Tag Archives: consumerisation

Digital transformation – dare to dream!

Sara Somerville

 

 

Sara Somerville
Information Solutions Manager
University of Glasgow

 

Day 1 of the AIIM 2016 conference

The introductory workshop with Thornton May provided discussion points for a smaller group of attendees, to get us thinking about what transformation really meant.

Thornton believes transformation has three elements:

  • Trends
  • Wild cards
  • Dreams

Many executives are ‘gee whiz nexties’ and spend a lot of time thinking about the next new shiny bright piece of technology; but where are the dreams and innovations? We are living in an information environment, so basically, information professionals should rule!

The opening keynote from the president of AIIM, John Mancini,  reflected on the twenty years John has been with AIIM. Technology and the information landscape have changed immeasurably since 1996. Back then, the iPhone was still eleven years away; there was no Google, no Twitter, no Wikipedia. And these changes are just a shadow of the change that is to come, and John advised that  we need to exercise humility when we consider the future and what it might hold for technology.

There are three main disrupters accelerating at a pace that could not have been predicted:

However, what distinguishes organisations in an information age is the difference in mindset between those which function in the mainstream and those which function on the edge.

If you compare the two with regard to the following themes, you can see how this manifests:

  • Mindsets – those on the edge will do things themselves, where those in the mainstream will contact IT
  • Messages – on the edge organisations are using Slack whilst mainstream organisations use SharePoint; and those on the edge emphasize innovation whilst the mainstream aims for efficiency
  • Money (where it’s being spent) – on the edge, in the last five to ten years, the big IT players have created wealth equivalent to the GDP of Korea!
  • Machines (what technology is being used) – on the edge they use the Cloud whilst mainstream use servers on premise; on the edge it’s mobile, versus PC for the mainstream; those on the edge configure and connect, while the mainstream build and develop.

The problems created by all this radical disruption can be broadly split in to three areas: automation, security and governance, and insight. Information professionals can make a real difference in all three of these areas:

  • Automation – information professionals can help to identify and automate business processes
  • Security and governance – they can help organisations secure and manage information
  • Insight – they can obtain value from big data and analytics.

AIIM has always believed that information management is about people, process and technology – the technology might change in the future, but the people and process will remain constant.

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So, who now owns the big picture? Who provides the ‘adult supervision’ for all of this? Who acts as the bridge between people, process and technology?  According to John, the information professional should be the glue – now is not the time to stick your head in the sand; now is the time to ‘own this’!

Key takeaway:  We are entering an information renaissance and each and every one of us is a Michelangelo!

Looking beyond the present

The opening keynote was followed by a panel discussion entitled Industry Insights 2020 Expert Panel: Consumerization + Simplification = Digital Transformation, chaired by futurist Thornton May with Andrea Chiappe, David Calderia, Hugo Palacios, and Stephen Ludlow.

The panelists discussed questions around what organisations are concerned with when they talk about digital transformation. It was agreed that it’s not just about taking the paper out of a process, but about using a whole new approach, and thinking about changing your business model. Information professionals should think about what they are not seeing at the moment (e.g. people using Slack). We should also be aware of self-selecting by taking the traditional technological approach.

For a lot of companies the worry is that their competitors will be the ones to smash through and use the latest technologies, leaving them behind. Where is the big spending? In Business Intelligence (BI), and in determining the best use of analytics. However, it’s no good having secure information if it isn’t available at the right time.

Key takeaway: There is a new world that requires a completely new approach and new ways of thinking.

Pan-European implementation

We then broke for the last sessions, and I attended the session entitled Implementing Automated Retention at the European Central Bank with Beatriz Garcia Garrido and Maria Luisa Di Biagio.

The bank uses the Open Text system, which they began implementing in 2007. There are now eighteen thousand users (not only ECB but counterparts across Europe) and eight million documents.

Why implement retention?

  • to keep only what is needed
  • for historical reasons
  • to comply with legislation

The bank ran a pilot to validate the approach, and to test the processes of managing the information. The pilot highlighted that it was complex to build a retention schedule and apply it to the right information at the right level ; so, they took a step back and focused on the final goal of applying retention in the simplest way. They created a task force made up of records managers, archivists, and some Open Text consultants. The task force re-examined the retention schedules and looked at how difficult it was to apply them in an electronic world (the schedules were originally designed for paper records, which made them very difficult to apply).

The schedules were analysed and simplified, rolling up some of the timescales (e.g. one year/five years/ten years/permanent), and adding information about each record series in order to define event-based or time-based triggers only. The system was also tweaked to make it simpler.

During the implementation phase the retention policies were applied at the folder levels, and deletion reports were sent to the business users for approval. Documents were automatically declared as records two years after their creation (if they hadn’t been manually declared as records).

There is a mixture of user-driven and automated retention application. Time-based retention is applied at document level and event based retention is applied at folder level.

Roles and responsibilities : project board; project manager – for each business area there is an implementation team that includes a business user as well as a records manager and an archivist. (Implemented over Jan 2015-Dec 2016.)

As you can see from the slide below, implementation has planned phases.

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The communication channels for the project include the executive board, senior management, the users, and the information management forum for each area.

For the full implementation phase, the team plans to replace sent deletion reports to the business areas with a yearly review of the retention periods within those areas. Future challenges include the preservation of records with long term retention (this is being scoped as a separate project), and other content not in the Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS), e.g. emails.

Key takeaway: The integration of policy, systems, and processes is essential.