I rarely listen to AIIM webinars live, but usually catch them after the fact. While listening one of three thoughts (or sometimes all three pop into my mind):

1)This is interesting
2)This is really good
3)I need to start taking notes on this.

The AIIM webinar, “Think Big, Start Small, and Scale Fast: 3 Steps to Unleashing the Power of Your Information” falls into that last category. The title comes from a great line that Jill Singer, CEO of Tummler Singer Associates LLC said which states, “Plan strategically and act tactically…as a start…Think big. Start small. Scale quick. Fail fast (& cheap).”
The webinar deals with realizing the power and promise of your enterprise information assets. Singer refers to enterprise information management (EIM) as records management as steroids. To do this we need to make records management more strategic then customers anticipate. The starting point is records management which flows through into knowledge management and from there to enterprise information management. Ultimately we have to look at the information and data our organization has and not focus on big data, but smart data and being less concerned with quantity and more with quality so it can inform business decisions.

Big data and information management solutions must focus on people, processes, technology and successes.

– Align your information management organization to ensure a strategic difference.
– Engage your IM professionals with your systems engineers, enterprise architects, security, policy, and standards professionals.

IM Professionals should be hip to hip with system engineers and tech staff so IM capability is baked in up front. The last thing you want to do is bolt it on at the very end. When these two groups work together you can have the capability to move from records management to information management. It is about more than just compliance, it is actually its advantage.

-Invest in your IM professionals to keep their skills current with today’s rapidly changing technologies.

-Increase awareness of Enterprise Information Management.
-Develop an Enterprise Data Architecture.

Enterprise architecture should be more than just about technology, but also focused on specific data. Treat the data domain of enterprise architecture as a vital layer of IT staff. Enterprise data architecture should define technical, business and mission requirements that will show specific links and steps from a strategic spot and tactical implementation

-Use Policy, Standards, and Compliance positively.

This is the section where she mentioned the quote which the title comes from. She also talked here about how EIM projects should use an agile methodology and not waterfall which I found really insightful.

Success is defined by two factors 1)Business analytics which requires data-driven decisions and 2)Business Intelligence which allows better knowledge for competitive advantage. To have data driven decisions and better knowledge you need to turn your big data into smart data. Doing this requires Knowledge as a Service (KaaS) in your big data architecture or you will over extend your human derived resources and not receive the full benefits (elasticity and speed) of cloud computing. She goes into much more detail in the webinar and I’d highly advise checking it out when you get a chance.

Something that Singer reiterated as she talked about EIM challenges that needs to be reiterated to stakeholders is that these types of initiatives are not free or easy and need engagement from the whole team. An EIM project can definitely rival the complexity of any other complex IT project.

If you link EIM directly to business/mission success measure then you will be on the path to achieving business superiority.

The next part of the webinar featured Deb Lavoy who is Strategic Marketing Director with Open Text. She spent a lot of time talking about the changing role of the CIO from tactical to strategic. One of the things I found most insightful that she talked about was “Maslow’s Hierarchy of a Strategic CIO.” The needs are listed here from bottom to top.

Availability – Can you get your information in motion or is it locked in a silo?
Governance and security – Are you compliant?
Efficiency – Are you able to bring right information to bear in the right time at the right context?
Agility – Can you connect information flows? Can you extend and connect processes?
Innovation and Impact – How can I serve my market better? How can I serve new markets better? How can information change my business? How can my business change information?

My philosophy of information is currency comes from the idea that information managed properly has a high return on investment. Lavoy put her own spin on that concept when she said, “Strategically putting information into context and motion is a key to success in business.” This is getting long winded and to wrap up, here is a quote from Lavoy on the greatest challenges facing EIM

Many organizations have many different patchwork solutions which need to be brought together to work effective so that information can flow throughout the organization without limitations so that benefits can accrue. We must get a handle on legacy systems and reflect and understand on how we want information to flow through business.