Dominion Consulting attended SAP TechEd 2017 in sunny Las Vegas. SAP transported us from present day Vegas to the final frontier of the digital revolution. The conference kicked off with a keynote from Björn Goerke, SAP’s Chief Technology Officer. As a bonus, he came dressed as the legendary Captain Kirk on the mythical starship Enterprise! Goerke walked us through SAP’s vision of the digital transformation facing many present day organizations in their attempt to go digital (boldly) and blur the lines between their physical and virtual world.
SAP indulged the crowd with some space age demos of their new Leonardo platform to use drones, machine learning, spatial analytics, and computer vision to help Dole to automate farming of hundreds of acres of palm trees. Who doesn’t love drones and artificial intelligence? And what better way to indulge a room full of developers than to dress up as Captain Kirk, wear Vulcan ears, and present from the bridge of the Enterprise? (more…)
Last week I spoke at the local National Capital Chapter of AIIM. I gave an updated version of the talk I’ve been giving the past year on Information Governance in the Age of Digital Transformation. While the talk was not new, it was the first time I had given it locally. The discussion was new and very much on point. As I sit here waiting for the 2017 InfoGovCon to start, I want to share some of the highlights.
This week I attended the 2017 Alfresco Government Summit here in DC. It is part of Alfresco’s rotating 1-day summits that they hold around the world during the year. Alfresco held this year’s DC event at Nats Park, a great location for the great weather. When attendance is good, it is a solid event full of productive discussions about information governance.
This year was a good year.
As a former Alfresco employee, it was enjoyable to chat with old friends to learn what has changed, and not changed, since my departure. More importantly for Dominion Consulting, it was great to hear directly from Alfresco executives what their priorities are and their vision for tackling them. Enterprise content management (ECM) is constantly evolving so as a leading vendor in the space, their opinion matters.
Based upon what I saw at the event, Alfresco’s priority is enabling digital transformation for organizations.
Last week I had the pleasure of jumping up to Boston to present at ARMA’s Boston Chapter. The topic was a familiar one, Information Governance in the Age of Digital Transformation. I updated and expanded my keynote from the 2016 Information Governance Conference to allow the attendees to receive the latest insights.
As expected, it was a great event with a lot of good conversations about how we can take a fresh approach to Information Governance. This is a real need as many organizations are still struggling to make strides more than two decades after beginning this journey.
Over the past couple of years our technologists have been spending much of their time reading blogs around technology and studying release notes from Apple, Amazon, SAP, Mulesoft, and other technology giants. This could fill our entire week keeping up the amazing capabilities and innovations in Cloud, Analytics, the Internet of things (IoT), machine learning, etc. that every organization can adopt to save money and improve their mission effectiveness.
Then we meet with our clients and talk about their plans for leveraging these new capabilities. We usually hear they don’t have the time or resources to use these new capabilities. We also hear it’s not on their strategic plan or even worse, they don’t have a plan. How do you prioritize without a plan? When did you last update the plan? Are you living your plan? How fluid is the plan? Most people can’t really answer these questions.
From our perspective, if you don’t have a living strategic plan for technology that is fiscally informed, then you are not just behind, you are wasting the little money you do have to enable your mission. The importance of making informed decisions around IT spend and direction should be every IT leader’s top objective.
One of our core solutions at Dominion Consulting is Information Management. It is a term that we, and the industry, use to encompass a large collection of skills and expertise centered around content and information. Information Management is also a critical part of everything organizations do every day.
How do we define that collection of skills? Stated from a high level:
Information Management (IM) is a strategy for the coordinated management of all information throughout an organization, allowing for people and systems to find and use information from within any business context.
The goal is to provide people the right information at the right time and be confident that nothing is being overlooked. We make sure that information flows as needed between every system and process. Whether we are talking about governance, content, or digital transformation, IM is at the heart of every project and sets up long-term success for our clients.
Earlier this month, we held our first company hackathon in our new office. It proved to be a great day and a tremendous learning experience for our company and particularly all of the employees who got the chance to participate. I had the opportunity to help facilitate the day’s activities. I thought take a moment to reflect on what I thought was a very successful event.
This year’s Information Governance Conference (InfoGovCon) in Providence, RI last week was a great experience and I was excited to represent Dominion Consulting at it. During what is quickly becoming the premier event in the industry, a milestone was marked in the evolution of the information governance industry. Loaded with some amazing speakers, the conference had a feeling of an industry who is trying new ideas and advocating for a complete change to how we approach the management, and subsequent governance, of information.
The key focal point was on the people working with information in our organizations. How can we remove the friction between people and the content management systems (CMS) that we implement? Specifically, how can we use design thinking to improve the user experience? This new focus on design and people was present in keynotes, individual talks, and in the hallway conversations. While there were still a lot of war stories shared, there was an underpinning of hope that we can make real progress.
Next week I’ll be representing Dominion Consulting at the 3rd annual Information Governance Conference (InfoGovCon) in Providence, Rhode Island on October 12 and 13. I have attended the previous conferences, and as with the annual AIIM conference, simply sharing ideas and stories with the other attendees is worth the trip. This year I have an additional reason for attending, I am delivering the closing keynote on the first day.
I am pretty excited about this opportunity. When the Information Coalition, the organizers, contacted me about speaking. I was very excited. I spoke the first year at InfoGovCon and was interested in delivering a follow-up talk. Delivering the follow-up as a keynote is an unexpected honor.
It starts simply enough. Your company needs a system for managing its contracts process. The finance department goes out and purchases a contracts system. Being forward thinking, they pick one that is cloud-based so they don’t have to maintain the infrastructure. Things are going well until…
- The ability to track supporting documents from within the system is identified shortly after launch
- After finance loads supporting documents, those documents are now stored in multiple locations
- Nobody knows which version is the current version any longer
- Groups outside of finance need access to the contracts but licenses are limited
- Contracts need to be linked to their CRM and ERP records but nobody can figure out how
The contracts process may be working well but information is trapped in a system that is closed-off from the rest of the organization. The only way to have information everywhere it is needed is to duplicate it which leads to complications in managing information.
This is a common problem in organizations. Whether it is contracts, FOIA processing, investigations, or team collaboration, there are a multiple systems containing content and information needed by other business processes. The existence of shared information conflicts with the reality that many processes are best solved with different solutions.
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