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How did we do on the Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO) Summit?

The single most important industry event I have yet attended; densely packed with immediately useable approaches, methodologies and best practices; staffed by passionate and supremely experienced SMEs – both within and extraneous to the discipline – providing a 360-degree view of the imminent CIGO revolution; overall a grand slam. A definite repeat for next year!

Richard Kessler, Head of Group Information Governance, UBS AG

Most organizations like the Information Governance Initiative do not publicly share the results of post-event surveys, but I work hard to be different and transparent. So, in that spirit, I am going to share results of the May 2015 CIGO Summit participant survey that just came in.

Overall, I’m really happy to see that in almost every metric we exceeded our goals. In one area we could have done better, but I knew that would be the case going in and will explain why. If you missed the CIGO Summit, check out this excellent write-up on the event.

Key results

Overall Event Satisfaction

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So honored to be a part of such a diverse group of IG experts. The ability to collaborate and discuss directly with your speakers is invaluable! Leave it to the IGI to start the trend away from the power point/listen/5-minute Q&A all are accustomed to. Exactly what separates IGI/Barclay and the Gang from the impersonators. (Ok – might need to not be so harsh – I’ve been drinking)

Anonymous

Nearly all participants said they were very satisfied (71%) or satisfied (20%) with the event, proving that our commitment first and foremost to events that provide value to the participants is paying off. As insiders, we have seen with our own eyes that most industry events are actually designed almost exclusively for the sponsors. I believe that this serves neither the sponsors nor the participants. It is a difficult balance to strike, and it is much more work to put the participants first. For the CIGO Summit, we undertook a “by invitation only” model, which meant that I personally invited or approved each and every participant in the room. Believe me, this process is not fun and I had many painful conversations with excellent consultants and experts (personal friends in many cases) as to why they could not attend. Why? Because I wanted to make sure that the room was filled with senior, working IG practitioners. The providers in the room were a select number of excellent subject matter experts from IGI supporters who had funded the event itself. Quite frankly, without those supporters, this event would not have happened. We simply cannot charge attendees enough to cover the costs, much less pay ourselves (see below for more details).

This process was the right process for this event, given its focus and goals. It is not the right, or even necessary, process for other events that we do. For example, our next big event, InfoGovCon15 is inexpensive ($400 or less for 2.5 days), democratic (with session voting), and open to all.

As good as these results were, I have to say it still bothers me personally that 1 person (the 3.2% below) said that they were “very dissatisfied” with the event. Why? What did we do wrong? Were you at the wrong event? If you are reading, please contact me and let me know.

Why Did People Come to the Event?

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It is so important, as we all march down this new road, that we learn from each other and exchange lessons learned. I love that this forum gave me a chance to meet my peers and be educated!

Vicki Lee Clewes

Nearly 100% of participants said that the reason they attended was to “learn what others are doing to advance information governance at their organizations.” It is very rewarding to see this result because so much of what we do at the IGI is focused on connecting our members to other members. You consistently tell us things like, “please just help us understand what other organizations are doing,” a request we have worked to fulfill in multiple ways, including our Annual Report, our online community of thousands of IG practitioners, our IG Boot Camps, our soon-to-be-published Benchmarking Report, and events like CIGO Summit and InfoGovCon. The next most common answer was “to network,” a very closely related concept.

How We Did on the Details

What a great and diverse group of colleagues. The event allowed us to share our IG stories. It is so helpful knowing I’m not alone in my IG pain.

Sharon Keck, Polsinelli, PC

Events live or die based on the details, and I was happy that each aspect of our conference from the smallest detail to the highest-level theme was highly rated. (i.e., in each case, higher than 4 out of 5). For example, participants rated the speakers at 4.45, the registration process 4.6, and the individual interaction at 4.26.

survey

Our Speakers

Information is not an IT problem, but a business problem. The CIGO Summit provided the perfect vehicle for developing a corporate cross-functional information strategy (Marketing, E-Discovery, Compliance, IR, Business Practices investigations, etc.) that balances organizational legal and technical challenges while maintaining business critical information in a consistent and defensible manner in order to deliver critical elements to support sustainable growth. I highly recommend it to those that wish to align themselves with thought leaders in the space. Get out in front of the information conundrum (volume rich, knowledge poor) and become an advocate for change.

Tim Kaufman, UTC

Our speakers, who we chose very careful and curated to fit into the overall theme and goal of the event, were also rated very highly, with each speaker receiving a rating over 4 out of 5. A certain senior level IGI official, who hosted and facilitated the event, received the highest speaker rating (but please don’t tell him that as he is already almost unbearable).

