Here are the top 10 Digital Landfill blog posts for September (by views). Check them out!
Here are the top 10 Digital Landfill blog posts for September (by views). Check them out!
On February 2, we conducted an AIIM Community Roundtable to explore the implications of the Documentum acquisition by OpenText. A full recording of the webinar is available HERE.
We’ll be continuing our discussion on February 14 with release of a new AIIM white paper, Revolution or Evolution? 10 Strategies to Navigate the Shift from ECM to Content Services. Some of themes in the white paper will be discussed in a webinar on February 14 at 2 p.m. ET on Next Gen Information Management – Succeeding in a New Era. Registration information is HERE.
In a year people have nominated as the “worst year ever”—2016’s nonstop change and upheavals are finally behind us. Has this really been the worst year in history? That I’ll leave for the comments to decide, but I do want to bring attention to one 2016 trauma that proves even us—information professionals—cannot escape 2016 unscathed.
Check out our new State of the Industry findings.
Managing and recording what the organization knows, what has been said, what inputs are received, what decisions and commitments have been made, and what results are achieved, is paramount to improvement and success. Failure to manage this information, and make it available for sharing, search, controlled access, defined process, audit and secure archive limits operational capability, stunts new initiatives and exposes the business to potential liabilities.
In this [free] executive summary, we've compiled our key findings, including:
Get it while it's hot!
Forgive the David Bowie riff.
By now, many of you have seen the official announcement – HERE – of my transition to a different set of responsibilities – and opportunities – here at AIIM.
Given that my posts on this blog have often been a combination of information management observations and embarrassing mentions of my kids, with a bit of bizarre humor thrown in – and given that many of my posts have taken the form of “8 things you need to know about X” -- I thought I would not break form today.
1 – Stability – for people and for organizations -- is only good in moderation. It will come as no surprise to those that know me that I am not exactly a job hopper. I have worked at three organizations in 35+ years. There is a level of comfort and predictability associated with this, both personally and for the organizations for which I’ve worked. Most problems I’ve seen with people and their organizations usually are the result of people staying too long rather than not long enough. And I’ve seen hugely successful organizations collapse by staying the course in the midst of accelerating change. There are times to stir the pot and times to leave it at rest – both for individuals and for organizations. The trick is knowing which is which.
2 – Association boards are pretty tricky beasts. I was thinking the other day that as a senior executive at two major technology organizations, I’ve organized perhaps 100 Board meetings over the past 25 years. Yikes. And to be honest, there have been some ups and downs along the way. I know there are a lot of AIIM "analysts" that love to pore over AIIM tea leaves for hidden messages. But the fact is, I’m grateful to this particular AIIM Board at this particular point in time for being willing to have an honest and flexible conversation about how I might move on to a different role with AIIM, but stay engaged in this crazy organization that I care about. And for allowing me to hand over the operations of AIIM to Peggy Winton, who will do a killer job.
3 – Associations – including AIIM -- are ultimately not about the person who is President. Far too many organizations become captive of the person who is President. There is a delicate balance between too much and too little identification of the paid executive with the organization itself. AIIM has been fortunate to have two very public and identifiable leaders for 30 years. I think Sue and I tried hard to remember that ultimately AIIM is not about us; we have been just stewards for an ongoing trust with which we were [mostly :-)] blessed.
4 – AIIM has been amazingly resilient in the face of overwhelming change – and it isn’t just luck (although that helps). I think a lot about how much AIIM and the industry and people it represents have changed over the years. There is no rational reason why a microfilm association founded in 1943 should still be alive 73 years later. I worked for a technology organization years and years ago that had SO many more cards than AIIM – a $20 million budget and 120+ people. It’s gone now. Gone. AIIM has been blessed with a combination of executive and volunteer leadership that somehow has survived multiple technology eras – from microfilm to micrographics to imaging to document management to enterprise content management -- and now into the craziness of Digital Disruption.
5 – AIIM needs to constantly remind itself of the fundamental reason it is in existence. We haven’t always realized or appreciated it, but at its core, AIIM has a value proposition that allows it survive those who want to pigeonhole it in a particularly technology. AIIM is ultimately not about technologies, but about helping organizations effectively manage the intersection of people, process, and information. Information is now an organization’s most important asset; AIIM provides the skills to help manage it.
6 – I wish I could figure out a way for the members of AIIM to better know how skilled and how hard working the staff is. For better or worse, I suppose one of the legacies I leave as I move out of the operating chair at AIIM is a weirdly unconventional work environment. We have staff in locations around the world. We work more in home offices than in conventional offices. People are largely responsible for themselves and how and when and where they work. Many of my colleagues in the Association community think this is insane. But when I go through the volume of work that comes out of AIIM, and tell them only 24 people do all of this, they are astounded. As they should be.
