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Digital Landfill, blog by AIIM President John Mancini

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

E-Marketers Beware – #CASL -- Another Case of #Infochaos Unintended Consequences?

Posted by John Mancini

Jul 25, 2014 8:54:00 AM

In my previous post, I talked a bit about the “Right to Be Forgotten” ruling that is currently rippling through Google and other search providers and the unintended consequences created by legislators and the bench when dealing with rapidly changing technology.

Well here’s another one.  For those unfamiliar with the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (or CASL), there are certain to be a lot of unintended consequences there, especially for e-marketers. 

[I should note at this point that NOTHING I say in what follows should be construed as legal advice.  I may pretend to be a lawyer, but that’s about it.  Well actually I don’t pretend to be a lawyer, but I do make a lot of lawyer comments.  Speaking of which, have you heard the one about lawyers and real estate agents … never mind*. What follows is what I’ve learned so far – with a healthy thank you to my colleague Peggy Winton.  The point of this post is to share what we’ve learned, but urge you to speak with your own counsel.  The advice people are getting is all over the lot; feel free to share what you’ve learned with the rest of the community in the comments, especially if it’s at variance with what is here.  And keep in mind that my focus here is email, but the law also applies to texting and IMing.]

The basic gist of CASL is this -- all parties delivering commercial electronic messages to users in Canada must have secured opt-in consent (i.e., user-directed and not pre-checked) from those users prior to sending those messages. 

The immediate basics are pretty clear.  Our take is that while an argument can be made differentiating commercial messages from other messages, it’s best assume that ALL messages sent are commercial messages -- the Canadian definition is too broad to split hairs.  Effective July 1, 2014, then, you can’t send out any emails to Canadians with whom you have no prior engagement.  That means no use of 3rd party lists for promotional purposes.  That means no more imports from other sources when you don’t have an express consent for your own use.  There is a 3-year transition period within which you can still send outbound messages to those with whom you have a prior engagement during the past two years while you start the process of gathering their specific opt-in.

Beyond that, things get a little tricky.  Between now and July 1, 2017, you will need to get opt-in consent from EVERY Canadian that you want to email.  This means day-forward consent for all new contacts, and going back to all existing contacts to get their consent.  If you are a 3rd party B2B organization or an association (like AIIM), beginning immediately you need to obtain opt-in consent to pass on Canadian email addresses to event or publication sponsors.

Our suggestions (again, there are a lot of interpretations of this law out there) for immediate actions to take (some are particular to B2B outfits like us):

  • Change registration and download language to tie email consent to the specific programmatic action being taken.
  • For 3rd party types like associations, create a new clause in every sponsored program contract that must be signed by the sponsor representative. This should outline what you are doing to comply with CASL, including the conditions under which you are sharing emails with them.  It should also note their (sponsor) commitment to complying with CASL, and indemnify you from their activities from that point forward.
  • Also for 3rd party types like associations, set up new records management processes and accountabilities to:  1) Document opt-ins (and opt-outs) with accurate views/reports capability; 2) Document lead sharing by vendor/program/date; 3) Document communication from and to vendors about opt-out requests received on their end (a whole set of rules apply then); 4) Enforce sponsor sales contracts

As I mentioned at the outset – there are a lot of varying interpretations out there, and this is just one (and again, this should not be construed as legal advice).  Feel free to share your own interpretations for the benefit of everyone.


*    Q: Why did God invent lawyers?

     A: So that real estate agents would have someone to look down on.


If you haven’t downloaded our new ebook on 21 Tips for Turning Chaos Into Opportunity, get your free copy here.

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The Right to Be Forgotten a.k.a. Another Case of Unintended Consequences

Posted by John Mancini

Jul 21, 2014 1:22:00 PM

In 25 years in a strange career at the intersection between technology and legislation, compliance, and regulation, I have seen many curious things.  Most of these curious things center around the lag time associated with radical technological innovation and the often well-intended but misguided responses of policymakers to the implications of that innovation.  In most instances, the Law of Unintended Consequences rears its ugly head.

The recent “Right to Be Forgotten” pronouncement in Europe is a perfect example.  For those unfamiliar with the case, it centers around a decision on May 13 by the EU’s Court of Justice to side with Spain’s data-protection regulator in ordering Google to remove a link to a newspaper notice that popped up on a search on Mario Costeja Gonzalez, a calligraphy expert whose house had been sold a number of years previously to pay off debt.  Mr. Gonzalez maintained that the continued appearance of articles in search engines about this many years after the fact resulted in “constantly having to explain that I had no debt and show documents to prove it was true.” (See a list of news references describing this case at the end of this post).

Now we can all appreciate the desire to get rid of Internet artifacts that perhaps do not reflect our best side and the need for information privacy and security. I constantly live in great appreciation and gratitude that the Internet and digital photos did not exist whilst I was in college. [Note to college acquaintances:  Please remember this in posting comments.] 

