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Digital Landfill, blog by AIIM President John Mancini

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

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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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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