 10 to 500 employees constitute 35%. Respondents from organizations with less than 10 employees and suppliers of ECM products and services have been eliminated from the results, taking the total to 353 respondents.

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7 Reasons to Fear Free Puppies and Bundled Scanning Applications

Posted by John Mancini

Sep 25, 2014 8:14:00 PM

[This is a guest post from Paul Engel, CEO of VeBridge.  VeBridge focuses on enhancing the daily connections between people, process and technology by eliminating paper, unnecessary steps and incomplete business processes.  Please like or share this post using the buttons above.  Thanks!]

We’ve all been there. There’s a pile of cute, fluffy, wriggling puppies in a crate. You lift one out for a quick cuddle. It licks you. It loves you. In minutes you grow to love the puppy back. Looking up, you see the sign… “Free puppies.” OMG, it can’t get any better than this! The transaction is completed and you are now the happy owner of a free puppy, with whom you are in love. As you are walking away, the puppy purveyor reminds you to “get it to the vet for its shots.”

Within a week, without breaking a sweat, you have dropped $400 on this free puppy. That’s not all. You have also awakened to the daily maintenance associated with loving, and owning a puppy. You have modified your schedule: Wake at 5:45 to let the puppy out. Walk the puppy before leaving for work. Come home every 2 hours to let the puppy out. Come home earlier than usual for the pre-dinner puppy walk. Take the puppy out before going to bed. Wake up once during the night to allow the whimpering pup to, once again, relieve itself. The good news is, it was “free.”

There is no such thing as a free puppy. There is also no such thing as a low-maintenance puppy.

How does this relate to scanning apps? It’s a fairly similar story, you just spend more money and it wags a much bigger maintenance tail! Here goes…

You are attending a demo of your next new business application. (Take your pick…Finance and Accounting, ERP, Inventory, Recruiting, HR, Asset Management, Case Management, Incident Tracking, etc.)

Suddenly the sales guy says, “But that’s not all! It will also allow you to scan all the documents associated with the transaction, right into the software! That way the images will live with the transaction and you won’t have to do any more filing!” You begin to swoon! Then you get the best news…this scanning capability comes bundled into the software, so it’s FREE! You are now in love, and decide to buy the new-fangled software package. They’re even going to throw in a scanner.

Like the puppy, this sounded like a great solution at the time. Here’s why it may create more problems than it solves.

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A rant for my colleagues in the Association community -- or the Death of the AMS

Posted by John Mancini

Sep 16, 2014 9:09:00 PM

Perhaps it is just that I am increasingly becoming a curmudgeon when it comes to the information management systems we use to run our associations.  

Or perhaps I have just been burned too often in the AMS (Association Management Systems) world.  

Or perhaps it is just that the pace of technology change has turned the status quo on its head, and no one quite knows what will take its place.

But whatever the reason, I decided to capture some of my thoughts about the world of Association Management Systems into a short e-book -- The Death of the AMS, or How I Stopped Expecting an Eirelegende WollMilchSau (more on my weird German word in the e-book!)  You can get a free copy HERE...

My core thesis...

We will never get “all” of the information about customer and member engagement into a single system. 

No AMS application “module” will ever be as good as a dedicated best of breed application, often battle hardened in the consumer space.  

We can no longer consider the AMS as the sun in a solar system of process “planets,” sucking all of the data from each of the planets back into a single system of record. 

The AMS has moved from the center of the association information management solar system to become one of the planets.  

The challenge we have moving forward is to leave our data in the point solution where it belongs, connect the data as appropriate, and give up on the notion that everything needs to be sucked into the AMS.

The AMS as we have known it for the past 20 years is dead.

What do you think?

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7 Must Knows About Search and Findability

Posted by John Mancini

Sep 16, 2014 12:38:00 PM

These 7 “must-knows” are drawn from a brand new survey of 415 information professionals conducted in July. Survey respondents represent organizations of all sizes. Larger organizations over 5,000 employees represent 30%, and mid-sized organizations of 500 to 5,000 employees 35%. Small-to-mid sized organizations with 10 to 500 employees constitute 35%. 67% of the participants are from North America, and 18% from Europe.


Full survey results are available for free at this link -- http://info.aiim.org/search-and-discovery. The full report is titled Search and Discovery - exploiting knowledge, minimizing risk.

  1. 25% have no advanced or dedicated search tools. 13% have five or more. Tweet This Stat!
  2. Those with advanced search tools are most likely (45%) to acquire them through their ECM product or provider. 42% of users have on-server search products outside of ECM, including 14% using Open Source. 21% are using a dedicated search appliance, and 8% SaaS. Tweet This Stat!
  3. 38% have not tuned or optimized their search tool at all, including 8% who have not even switched it on. Half of responding organizations allocate less than half an FTE to support search applications. Only 12% have used external expertise. Tweet This Stat!
  4. Beyond SharePoint, intranet and ECM systems, most content is beyond the scope of the search tools. Only 19% have advanced search across email, with less than 10% extending to other enterprise systems. Tweet This Stat!
  5. 47% feel that universal search and compliant e-discovery is becoming near impossible given the proliferation of cloud share and collaboration apps, personal note systems and mobile devices. 60% are firmly of the view that automated analytics tools are the only way to improve classification and tagging to make their content more findable. Tweet This Stat!
  6. Better decision-making and faster customer service are given as the top benefits from improved search tools. Only 14% were required to make a financial business case for search investment. Tweet This Stat!
  7. 42% consider that they have achieved payback from their investment in search tools within 12 months or less. 62% achieved payback within 18 months. Tweet This Stat!

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If you are located near Anaheim, CA or DC or New York City or Toronto or Chicago or Minneapolis, join us for our free Information Chaos Rescue Mission seminar next month. I’ll be speaking; we’ll have great fun and also learn something.

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About Digital Landfill

#InformationChaos -- The game has changed.  

Information is the world’s new currency.

Read just about any business publication and you will quickly conclude that how an organization manages its information assets is now just as fundamental a source of competitive differentiation as how it manages its physical assets, its human assets, and its financial assets. Amidst all of this opportunity, organizations are drowning in a sea of content and information. #InformationChaos reigns supreme.

That's the focus of this blog -- and for that matter, of AIIM.  As the President of AIIM, my goal is to help you and your organization survive and thrive in the era of #InformationChaos.  If I can help, contact me at johnmancini@aiim.org.

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