How do you address the elephant in the room when you can’t call it an elephant?

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Many executives and business leaders could care less about “ECM” or “Information Governance” or “Records Management” or “Intelligent Capture” or “Process Improvement” or or or…

Yet those of us who do understand these terms and, more importantly, what impact they could have on our organizations, are very concerned about getting these messages across to those who control the budgets and make the big decisions.

We understand that the efficiencies, faster response times, greater accuracy, legal compliance/regulation adherence, improved customer service/engagement, etc. are powerful drivers. But how are you getting the point across to YOUR organization? How are you “selling” it, and are people “buying” it? How did you get YOUR initiatives off the ground?

(AIIM’s Market Intelligence team is working on a new project and we seek your answers to these questions.)

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AIIM

In my experience, it boils down to dollars (pounds, euros, etc.) and cents. How do we translate the improvement we are recommending to an impact to the organization’s bottom line.

Many times it is difficult. I had challenges selling the benefits of Master Data Management in a prior role because it was difficult to translate it to costs to the organization.

In a more recent situation, I stepped into analyzing costs of operations to show how expensive it was and, indirectly, support my recommendations for various initiatives.

Maybe AIIM could have templates for proposing and selling initiatives?

Best,
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LISI
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And here’s an opinion that just came my way today: “%acbdUsing customer data platforms to monetize information“. While it’s focus is on big data, it is relevant. I like, in particular, the line that “[d]ata must earn their keep – they must be monetized to justify the expense, complexity and risk inherent in persisting large data stores. Bud, data do not monetize themselves. An unutilized data store is pure cost.” Very relevant to our efforts.

Best,
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LISI
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I’m not sure I see how monetization applies in the same way to the unstructured data landscape as it does to the structured/big-data landscape. Except, possibly, in the light of ‘decision-support’ and, more obviously, for the marketing collateral/CMS type content which very definitely should have the same thinking applied. Beyond that though, I don’t see the direct linkage. Perhaps you could connect those dots?

Lorne Rogers Vice-Chair, ISO Trustworthy Content/Document Management President/Senior Management Consultant Aria Consulting Ltd. http://ariaconsulting.net info@ariaconsulting.net

Money is always part of any project or effort. It may be in the form of governance/regulations (if you don’t do it you may be penalized). So it’s not only monetizing but also cost avoidance.

To me, the best way to justify any efforts is by answering the question of how the organization benefits.

Best,

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LISI
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In many organizations I work with/ have worked with the biggest success I have had in getting executives involved is to align projects involving (insert buzz word here) with strategic goals and initiatives of the organization and truly demonstrating how (insert here again) adds value to the organization and improves efficiency or another big driver in the organization. It is also beneficial to really take a deep look into the IT asset portfolio (paying attentions to the records and information stored in all application/ tools and the way info is moved, shared, and perhaps even making note of redundancies, discrepancies, and system of origin vs. system of record) and engage executives in their vision moving forward in regards to redundancy, obsolescence, emerging technologies, etc. to see if the company has a vision or perhaps you can aid in the creation of one and bring (insert buzz word here) into the fold in that manner.

I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer to the question and your corporate culture will really determine the best approach. It may be beneficial to engage with an organizational development professional as well to gage how readily accepted change will be and some helpful hints and lessons learned in other areas of the organization.

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Austin Energy
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We are advancing the need for information management and governance at Parsons slowly, with persistence and tenacity – reaching out to key executive leaders to present and discuss the benefits and requirements. We are also working across business units and groups to galvanize champions where possible. Not a feat for the meek, but rewarding for those of us who believe that the cause is well worth the effort.

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Parsons
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As has been said, there is no ‘one size fits all’ for every company and your approach must align with the goals and initiatives as well as the corporate culture of your enterprise.

One of the buzz words I’ve found now is ‘innovation’
How do you innovate?
How do you make the decisions faster and be more precise in your decision making?
You make your data more valuable, more searchable and with it being structured it becomes an asset that ‘can make you money’ rather than full drives and servers that is costing you money and just gather dust.

Moving to the Cloud? Great time to start looking at what you’re storing and why and getting it structured. The cloud offers large storage cost savings over on-prem storage so many corporations are having the conversations already.

Our department alone had 2TB of data on shared drives that we hadn’t assessed in over 2 years. That’s a cost, a waste and was a quick cost saving for us, and that was just our department.

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Devon Energy Corporation
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What we experience is, that “selling” Information Management is a hard time – internally and to the clients. But, as Tony says, it’s important to ask the right questions.

How do you enable Service Transition / Service Transformation? Is any information required for Service Transition / Service Transformation at hand, structured, searchable, usable?
How do you set up contracts without knowing the details of your services?

How do you improve efficiency, eg. in IT operations / deployment? Do you have an overview of what you pay for vs of what you really need?

Outages that cost you a lot of money?
Do you have an overview of the application interfaces? How does the application architecture look like? How is the application configured, deployed? You need certain information to make IT risks transparent.

In general: We tend to implement tools to fix content issues. Tools are fancy – fixing content issues can cost blood, sweat and tears. If the content, the information you have, is useless, though, then no tool in the world will fix that. If you want to push “Intelligent Capture”, “Process Improvement” and “Information Governance”, don’t engage in another tool without fixing the content issues.

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Avato consulting ag
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