But does the “solution” now required by the European Court of Justice (where does one appeal this?) meet the test of avoiding unintended consequences?  And if this right does exist, where does the responsibility for takedown action lie?  With search engines, which are essentially the card catalogues of the web, albeit ones that are more powerful than we could have ever anticipated? Or with those posting the content in the first place (assuming that it is indeed inaccurate or libelous)?  Do we really want search engine companies -- compounded and influenced by political pressures from governments not as well-intended as those in Europe -- in the business of deciding what we can and cannot see?

A recent TWIG (This Week in Google) show -- one of my favorite nerd affectations given that I need to strategically hide the fact that I was a history/economics major, not really a technical guy – covered this issue well.  TWIG 257, “Future Babies” featured an interesting interview with Danny O’Brian of the Electronic Frontier Foundation on the mess that is in the process of being created by the recently announced “Right to be Forgotten” case.

Danny O’Brian makes the point (In “Rights That Are Being Forgotten: Google, the ECJ, and Free Expression”) that there are three real victims in this case and in how Google has subsequently (intentionally?) responded to the ruling (spoiler alert – and the victims ain’t Mr. Gonzalez or Google).  A few excerpts:

  1. The first victim of Google’s implementation of the ECJ decision is transparency under censorship.  Back in 2002—in the wake of bad publicity following the company’s removal of content critical of the Church of Scientology—Google established a policy of informing users when content was missing from search engine results…Google’s user notification warnings have now been rendered useless for providing any clear indication of censored content.”
  2. The second victim of Google’s ECJ implementation is fairness. After Google informed major news media like the Guardian UK and BBC that they were being censored, those sites noted—correctly—that legitimate journalism was being silenced. Google subsequently restored some of the news stories it had been told to remove. Will Google review its decisions when smaller media, such as bloggers, complain?”
  3. Which brings us to the third victim: Europe's privacy law itself.  Europe's privacy regime has long been a model for effective and reasonable governance of privacy…tying the data protection regulation to censorship risks discrediting its aims and impugning its practicality.”

“Rights That Are Being Forgotten: Google, the ECJ, and Free Expression” is worth reading and thinking about in considering the intersection between technology innovation and technology regulation.  Think about it and the Law of Unintended Consequences as you think about other emerging issues.


[For a broader perspective on some of these issues, see the free e-book, Information Chaos V. Information Opportunity.]


Other interesting perspectives on "Right to be Forgotten" in the press: 

  1. ‘Google It’ Becomes ‘Hide It’ After Right to Be Forgotten – Bloomberg News
  2. EU Invites Google, Microsoft to Discuss 'Right to Be Forgotten' – Wall Street Journal
  3. Sites erased in Google right-to-be-forgotten case can be found here – Market Watch
  4. EU court backs 'right to be forgotten': Google must amend results on request – The Guardian
  5. Wikipedia entry on Right to be Forgotten
  6. Fact sheet from the EC Court of Justice
  7. There’s a “Right To Be Forgotten” Industry—and It’s Booming –


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7 Data Points from the Google I/O Keynotes

Posted by John Mancini

Jul 17, 2014 3:02:00 PM

From the Google I/O keynotes...

1 -- 67 of top 100 startups have "gone Google." 

2 -- 58% of the Fortune 500 have "gone Google."

3 -- 72 of the top 100 universities have "gone Google."

[side note -- be interesting to know exact definition of "gone Google"...]

4 -- 315 Million global smartphone shipments last quarter.

5 -- currently 1 billion 30-day active Android users.

6 -- Android tablet global market share = 62%

7 -- 236% increase in app installs year-over-year.

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What is missing from this quote?

Posted by John Mancini

Jul 17, 2014 2:02:00 PM

It is well worth taking a look at Satya Nadella's letter to Microsoft employees.  Wow, what an amazing pivot.

The amount of change that is occurring is stunning, but one quote caught my eye...

"We'll push forward and evolve the world class productivity, collaboration and business process tools people know and love today, including Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Bing and Dynamics."

So all you tea-leaf readers out there... Where are SharePoint and Yammer in the list?

What's your take? 


One last thing, If you haven't seen the Skye simultaneous translation demo, check it out.  It's pretty amazing and a reflection of the aggregated impact of Moore's law over the past 30 years -- as Erik Brynjolfsson (@erikbryn) and Andrew McAfee (@amcafee) said in Race Against the Machine, it demonstrates the implication of the "second half of the Moore's Law chessboard."


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Peace, Carl.

Posted by John Mancini

Jul 15, 2014 9:09:00 AM

It is with great sadness that I inform the AIIM Community of the passing of our friend and colleague, Carl Weise after a brave battle with esophageal cancer.

Carl was an industry advisor/trainer with AIIM for over 8 years. He leaves behind a rich legacy of hundreds of students who benefitted from his sage advice, counsel, and experience.  He was a great friend to many of us and a terrific father and husband.

We will miss Carl’s enthusiasm.

We will miss his Rusty Nails.

We will miss his insights and knowledge.

We will miss his booming voice.

We will miss his laughter.

We will miss his friendship.