7 – Focus with a thousand bosses is so much more difficult than people think. The incredible productivity in #6 comes at a cost when combined with lots and lots of volunteer stakeholders, all of whom believe they have a legitimate and unique claim on the Association’s resources. Many of these claims have their roots in an era in which a massive trade show spun off gigantic profit margins to support all sorts of things for free. We need to find better ways of having honest discussions about how to sustain services at a high level for those interested in training and certification and B2B services and events and cutting-edge research and membership and chapters and Fellows and standards before the 24 people in #6 decide enough is enough.
8 – In the end, any Association is just about people. There are so many colleagues and friends whom I have come to treasure as a result of my association with AIIM. As I make this transition, it’s impossible to list everyone without embarrassing all of you, but just know that I know who you are. And thank you. Your confidences and trust and friendship mean more than I can express.
Enough! What will I be doing now, you ask? Well, hopefully a lot more speaking and writing about the challenges of managing information assets in an era of Digital Disruption and about the critical role that information professionals play in making this all happen. I will be working more directly with companies to improve their marketing and communications effectiveness in a series of new services through AIIM – you’ll find background on this initiative HERE. Ping me at johnmancini [at] AIIM.org and let's talk!
And be forewarned. You’ll be hearing from me.
And speaking of which, if you aren't registered, you need to be in New Orleans for AIIM16!
During 2015, we set out early on to be much more aggressive in telling the “content management story” in the marketplace. I’m very proud of some of the bylined pieces I did during 2015. The following are a sample.
Is A Paper-Free Workplace Possible? – Workflow – “The concept of a paperless society originated way back in 1978 by information scientist Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster – a world where paper documents would be replaced by electronic storage and communication. Progress has undoubtedly been made, yet it sometimes feels as if we are as far away from that vision as ever.” Full article HERE.
Is the Paperless Office A Pipe Dream? – Business2Community – “Most organizations are all too aware that they need to use less paper, but are uncertain of how best to approach doing so. In a recent survey carried out by AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), entitled ‘Paper Wars 2014 – an update from the battlefield’, 68% of respondents agreed that business-at-the-speed-of-paper will be ‘unacceptable in just a few years’ time’. Furthermore, around half of businesses surveyed claimed that the biggest single productivity improvement would be to remove paper. The downside, however, is that only one in five has a board-level endorsed policy to reduce paper consumption and the same figure are actually increasing how much paper they use.” Full article HERE.
The death of email? No way, it’s becoming seriously cool again – Information Age – “I’ve noticed a lot of signs that rather than becoming marginalized, a new and revitalized approach to thinking about email is about to take hold. Three of the world’s biggest vendors have thrown serious resource behind new email packages, all of them user-focused and all pointing to an expanded view of email as the center of a broader universe of interactions.” Full article HERE.
Information Management Challenges in the Cloud and Mobile Era – CMS Wire – “We're regularly reminded how important it is in the digital economy to manage these information assets. But many organizations we speak with feel like they are drowning in a sea of content and information. File servers are overflowing and multiplying and organizations are concerned about the likelihood and implications of information leaks. Put simply, cloud and mobile have altered everything, not least information management.” Full article HERE.
8 tips for getting the most from SharePoint – Information Age – “After more than a decade, SharePoint is everywhere. Having initially deployed it as a point solution to solve the document collaboration problems of project teams and replacement files-shares – a problem with a pretty basic set of requirements – organizations are now struggling with the implications of what it means to view SharePoint as a business platform. SharePoint is widely adopted and still growing, but rather chaotically, with mixed results, and with a lot of confusion regarding Office365 and the cloud.” Full article HERE.
The 6th era of people, process, and information is with us – Information Age – “The emergence of the internet and the maturation of core document management and imaging technologies ushered in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) era in the early 2000s. Never a perfect industry label - and probably more accurately a verb (something you do) than a noun (something you buy) - ECM nonetheless served as a useful umbrella term for a decade. ECM described a cluster of capabilities and technologies that organizations used to capture, store, manage, deliver, and preserve the 'content' (mostly images and documents) associated with processes that were 1) document intensive; and 2) mission-critical. We are now beginning the transition to a sixth era - beyond ECM - in managing people, processes, and technology.” Full article HERE.