Unlike most industry events, we folded paid, professional speakers into the program because we wanted to expose our participants to fresh, expert viewpoints that would help them grow as IG leaders. Those speakers were also rated highly (4.43 and 4.11). We also put our sponsor speakers through the wringer, asking them to encapsulate their most important messages into a 6 minute and 40 second presentation comprised of 20 slides that auto-advance every 20 seconds. Each one of our sponsor speakers (Sue TrombleyRob HamiltonJulie Colgan, and Trent Livingston) rose to the challenge and did a magnificent job under pressure in providing useful, targeted information for this audience, and they were highly rated as well (an average rating of 4 out of 5).

What Did Participants Like Most About the Event?

Participating in the CIGO Summit was a unique opportunity to engage with many of IG’s leading professionals. The thorough and fast-paced agenda exceeded my expectations, both from a content perspective and as a venue for the frank exchange of ideas.

Susan Wortzman

Here’s what participants told us they liked most about the event:

  • Seniority of delegates.
  • Event size and very interactive.
  • So many senior IG people in one place- there is power in numbers and an agreement on how to move forward.
  • Impactful agenda. Powerful interaction. Brilliantly executed.
  • The interaction with brilliant IG visionaries and practitioners.
  • The care with which it was designed.
  • Being able to interact with so much talent and experience.
  • Being involved with people promoting an emerging field
  • The professionalism with which polarized opinions could be discussed
  • Incredible gathering of IG thought leaders. Great speakers, great activities.
  • I learned a lot, got inspired, and met lots of smart people.
  • Practical insight from practitioners, war stories, gathered a really high-quality group
  • I liked the mix of people who attended and the content was excellent.
  • The constant collaboration and not just a PowerPoint and a person – it was like having a conversation with your speaker.

What Did Participants Like Least About the Event?

When designing this event, I had a pretty good idea what the answer to this question would be:

  • Compressed timeframe.
  • I actually would have liked it to be longer.
  • Intense day – very packed.
  • Not enough time for topic.
  • Not enough time!
  • Time crunch.
  • Very long intense day. Might be better over 1 1/2 days.
  • Went too fast.
  • That it only lasted a day.

I literally cannot think of the last time I went to an event and left thinking that it was too short. If we had to fail in some way, I’m happy to fail in this way. I absolutely acknowledge that that we tried to do too much in one day. But, we had committed to a one-day event (somewhat arbitrarily I suppose, based on the assumption that it would be easier to pull off, which now I realize is not true) a long time ago, and needed to stick with it.

So, I aggressively cut and cut until I arrived at what I though needed to be the minimum topics we needed to cover. I knew it would be intense. I knew it would be too much. But I was more comfortable making a mistake in that direction than the other, which I could not bear: i.e., empty, fluffy, retread content full of the same old platitudes squeezed between hour-long “networking breaks.”

Let’s talk about some of the other things that people did not like:

  • “Having vendors there.”

The market simply does not enable us to host an event like this, with people of this level of seniority, in an accessible major city, with the expected level of fit and finish, without sponsors. Without sponsors, the ticket price of this event just to allow us to break even on the hard costs would have been over $2500, which seems like a lot for a one-day event that does not result in some kind of certification or specific set of marketable skills, or at least promise to change your life forever. If we actually wanted to make money, and cover the thousands of hours of planning and execution time an event like this takes, we would have to charge much more.

Or, we can ask for the support of the providers in our IGI community, which we did. But, we did it in a very considered way. Our sponsors were allowed to send 1 or 2 people (depending on sponsor level) to the event, and not sales and marketing people. They needed to be senior IG subject matter experts who could contribute to the discussion. And that is what we did – we had several of the most recognized provider SMEs in the room who added great value to the discussion.

Also, there is a very clear and obvious reason to “have vendors in the room.” Quite simply, the problem of IG cannot be solved without technology. In my view, information about what technology is available and what it can to is just as valuable as information about experiences, successes, techniques, and tips. At the IGI our mission it to promote IG as far and wide as we can, and that includes promoting awareness of what is possible with technology currently available on the market.

Now the obvious question: why don’t we just do the event at a less expensive location, and let participants pay a lower rate, but one that would cover both the hard and soft costs? Well, if anyone has any ideas on how we attract and satisfy a room of CxO, SVP, VP, and Director-level attendees who already have too much on their plates to an event, venue and location that costs less than half of what a typical venue costs, please call me immediately at 646 450 4468. That being said, the hotel conference business is not a pleasant one, and we are looking at alternative venues and approaches that can both reduce costs and increase attendee value.

Would People Attend Again?