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23 Things You Need to Know About the Cloud and Collaboration

Posted by John Mancini

Jul 14, 2014 3:02:00 PM

These 23 “things you need to know” are drawn from a survey of 464 information professionals conducted earlier this year. Survey respondents represent organizations of all sizes. Larger organizations over 5,000 employees represent 36%, with mid-sized organizations of 500 to 5,000 employees at 29%. Small-to-mid sized organizations with 10 to 500 employees constitute 35%. 73% of the participants were from North America, and 17% from Europe. [Note: My bad on the original post with 27 instead of 23 things; clearly I was not cut out to be an accountant.]

Full survey results are available for free, although a site registration is required -- Content Collaboration and Processing in a Cloud and Mobile World.


  1. Internal collaboration is “crucial” for 63% of businesses. External collaboration is crucial for 32%. Plus 30% who consider both to be “Very important”.
  2. The biggest drivers for collaboration are general productivity, knowledge pooling, and pulling together a dispersed workforce. It is also important to speed up review processes, customer responses, and project completions.
  3. 50% consider their organization has shortfalls in technical support for internal collaboration, rising to 71% for external. In particular, 39% feel quite strongly that external collaboration is badly supported.
  4. The most important features to support collaboration are sharing of documents, workflows for comments and approvals, and project sites. Content access from mobile devices is also a key enabler.
  5. Consumer file-share and sync services are banned in 56% of organizations, although only 27% actually restrict access. 20% know their policy is being circumvented, and 30% have no policy. 23% provide an approved business grade alternative.
  6. The biggest driver for adopting a formal collaboration system is controlling the way documents are shared, with a view to improving compliance. Extending access to mobiles and remotes is also high on the list, as is sharing big files and avoiding multiple attachments.
  7. Ownership is the biggest concern regarding a formal collaboration system, along with managing which content can be accessed by whom. There is also concern over duplicating repositories.
  8. 47% are looking for a hybrid collaboration support solution and 9% for a fully cloud option. 25% are happy with an on-premise solution.
  9. Of those considering full or hybrid cloud, only 9% would say they have completed a companywide deployment. 33% are implementing or integrating across departments. 24% have plans in the next 12 months.
  10. The most likely reason for non-adoption is that no one is taking the initiative. 22% don’t want their content shared around. 16% are confused by the options and pace of change.
  11. 25% have or will converge to a single system across the enterprise. 53% have different systems in use, often with overlapping capabilities.
  12. 49% have chosen to use the standard collaboration functions of their existing ECM/DM system or will upgrade to a cloud version of it (13%). 17% are looking to a new cloud-based system linked to their existing ECM/DM, or a new cloud and on-prem hybrid. Only 10% are using, or plan to use, a standalone cloud system.
  13. Security is even more important than functionality when it comes to selecting a collaboration system. Next comes price, then compatibility with existing ECM/DM systems.
  14. Beyond file sharing and project sites, security management is important, especially for managed access by external users. Mobile access is the highest “want but don’t have” feature. Yammer style message feeds are very low on the list.
  15. Document versioning and check-out/check-in are important and mostly available, but tasking, workflow and approvals seems to be a struggle for some. Retention/expiration is also much sought after, and synchronization to ECM is only available for a third currently.
  16. When it comes to mobile features, everyone is looking for containerization and security, preferably synched from the ECM system. Review and annotation is slightly more desired than editing functionality.
  17. 49% allow mixed personal and company use for mobiles, but only 20% of these are true BYOD. 22% restrict or ban company content on mobile. 20% have no official policy.
  18. 54% consider they have client access to their main ECM/DM system via VPN for remote/mobile employees and 3rd parties. 34% have browser access, but only 16% have it optimized for mobile. Only 18% have a true mobile app.
  19. Less than 25% have any document create, edit or workflow capability on mobile, although 85% would like to have it. 48% have view-only access on mobile.
  20. Reports, dashboards, and electronic forms are the most popular process functions to access from mobile, although only 30% have this ability now. Electronic approvals and workflow sign-offs would be the next most popular, with only 20% having this now. There is strong interest in signatures of all types.
  21. 89% of the respondents agree with the statement that a formal collaboration system is a vital piece of infrastructure these days, but 54% are finding the rapid convergence of collaboration and social tools to be very confusing.
  22. There is also strong agreement (72%) that connecting these systems of engagement to systems of record is a huge challenge. It is not universally agreed that cloud and mobile are an essential part of collaboration.
  23. Spend on mobile content applications, process interaction through electronic forms, and mobile capture applications is set for considerable growth. Collaboration extensions or modules for existing ECM, and hybrid cloud extensions, are more likely to see increasing spend than on-premise collaboration systems, but the only non-growth area is on-premise social business platforms. 

These recent posts may also be of interest…


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14 Must Knows About Information Governance

Posted by John Mancini

Jul 10, 2014 10:32:00 AM

These 14 “must-knows” are drawn from a survey of 487 information professionals conducted in April.  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 39%. Small-to-mid sized organizations with 10 to 500 employees constitute 28%.  74% of the participants were from North America, and 19% from Europe.

Full survey results are available for free, although a site registration is required -- Automating Information Governance - Assuring Compliance.

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Topics: information governance

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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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