Businesses Committed to SharePoint, Despite Stalled Deployments – CMS Wire – “Since Microsoft unveiled SharePoint back in 2001, it has been one of the fastest growing products in the software giant's history. Along with billions of dollars in revenue, the platform now boasts 125 million users and counting. Businesses first deployed SharePoint as a point solution for document sharing amongst project teams and as a stand in to files-shares. SharePoint proved a capable solution for these challenges and Microsoft has continually added to its capabilities. But despite its scope, and as with many types of software, it suffers from a perceived lack of user commitment.” Full article HERE.
What does the future hold for SharePoint? – CTO Vision – “SharePoint, Microsoft’s web application framework and platform, was unveiled back in 2001 and now numbers 125 million global users, utilizing the tool to integrate intranet, content and document management. During this time, the collaboration tool has become ubiquitous. SharePoint was first adopted as a point solution to solve the document sharing challenges of project teams and as a stand-in to files-shares. SharePoint more than delivered on this and its functionality and features have expanded extensively since then. But despite this, SharePoint is not always being used to its full potential, primarily because users are not engaging with it in a committed way. In a recent AIIM survey of more than 400 organizations, we found that nearly two-thirds described their SharePoint projects as either stalled (26%) or just not meeting expectations (37%).” Full article HERE.
7 ways to improve your content analytics – Information Age – “That organizations are placing ever-increasing importance and value to the content they hold is not necessarily a new concept. We are all familiar with concepts such as data-driven decision-making, big data and the content economy, and there are few successful companies out there that don’t at least try and make sense of the content, data and information they hold. Yet getting the most possible value from data and content is not a straightforward process. With new content entering the enterprise at a bewildering speed and in a wide variety of different formats, making sense of that is becoming a major challenge for businesses and public sector bodies in 2015. And that’s not even factoring in the enormous volumes of ‘dark data’ that already resides in most enterprises. Is content analytics – an essential enterprise tool?” Full article HERE.
ECM: Gearing Up For A Much Bigger Race – Business Solutions – “Consumerization, cloud, mobile, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have all arrived at breakneck speed, signaling up the end of ECM as we know it — as organizations battle to cope with content overload in the triad that is made up of people, process, and technology. This gargantuan growth in Big Data will see a metamorphosis of ECM to cope with the new landscape that is being driven by connected devices. AIIM’s recent (Q2 2015) ECM Decisions Industry Watch revealed that in some ways, ECM is still alive and well. In more than two-thirds of organizations surveyed, ECC/DM (enterprise content collaboration/document management) is still seen as mission critical. In addition, 75 percent of organizations see ECM/RM (records management) as a key part of their information security strategy. But in the wake of mobile, analytics, cloud and collaborative technologies, organizations are beginning to view ECM in a very different way.” Full article HERE.
IoT & Cloud Are Transforming ECM -- @ThingsExpo – “Cloud, mobile and IoT together have accelerated a mighty upheaval in the technology landscape as more content enters the enterprise than ever before - leaving enterprises struggling to manage it effectively. The modern ECM platform is required to scan, store data, manage workflow, business process and compliance. Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and Collaborative (MACC) technologies will be the nerve center for big data and predictive analytics.” Full article HERE.
Content Analytics Needs Strategic Direction To Fully Realize Potential – EContent – “We should all be aware of the impact content analytics tools are having on the enterprise. Organizations are placing increasing importance on the value of big data in the decision making process and there are few successful enterprises out there today who don't try and make some sense of the data they hold. With new content entering the enterprise at an ever-increasing rate and in a host of different formats, fathoming out what it actually means has become a major challenge. And that's not even factoring in the huge volumes of "dark data" -- unstructured, untagged content that has not yet been analyzed or processed -- that already resides in most enterprises.” Full article HERE.
ECM on a Path to Reinvention – DPS Magazine – “ECM is embedded in the enterprise, is mission critical and has much scope for expansion in many new areas of functionality. User adoption is still a big challenge for enterprises, both in file-share systems and cloud file-share-and-sync services. Improved mobile and remote access will be a good starting point for many enterprises here. In addition, auto-classification and better linkage to email management would also make for ease of use, and would lead to improved compliance with information governance policies. Here is the sticking point. ECM is all about connecting people and processes to make the whole system more efficient and intuitive. Something many enterprises forget when they focus firmly on the technology and refuse to look outside of the box. It is time for enterprises to assess if their current ECM systems are actually fit for purpose. If they are not working, it is time to re-think the model. This may mean centralizing it around new systems designed to deal with the demands of cloud, mobile, and the IoT.” Full article HERE.