Hard numbers and soft skills: Great case studies, roadmaps and networking toward elevating the information governance stewardship. Thank you.

Mary Mack

84% of people who attended said it was very likely (52%) or likely (32%) that they would attend this event again next year. We will do this event again, and evolve it each time, many more times. The focus of this first event was to introduce the concept of the CIGO, and to build a Playbook that aspiring CIGOs and other in that ecosystem could use to explain the role and help build the case for it (look for the first edition of the Playbook in July). We will continue to provide education, networking, and community around the topic of IG leadership. We got the ball rolling with this event and will continue as a core part of our mission.

Thank you to everyone who attended and to everyone who made this event a success. If you want to participate in or support our next CIGO Summit, please let me know.

Barclay

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Tagged: compliance, defensible deletion, E-Discovery, eDiscovery Journal, Information Governance, regulation, unstructured information

Was This The Phone Call With IT When Hillary Clinton Refused an Official Email Account?

Interesting times the past couple of day, with revelations that Hillary Clinton exclusively used a personal email account and also a private email server in her home to conduct business while she was Secretary of State. Illegal? Election politics? Bad practice? Why was it necessary? All valid questions.

There must have been a conversation between executives and the IT department at the Secretary of State’s office about this, and it’s fascinating to imagine how that conversation went. What reasons were offered? Did anybody push back? Was there a discussion of why this was a bad idea for everyone except Hillary (or maybe her as well – time will tell).

Federal Records Act or not, it is nearly impossible for me to imagine the same conversation happening in the private sector –  a high-powered executive who comes into a company and demands to use their own email server and their Gmail account to conduct all company business. It just wouldn’t happen, at least not any any company that has read a newspaper in the past 20 years.

I’ve been listening to vintage Bob Newhart lately, specifically “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart,” which amazingly was his first big standup performance, recording, and the one that made him a star. In the spirit of Bob, here’s how that phone call might go.

Hey Steve, Barry here. How are things in IT? Good? Good.
I need to talk to you about getting the new VP of Sales set up. Yeah, she’s starting Monday.
Yeah, that Hilary. Yeah from the New York office. Right, big promotion.
Anyway, let’s see if we can get her all set up for Monday . . .
What’s that?
A call from her? What she she say?
She doesn’t want an email account? Well why not?
She didn’t say? How are we going to communicate with her?
She wants to only use a personal Gmail account?!?  And she has her own email server at her house . . . you said no, of course . . .
You didn’t?  What the hell, Steve . . . . yeah . . . yeah . . . authority from who?
She didn’t say?
She was scary? Like scary how?
Hmm. Right. And there’s no way we can talk her out of it?
She wouldn’t take the job?!
She sounded serious did she?
OK, fine, fine.
Don’t we have policies on this kind of thing, Steve?
Nobody takes them seriously?
I know the email system is terrible, Steve . . . yeah I know you need more budget . . .  right, right . . . but listen, I use the damn thing.
What the hell are we going to do if we get sued?  How do we get her email from Gmail? How do we make sure she isn’t spreading our stuff all over the place?
We can’t?
Nothing?
What did the lawyers say?
Haven’t returned your calls?
Just as well, you remember what happened last time those bastards stuck their fingers . . .
Yes, I know I’m a lawyer, Steve. That’s why I can make those jokes.

Tagged: email, email governance, Hillary Clinton, Information Governance, information technology, NARA, National Archives

New Post on LinkedIn: An Exclusive $2M Information Governance Success Story

Just published, over on LinkedIn, an exclusive mine case study about how Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest mining companies, is using Active Navigation to remediate over a petabyte of unstructured content (over a billion files) that’s spread out over 5 continents. So far they have found that at least 40% of it can be thrown away or archived. However, the most interesting part of the story is the deal structure. Rio Tinto and Active Navigation designed a shared risk/reward approach where the vendor only gets paid when it delivers. The money flows when the vendor identifies content that can be deleted or archived to Amazon Web Services. But, it also gets paid when it identifies the good stuff – the content that has true value to the business. In other words, Active Navigation is compensated for generating customer value, whether that value comes from identifying chaff or identifying wheat.

Check it out now.

Tagged: case study, compliance, defensible deletion, Information Governance, Information Governance Initiative, information technology, technology

Pulling out the red pencil: one more last time on the definition of Information Governance?

Yesterday I published my first blog post on LinkedIn about the most fascinating subject known to people-kind: the definition of information governance. Believe me, this wasn’t my first blog post on the topic, just the first time I had published on LinkedIn. Anyway, in the post I discussed the definition we are advancing at the Information Governance Initiative and talked a little about my history with IG. My post came in the midst of some great back and forth among folks like , , and  on Twitter and great blog posts  by George, James, John, Laurence and others about the core concepts of IG. Who knows if anyone outside this circle finds the subject as fascinating as us, but what the hell, long tail and all that.

