Archives For June 2013

My Year as an IBM Champion for Information Management (Day 45+)

It’s Official now. IBM is formally announcing all of the 2013 Champions this coming week. You can learn more about all of us at:
and about the program altogether at:

Looking forward to many interesting activities on the horizon and IOD 2013 where I can meet and interact with other Champions.

Today is the first day of the annual DGIQ Conference on beautiful Mission Beach in the San Diego area. It represents the Pilgrimage to Mecca for all of the Data and Information Governance mavens in the world (although we still can’t seem to decide if it is Data or Information that we are Governing). It brings together Newbies, Veterans, Consultants and Vendors under one roof to discuss the Governance, Stewardship and Quality of our data/information. This year the fixation is on Big Data and the role of the Chief Data Office (CDO). These are fashion statements in my view and will be replaced next year no doubt by Privacy (our current fixation).

I am here with my Client, Salt River Project (Phoenix, AZ). They are a publicly-owned Utility (Power and Water) and live in a highly regulated world (NERC/CIP) but operate as a Commercial provider in a very competitive world around them. We are going to discuss their real-world experiences in establishing and maturing Information Governance in a mature bureaucracy. The Central Theme of the presentation focuses on “How to (successfully) Operationalize Information Governance within your Enterprise” (Hint: The message is to “ignore the Consultants and so-called Experts and leverage “what works” within your organization’s culture). It should prove to be an interesting story to tell to such an audience. Can’t wait to hear their reactions.

In addition, I am also here in my capacity of an IBM Information Management Champion. IBM is a Premium Sponsor of the event and will be giving 3x very good presentations on Information Governance. I am looking for some good inputs from these myself.

Finally, I will also be participating in activities associated with the Data Governance Professionals Organization (DGPO), DAMA and the EDM Council. All in all, it should prove to be a valuable investment of time and effort.

Check out the Agenda at:

Stay tuned for more details as the Conference progresses.

I have watched with considerable interest and bemusement the feigned outrage and posturing by many segments of the population since the revelations of the NSA’s global SIGINT programs. I find it all amusing at best given how little everyone has paid attention to fact that their Privacy began eroding back in the ’80’s and has diminished to Near Zero at this point. It is hard to believe that everyone should be so upset about something that they lost (or abdicated) such a long time ago (for many, before they were even born) and yet now are just realizing it. Nonetheless, perhaps these events and all of the spleen venting that continues to go on about them will start a dialog about “The Illusion of Privacy”.

Privacy is a state of mind (like Trust) that cannot be quantified or regulated in the world that we live in today. Virtually every consumer has abdicated their Privacy Rights by signing one EULA after another with their Service & Software Providers for all of the “apps, gadgets & devices” that they require to support their daily lives. Has anyone (besides Lawyers) ever read one of these before clicking Accept? Doubtful, I imagine and if you did read it what are your options? Decline is not one of them.

In the end we all must develop more Situational Awareness. If you fall into the trap of complacency and believe that there will be no consequences to anything that you post, write or say then you are truly the fool. We should all embrace the notion of “Low Tech” Face-to-Face (F2F) communications from inside our own personal SCIF’s (Secure Compartmentalized Information Facilities) aka our converted bomb shelters (for those who grew up during the Cold War). This is probably the only means of Privacy that we still have available.

Embrace the horror that we have created in our zeal for technology and for having abandoned our individual roles in checking the power and growth of Government intrusion in our daily lives.

Until next time.

The Lone Piper

The Lone Piper

It has been just a month now since I was selected by IBM from a broad group of nominations to become a Champion for Information Management. From what I have learned there are <200 of us worldwide (smaller than the average InfoSphere sales team from IBM that I see call on some of my clients!). There are a number of categories for IBM Champions ( but perhaps I am a bit biased when I say that Information Management seems to one of the broadest and perhaps most difficult to speak to in a succinct fashion. What is Information Management anyways?

In a world where everything has been reduced to buzz words and catch phrases the intrinsic meaning of a subject like Information Management is lost amongst the chatter IMO. I like to define it as “The Discipline and Science of Managing Information over its entire lifecycle and treating it as an Asset to be leveraged by the entire Enterprise in which to create sustainable sources of Competitive Advantage”. There are many tomes written on Enterprise Information Management and most have a similar view to mine.

However, given the myopic focus on Big Data and the non-stop hype as to its virtues and disruptive capabilities I often feel like this Lone Piper who I came across this last week in Union Square (San Francisco). My music (i.e. message) may be well liked once you hear it, but it can be easily be lost in the din of hype (or traffic) around it.

I learned today that my preso for IOD 2013 was not selected so I can see that my role of Champion has limited clout. I was looking forward to espousing my belief that “Leveraging Information Governance can Achieve Strategic Business Outcomes”. I guess that I will have to shop around for another forum in which to “play my music”.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you later this month at the DGIQ Conference in San Diego. It is going to be the largest ever and no doubt most interesting as the maturing and benefits of Information Governance are really starting to manifest for many enterprises.

Stay tuned for the next installment of “My Year and an IBM Information Management Champion”

Key Themes for Information Governance Success: “Adapt, Leverage & Embed”. Adapt to meet the relevant needs of the Organization. Leverage key elements of the Organizations Culture to create opportunities. Embed yourself in every major undertaking within reach.

I am presenting at this year’s DGIQ with my client, SRP. Our presentation is on Wednesday, June 19th from 11:00 – 11:50. Stop by to hear a most interesting perspective on Information Governance Operationalization.

Title: Forget the Theory and What the so-called Experts have to say – How you can Operationalize Information Governance in your Enterprise 
Greg Whicker, Director, Business Service Management, Salt River Project
Madison Prince, Organizational Change Analyst, Salt River Project
Richard Lee, Managing Partner, IMECS, LLC

Overview: Far too many organizations are attempting to take a Prescriptive or Best Practices-based approach to operationalizing Info Gov in the enterprises. We will proffer that “The critical path to success is one that requires an Adaptive Model, which leverages the Governance Structure, Culture and Business Model of your Enterprise to create an environment where Info Governance is embraced by everyone based on the culture belief that that Information is an Asset (top down & bottoms up)”.

Key points we will emphasize during our presentation:

  • The entire organization must come to believe that “Information truly is an Asset”
  • Cultural Adoption based on the use of effective Communications and OCM Techniques is critical to success
  • Advocacy by Executive Leaders is essential to business buy-in and ownership
  • Information Governance Processes and Messaging must be “baked in” to every activity
  • Technology is not a critical enabler to success; Cultural Adoption is.

“Adapt, Leverag…

Yesterday, I attended The Economist’s “Ideas Economy -Information Forum 2013” in San Francisco focused on “Finding Value in Big Data”.

It was an interesting event on many levels, but got off to a strange start when Ken Cukier (Economist, FT & Foreign Affairs “big data guy”) lambasted all of the NaySayers who are now poo-pooing “Big Data” as a “Big Nothing”. I have predicted this for some time given the unprecedented Hype and lack of any coherent definition (much less stable one) as to what it means, but now see this event as a watershed moment when the Big Data plot really started to spiral out of control. By the end of the day many of the panelists wondered why they were there and were taking major exception with all of the hype around them. I applaud this very much as now perhaps we can start to have an Adult discussion going forward on Information Management.

Stay tuned for further posts on this subject.