Mobile Content is Getting Enterprise Attention – Business Solutions – “Many enterprises are still struggling to get to grips with the concept of mobile content, and the channel is well placed to help them through this enormous transformation stage as they look to deploy mobile and cloud enterprise content management (ECM). Business leaders are all too aware of the necessity of being part of the mobile content revolution. In a recent AIIM study, more than three-quarters of business executives surveyed said they need to embrace mobile applications fast, or get left behind or find employees using workarounds of their own under the radar of the IT departments. Yet just 10 percent of those surveyed have a successful BYOD (bring your own device) program up and running, whilst an astonishing four in ten have no mobile access to content in their organizations.” Full article HERE.
If Mobile Isn’t on Your Radar, It Should Be – CTO Vision – “Enterprises understand that there is a natural synergy between mobile services and mobile content. Yet despite this, many are being slow at putting effective mobile programs in place to satisfy the 24/7 connected business world. Mobile access is being demanded by employees, yet many enterprises are holding back for fear of being unable to work out issues between traditional back-office systems and a full-on mobile strategy.” Full article HERE.
Mobile is the New Window on Content – EContent – “Mobile and cloud are the twin drivers that are changing the ECM world as we know it. As users increasingly demand access on the move, however there are still many issues to resolve between traditional back-office systems and the mobile world before enterprises will step out of their comfort zone.” Full article HERE.
The early bird for AIIM16 ends January 31 -- check out the details HERE.
Six Steps to a Paper-free Workplace – ITProPortal – “If someone asked whether you’d be interested in responding quicker to your customers, improving workplace productivity and helping the environment, not many businesses would say no. Yet all of these can be achieved by using less paper in the workplace, according to AIIM’s new study, ‘Paper-Free Progress: measuring outcomes’. 84 per cent of respondents have seen ROI on their paper-free projects within 18 months, while the biggest benefits from going paper-free were being able to give a faster response to customers and increased productivity.” Full article HERE.
Still Dreaming of the Paperless Office – CTO Vision – “The concept of a paperless office is some way off, but I can’t think of any company out there that wouldn’t like to reduce its paper consumption, whilst communicating faster and more efficiently with its customers. Yet according to AIIM’s latest study, ‘Paper-Free Progress: measuring outcomes’, many companies still have desks piled high with paper. Only 17% of respondents said they work in what can be described as a paper-free office. A staggering 40% still use paper for filing “important stuff”, and 56% are wedded to signatures on paper for contracts and order forms. This is despite around half of organisations (49%) saying they are decreasing paper consumption.” Full article HERE.
Of course, it takes more than just me to get this kind of coverage. Many thanks to our Market Intelligence team – Doug Miles (just retired), Bob Larrivee (the new AIIM analyst poobah), Mandy Gough (keeps everyone organized) and Mark Leonard (graphics artist supreme) – who did all the research that allows me to look smart when I get up on my soapbox . Also, many thanks to the Sarum PR team, and especially Carina Birt and Paul Allen, who help me look good.
My 2015 retrospective is here -- 35 Things to Start 2016.
In my profession I feel like I’m constantly fighting the same battles over getting clients to destroy their older records that no longer have value for the company.
I often come across these old, dusty storage rooms, or offsite storage accounts, filled with boxes and files. Usually in one of these scenarios, there are no lists that would tell us about the actual contents of the records. One option is to do a sampling and a risk assessment to just get rid of everything. This approach is often met with resistance.
Whenever I start talking about getting rid of the older records with clients, I hear similar concerns voiced:
Once in a while I hear the other side, usually from my colleagues:
The consequences of saving too much for too long have a real financial impact, especially for electronic records. First of all, it requires an investment in a long-term digital preservation strategy to ensure that older formats and mediums are continually migrated and updated to remain readable with newer technologies. The more volume saved, the more costly this process becomes. As the volume continues to grow, the management of the content also becomes more complex over time.
I’ve come across records stored on old mediums that can no longer be accessed because the hardware and/or software are not available. Last year, tucked behind the equipment on one desk, a user found a dusty plastic box of 3.5” floppy disks. A few of the disks had a label with a handwritten note identifying the contents as “client files,” but no other details were available. At an event the other week a colleague shared with us that she had just found an old box with a VHS tape in it. I’ve also come across VHS tapes on some of my contracts in the last two years. If information can’t be accessed or retrieved, it’s lost, and either should have been identified and destroyed in a timely fashion, or identified for long-term storage and migrated to a newer format/medium.
So which risk, exactly, do organizations think they are averting by electing to save more than is necessary or to maintain records for excessive periods of time? What makes the first concern more plausible or more risky than the second? Are these the risks we should be focusing on averting?
It's been a busy summer.
We've been fortunate to be part of some good press pieces in the past few weeks, and I thought I would share a few of them...(If you can, please socialize some of them...)