Anyway, today George published a thoughtful critique of the definition. Earlier in the day I was reading about a back and forth between a New York Times columnist and Walmart that has gone viral. It’s pretty interesting and funny (I mean the exchange, not the underlying issues being discussed) and feels like an important moment in how social media is radically changing the way that organizations interact with the media outlets who cover them. In any case, I was inspired (not that my output is “inspired) to steal the technique, and pulled out my virtual red pencil to respond to George’s post,  hopefully with less snark that the Walmart exchange. I’ve never met George but I’m sure we are almost certainly much, much closer in our positions that the NYT columnist and the Walmart PR flack. Below is the relevant portion of George’s post, and my response. You can read the whole post here.

The Definition of Information Governance Debated

Tagged: compliance, definitions, E-Discovery, Information Governance

Publishing on LinkedIn: The Information Governance Initiative Definition of Information Governance

I was invited to participate in the LinkedIn publishing program, so I thought I would give it a shot, with my first post about the definition of information governance developed at the Information Governance Initiative, with the support of 93% of those we surveyed. Check it out here.

IGI Definition of Information Governance

Tagged: definition, Information Governance

What is a Photocopier?

Pretty entertaining, and also from a case that is also interesting from an Information Governance perspective.

“There is no harm in keeping tiny emails”

Just a quick post –  came across this article when trying to fix a configuration issue with Apple Mail and Gmail, and I thought it nicely summed up the attitude I encounter from IT and others in our information governance engagements. Ask an attorney sometime if there really is “no harm in keeping tiny emails around in this age of ever-expanding storage space.” The drug dealers of the IG world have really done an incredible job convincing the addicts that the drug has no downside.

One of Gmail’s perks is a ridiculous amount of storage space, so Google has set it up to highly encourage archiving your email instead of having to make the decision to delete just some of it. After all, you never know if that rainy day will come next month or four years from now, and there’s no harm in keeping tiny emails around in this age of ever-expanding storage space.

http://www.macworld.com/article/2033842/make-mail-and-gmail-play-nice.html

More often that not, here’s what happens on that “rainy day,” in a depressing office park somewhere in the suburbs:

The company spent $900,000 to produce an amount of data that would consume less than one-quarter of the available capacity of an ordinary DVD.

RAND study on e-discovery, 2012

Now, folks outside of the IG and e-discovery bubble might reasonably think that, hey if there is ever a problem, I can just start deleting emails then, right?

Here’s a couple more quotes to consider.

Court Orders Mirror-Imaging of Personal Computers for Purpose of Preservation

Court Orders Production of Five Years of Content from Facebook, MySpace for Opposing Counsel’s Review

And, my favorite

Plaintiff Sanctioned for Burning Personal Computer

Tagged: compliance, E-Discovery, Information Governance, information technology, technology

Webinar: How How Global Legal and Technology Changes Affect Records Management

I just finished writing a report at the IGI that is a broad survey of market, legal, and technology developments that affect records retention and management practices. Some interesting things going on around the globe. For example, in April 2013, the UK abolished its primary financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority, and replaced it with two new regulatory bodies: the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). According to Steven Formica, CEO of Fontis International, a provider of global legal data for records retention schedules, this reform resulted in extensive changes to records retention requirements. For example, Steve’s firm replaced 104 existing records retention legal requirements related to the FSA with 686 new entries based on the requirements of the FCA/PRA.  This kind of increased specificity and scrutiny on records retention is happening in the US and around the globe.

In any case, I will be discussing the paper and its key findings on a webinar hosted by Recall at 2 pm ET on March 25th, 2014. Click here to find out more and register to attend. The paper will be available for download immediately after the webinar.

 

 

Let’s Celebrate Global Information Governance Day

Thursday February 20th, 2014 is the second annual Global Information Governance Day. We established #GIGD to raise awareness of information governance across the globe. See the Wikipedia entry for more information.

Success in information governance can only be achieved by challenging and changing the way we see information. This is why Global Information Day is useful: it will help to raise awareness of the critical importance of information governance.

