Yes, I just started Game of Thrones. And yes, you guessed it: GoT has lessons to offer in Information Governance.
No spoilers, please. Don’t you dare. Since I am still on the first season, I haven’t put together the entire GoT information governance picture, but I’m certain the Lannisters are about to put out a SharePoint aggregator.
Anyway, Winter is Coming. Not in the form of low temperatures or fearsome beasts, but in a massive data storm that threatens the sanctity of the realm of governance. The biggest change in electronic messaging has not come from the technology side; it has been driven by employees. Volume of email has not grown linearly over the years, but exponentially. Interestingly enough, this problem has been around for almost 20 years now. The difference is that now, companies are responsible for managing not only the monster that is email, but all of the other data systems in their IT environments as well.
Since email experienced such massive growth, it is safe to assume that the other data generating technologies will behave in a similar manner. The proof is in the production. Look at your file share. Ask someone in your IT department if any of their systems get “smaller” with the passage of time. Only if it breaks. The President of the United States has even weighed in on the issue with the monumental undertaking of M-12-18, commonly known as the Presidential Records Directive, stating that all government records must be managed electronically before the end of 2018. If the DMV can’t get me a new registration in 30 days, how is the federal government going to get their records into a computer system… that actually works, no less? For government agencies, winter has already passed; now hell is freezing over.
Enterprise Content Management systems were supposed to be the cure. You could classify any file -- record or non-record -- and the assumption was that this classification would allow the file to be designated, assigned a lifecycle, made discoverable, and deleted when the proper time came. Now the industry has found that all of this matters little without the ability to de-duplicate data copies. The data grew too fast to be governed. The outcome of the ECM industry was simply another unmanageable source of data, sprawling and fragmenting some of the business’s most important content. Now, some companies have even been offloading their ECMs… searching for bigger-picture solutions. Wrap your head around that idea. What was once hailed as the silver bullet for information governance turned out in dire need of governance itself. Am I taking crazy pills or something?
Make no mistake, the data storm is coming. Your email servers will fall. Your file shares are next. And when you think the madness can’t possibly continue, your ECM will betray you. Sound the alarm.
It’s time to prepare for the data storm. Winter is coming, does your data have a place to hide?