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Digital Landfill, blog by AIIM President John Mancini

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 12:38:19 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 -- 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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.


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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What does the next generation of information leaders look like?

Posted by John Mancini

Sep 5, 2014 2:44:52 PM

As we’ve discussed before, we are in a world of rapid and accelerating change.

Three major disruptive forces are accelerating the pace of change and driving organizations into information chaos:

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How to Tame #InfoChaos with Artificial Intelligence

Posted by John Mancini

Aug 29, 2014 12:06:48 PM

We are all struggling with a massive explosion in the volume of information we must manage and digest. Finding opportunity amidst all of this chaos is the central challenge facing organizations over the next 5 years.

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New Free Video -- How Do You Convince the C-Suite to Care About Information Governance?

Posted by John Mancini

Aug 27, 2014 11:45:00 AM

Digital data is growing and moving beyond the enterprise. What's your company's plan? Or does anyone even care?

Does your organization have any structures, roles and priorities for managing information? How do stakeholders and your companies culture understand and value information governance? This short video will give a brief summary of today's information management problem and what YOU can do to demonstrate the value for Information Governance.

This FREE training video discusses -- Click HERE to view the short tutorial -- or just click on the image below...

  • The need vs. the benefit of information governance
  • How to manage information risks and reduce costs
  • How to maximize the business benefit
  • How to identify and prioritize requirements



You should also check out our latest Information Governance report.

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16 Questions (and Answers) About #SharePoint and #Office365

Posted by John Mancini

Aug 25, 2014 1:33:00 PM

On July 23 I did an "open-mike" webinar with Quentin Christensen and Andrew SanAgustin from Microsoft to answer questions from users about SharePoint.  The Q&A flowed beyond the scope of the webinar, so I asked Quentin and Andrew if they could respond to some of the outstanding questions in this post.

Here are the questions and their answers -- as usual, no endorsement implied -- and the perspective is theirs, not mine.  The point of the post is simply to provide a conduit for the questions and give Quentin and Andrew a chance to give their take.  Alternative perspectives welcome... Post a comment...

[For a variety of additional perspectives and resources, check out our SharePoint Resource Center.]

Here are the questions from the webinar...

For electronic records, do you require any approvals before disposition/deletion occurs? Or does that disposition occur automatically, with no human intervention?

SharePoint allows automatic destruction/disposition.  However, we require approvals and reviews before deletion occurs and there is human intervention/oversight.

What about SP2013 and scanned documents: are there any compatible metadata extractors?

Yes, but not out of box.  We employ a third party solution that was customized to be able to identify metadata fields from unique, scanned images.  However, as part of the management rigor, we validate this information before moving items into the SharePoint Records Center.

How can one use SharePoint, Office 365, or other technology to apply legal preservation?

Using eDiscovery Center with SharePoint 2013 or Office 365, users are able to capture relevant records managed within this environment and preserve them by specifying SharePoint sites and enabling In-Place Hold. With In-Place Hold enabled your users can continue to work on their documents with no impact. eDiscovery Center users the built in SharePoint search to index and search all SharePoint sites and on premises you can also index and search file shares. You can place your collections from other systems such as user’s local computers in SharePoint or a file share to search your data in one place. The eDiscovery Center can also search and manage holds for Exchange mailboxes. The eDiscovery Center is a type of site collection just like the Records Center and is useful not just for legal preservation of records but also beneficial for FOIA, FOIL, and PDR – Public Disclosure Requests because you can easily search and export data.

Do you have a change management process you advocate to improve user adoption?

Yes, as we provide solutions to internal customers, we educate them on Records Management Methodology for Microsoft, and the solutions available (how it’s used, how we can manage their data, how we can help improve their processes in managing documents).  Each customer is typically different in their business needs, so we have flexibility in our deliver.  However, SharePoint Records Center functionality is constant.

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The CEO as Digital Champ? It's Happening...

Posted by John Mancini

Aug 17, 2014 6:10:00 PM

[This is a guest post by an Advisory principal with PwC and leader of PwC's Digital and Customer practices.]

The CEO as Digital Champ?  It's Happening...

Over the next five years, one of the most fundamental distinctions between success and failure for businesses will be the degree to which CEOs become digital champions. 

In our latest Digital IQ survey of 1,500 business and IT executives, we found that 63% of top-performing companies had CEOs who were addressing tough issues like how to effectively collect and interpret data on their products and consumers; by contrast, only 44% were doing this in the lower-performing groups. 