As you celebrate Global Information Governance Day with your friends and family, here are some key points to remember:

  1. Over half of the information many organizations create and keep is redundant, outdated junk.
  2. Keeping this digital junk around only wastes capital that could be deployed elsewhere – to create jobs, for example – and unnecessarily harms the environment through massive electricity waste.
  3. The failure to manage burgeoning digital information is a demonstrable threat to the civil and criminal justice system due to the out-of-control costs of electronic discovery. Many cases and investigations are settled rather than properly adjudicated simply because the cost of finding and producing digital evidence is unreasonably high.
  4. The global failure to properly classify unstructured information is represents a growing threat to individual privacy. Every day your private information and mine is at risk of theft and unauthorized disclosure by the companies and governance agencies because they lack consistent and cost-effective techniques to separate personally identifiable information from non-private information.

How can you celebrate Global Information Governance Day? Here are some ideas:

  • Chip away at your email inbox to try and achieve Inbox Zero.
  • Clean up and shut down an old departmental shared drive, just for fun.
  • Drink some herbal tea, read Zen Buddhism for Dummies, and try not to panic when you think about how big the problem is at your organization.
  • Take six or seven hours and try to explain to your friends and family, what exactly do you do for a living again anyway?
  • Participate in the first annual Global Information Governance Day Twitter chat.

In honor of Global Information Governance Day, I will be participating in a Twitter chat hosted by @RSDig at 11 am EST on February 20th, 2014 along with several other information governance experts. Hashtag is #GIGD. See you there.

Announcing The Information Governance Initiative

Three years ago, I sat down in a conference room in Washington, D.C with some really smart people and we quickly realized that we shared a vision for a consortium and think tank devoted to advancing Information Governance. Each of us had seen the incredible value that better information governance could create for their respective clients, but had also witnessed the consequences of information failure first-hand. Without a way for IG practitioners to share their experience across disciplines, it seemed unlikely that the promise of information governance would be fulfilled. Today, thanks to the support of like-minded individuals and organizations, this vision has been realized.

I am so pleased to announce the launch of the Information Governance Initiative (IGI), a cross-disciplinary consortium and think tank focused on advancing information governance. The IGI will publish research, benchmarking surveys, and guidance for practitioners on its website at www.IGInitiative.com. The research will be freely available, and the group will also be providing an online community designed to foster discussion and networking among practitioners.

I am founder and executive director, and it would be great if you would join us.

Our Mission

I believe information can be a positive transformative force in the world – improving business, government, and the lives of people in all walks of life. But I also believe that these benefits are not automatic, and in fact will only be the result of sustained, proactive efforts to understand and manage information in a better way. I believe that there is a need for like-minded people to come together and find this better way. A forum for ideas, facts, and techniques. An initiative that pushes the market forward and builds information literacy.

That’s why we created the Information Governance Initiative – and why we want you to be a part of it.

Who We Are

I founded the IGI along with Bennett B. Borden. I am the executive director, Bennett is the organization’s chair, and Jason R. Baron is co-chair. Jay Brudz is general counsel.

The IGI Advisory Board is comprised of members drawn from the disciplines that own the facets of information governance including information security, data science and analytics, e-discovery, business management, IT management, compliance, business intelligence, records management, finance and audit, privacy, and risk management. We are also developing a Corporate Council comprised of practitioners working in IG. Contact us if you are interested in participating in the Corporate Council.

At launch, IGI Advisory Board members include Courtney Ingraffia Barton, senior counsel, global privacy at Hilton Worldwide, Inc.; Julie Colgan, president of ARMA International; Leigh Isaacs, VP of the information governance Peer Group at ILTA; and Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst at IT-Harvest and well-known cybersecurity expert. Additional board members are being added on an ongoing basis.

Our Supporters

The IGI is launching with broad support from leading providers of information governance products and services, including:

We are also partnering with a variety of organizations to bring IG stakeholders from different disciplines together to work on the information governance problem. For example, we have partnered with The CFO Alliance, a community of over 4,000 senior finance professionals, to bring the IG conversation to the finance community. ARMA International has appointed a representative to the IGI Advisory Board, and the two organizations plan on working together to advance the adoption of information governance. In addition, the IGI will be presenting several sessions on information governance at the Managing Electronic Records conference in Chicago, May 19-21, 2014.

Get Involved in the IGI

Members of the leadership team are speaking about information governance at nine different sessions during the LegalTech NY 2014 conference between February 4-6th. If you are there, come see us and also visit our Charter Supporters in the exhibit halls.

Learn how you can get involved in the IGI at, www.IGInitiative.com

I also invite organizations interested in supporting the advancement of Information Governance to contact me at 646 450 4468 or barclay.blair@IGIniative.com.

Tagged: ARMA, big data, cio, compliance, cybersecurity, defensible deletion, E-Discovery, eDiscovery Journal, IGI, Information Governance, Information Governance Initiative, Information governance videos, information technology, Social Media