Here’s the degree to which CEOs are embracing the champion role by sector: 

CEOs looking to claim this mantle can do the following: 

  • CEOs need a strategy fit for the digital age. This would encompass growth,  productivity, customer experience, products and services, partnerships, risk and more. Yesterday's obstacle is a new opportunity for digital.
  • CEOs must rethink the planning process. Asking the right questions at the right time is key for maximizing digital potential.  Digital is not the question, where to start and accelerate your digital journey is.
  • CEOs must own it. From the C-suite down, every leader must have a clear-cut vision of how they will take digital and build it into their strategies.  This cannot be left in hands of a single executive who is meant to create change through influencing many.   The CMO and the CIO are the best executive examples  of executives leading the charge but where is the rest of the C-suite.

[Tom Puthiyamadam's work is focused on co-developing and executing strategies  to increase an organization's growth and operational performance. Tom has significant experience in global transformation services for Fortune 500 companies, specializing in growth strategy, customer strategy, organization design, marketing, sales, and service effectiveness.]


Also related to this topic from AIIM -- Information Opportunity vs. Information Chaos -- free e-book.  And -- I want simple solutions even a CEO can love.


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The #Cloud and pending European Data Protection regulations

Posted by John Mancini

Aug 17, 2014 5:38:00 PM

Data Protection laws and regulations across the EU govern the storage and processing of data that would allow an individual to be recognized. They are intended to address the risks around privacy and data loss, and to provide a framework for good information governance.

The development of public, private, government and hybrid cloud computing services has created a challenge to on-premise data storage and processing, and thus created uncertainty regarding responsibilities of the respective organizations regarding data protection and data privacy.

The European Union is soon to implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will bring all 27 countries under a single regime of rules, and penalties for breach. AIIM regards this as an opportunity for cloud providers to deliver EU-wide services under a single operations model. However providers and users need to be aware of the current legislative challenges.

The purpose of a new AIIM white paper -- Making sense of European Data Protection Regulations as they relate to the storage and management of content in the Cloud – is to inform end-users of the current and potential future legislative landscape in Europe regarding data protection and data privacy. This will enable end-user organizations to make risk-based decisions about cloud versus on-premise content storage. This will also allow them to evaluate providers of cloud services to ensure that they will stay compliant with applicable law.

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Is Unauthorized Use of File Sharing Solutions Putting Organizations on a Slippery Slope?

Posted by John Mancini

Aug 6, 2014 4:09:28 PM

[This is a guest post from Mika Javanainen, Senior Director of Product Management at M-Files Corporation.]

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10 Must Knows About Case Management and Smart Process Applications

Posted by John Mancini

Jul 30, 2014 10:00:00 AM

These 10 “things you need to know” about Case Management/BPM and Smart Process Applications are drawn from a survey of 301 information professionals conducted earlier this year. Survey respondents represent organizations of all sizes. Larger organizations over 5,000 employees represent 33%, with mid-sized organizations of 500 to 5,000 employees at 38%. Small-to-mid sized organizations with 10 to 500 employees constitute 25%. 64% of the participants were from North America, and 25% from Europe.

Full survey results are available for free – Case Management and Smart Process Applications.


  1. For 51% of the organizations polled, half or more of their business processes are not straightforward or predictable. For 62% half or more processes involve assembling a case folder, claim file, project folder, proposal, etc.
  2. Increasing customer expectations for speed of response is the biggest pain point for those surveyed (44%). Dealing with unstructured inputs and connecting to key business systems was the next biggest issue (42%).
  3. 58% consider their case handling system to be vital or very important to their customer experience management. For 67% it is vital or very important for legal and regulatory compliance.
  4. 37% have a case-capable support system, whereas 28% need to use customizations, workarounds and add-ons to handle case scenarios. 18% use an entirely manual process, and 17% don’t really manage cases as processes.
  5. 32% feel that a better system would also improve productivity, and 22% feel that the successful outcome of their cases is being limited by poor IT support.
  6. 7% are live with adaptive and intelligent workflows, with a further 12% experimenting. 45% are more likely to be using fixed workflows, and 36% have very few computer-driven processes.
  7. Of those using smart applications, 41% have achieved successful outcomes, and 52% feel the results are promising but it is early days. The biggest deployment issues are setting up the rules and handling difficult exceptions.
  8. The biggest benefits cited by users are faster and more consistent customer response and faster end-to-end process times. Staff appreciates the flexibility, and adaptive systems make it much easier to respond to regulatory change.
  9. For 67% of respondents, half or more of their main LOB processes involve connecting multi-channel inbound content to one managed process. One third consider this to be their biggest single problem in managing cases.
  10. 23% admit that their management of inbound emails and faxes is somewhat ad hoc, or even “chaotic.”

Other “must know” posts:

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Topics: case management, workflow, business process management, bpm

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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

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