Showing posts with label information management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label information management. Show all posts

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why Data and Information Management Remain Elusive After Decades of Deployments and How to Fix It

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast from The Open Group Conference in Austin on the growing role and importance of the information architect.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: The Open Group.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you're listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion in conjunction with the latest Open Group Conference in Austin, Texas.

We’ve assembled a distinguished panel to update us on the state of data and information management strategies. We’ll examine how it remains difficult for businesses to get the information they want in the way they can use, and why this has been a persistent problem. We’ll uncover the latest in the framework approach to information and data and look at how an information architect can make a big difference.

Here to help us better understand the role and impact of the information architect and also how to implement a successful data in information strategy is our panel, Robert Weisman, CEO of Build The Vision Inc. Welcome to BriefingsDirect, Robert.

Robert Weisman: Thank you.

Gardner: We’re also here with Eugene Imbamba, Information Management Architect in IBM's Software Group. Welcome, Eugene.

Eugene Imbamba: Thank you very much.

Gardner: And we’re here with Mei Selvage, the Lead in the IBM Community of Information Architects. Welcome to the show, Mei.

Mei Selvage: Thank you for having us.

Gardner: Tell me, Robert, why it is that it's so hard for IT to deliver information access in the way that businesses really want.

Weisman: It's the general insensitivity to information management concerns within the industry itself, which is very much becoming much more technology and tool-driven with the actual information not being taken into consideration.

As a consequence, a lot of the solutions might work, but they don’t last, and they don’t, generally speaking, get the right information to the right person at the right time. Within The Open Group, we recognized this split about four years ago and that’s one reason that in TOGAF 9 we redefined that information technology as “The lifecycle management of information and related technology within an organization.” We didn’t want to see an IM/IT split in organizations. We wanted to make sure that the architecture addressed the needs of the entire community, especially those requiring information and knowledge.

Gardner: Eugene, do you think if we focus more on the lifecycle management of information and the architecture frameworks like TOGAF, that we'll get more to this requirement that business has that single view of reality?

Imbamba: Definitely, focusing on reference architecture methodologies are a good way to get going in the right direction. I don’t think it's the end of all means to getting there. But, in terms of leveraging what's been done, some of the architectures that have been developed, whether it's TOGAF or some of the other artifacts out there, would help organizations, instead of spinning their wheels and reinventing the wheel, start building some of the foundational capabilities needed to have an enterprise information architecture.

Getting to the finish line

As a result, we’re seeing that each year with information management, projects starting up and projects collapsing for various reasons, whether it's cost or just the process or people in place. Leveraging some of these artifacts, methods, and reference architectures is a way to help get started, and of course employing other areas of the information management disciplines to help get to the finish line.

Gardner: Mei, when it comes to learning from those that have done this well, what do we know about what works when it comes to data and information management? What can we point to and say, "Without question, moving in this direction is allowing us to be inclusive, move beyond just the data and databases, and get that view that the business is really looking for?"

Selvage: Eugene and I had a long debate over how we know that we've delivered a successful information architecture. Our conclusion comes out three plus one. The first piece is just like any strategy roadmap. You need to have a vision and strategy. To have a successful information architecture vision you really have to understand your business problem and your business vision. Then, you use applicable, proven referenced architecture and methodology to support that.

Once you have vision, then you come to the execution. How do you leverage your existing IT environments, integrates with them, keep good communication, and use the best practices? Finally, you have to get implemented on time and on schedule within the budget -- and the end-user is satisfied.

Those are three parts. Then, the plus part is data governance, not just one time project delivery. You’ll have to make sure that data governance is getting consistently implemented across the projects.

Gardner: How about in the direction of this organizational definition of what works and what doesn’t work? How important is it rather for an information architect role to emerge? Let's start with you, Robert. Then, I’d like to take this to all of you. What is it about the information architect role that can play an important element here?

Weisman: The information architect will soon be called the knowledge architect to start realizing some of the promise that was seen in the 1980s and in the 1990s. The information architect’s role is essentially is to harmonize all manner of information and make sure it's properly managed and accessible to the people who are authorized to see it.

It's not just the information architect. He has to be a team player, working closely with technology, because more and more information will be not just machine-readable, but machine-processable and interpretable. So he has to work with the people not only in technology, but with those developing applications, and especially those dealing with security because we’re creating more homogenous enterprise information-sharing environments with consolidated information holdings.

The paradigm is going to be changing. It's going to be much more information centric. The object-oriented paradigm, from a technical perspective, meant the encapsulation of the information. It's happened, but at the process level.

When you have a thousand processes in the organization, you’ve got problems. Whereas, now we’d be looking at encapsulation of the information much more at the enterprise level so that information can be reused throughout the organization. It will be put in once and used many times.

Quality of information

he quality of the information will also be addressed through governance, particularly incorporating something called data stewardship, where people would be accountable, not only for the structure of the information but for the actual quality of the informational holdings.

Gardner: Thank you. Eugene, how do you see the role of the information architect as important in solidifying people’s thinking about this at that higher level, and as Robert said, being an advocate for the information across these other disciplines?

Imbamba: It's inevitable that this role will definitely emerge and is going to take a higher-level position within organizations. Back to my earlier comment about information really becoming an issue, we have lots of information. We have variety of information and varied velocity of information requirements.

We don’t have enough folks today who are really involved in this discipline and some of the projections we have are within the next 20 years, we’re going to have a lot more information that needs to be managed. We need folks who are engaged in this space, folks who understand the space and really can think outside the box, but also understand what the business users want, what they are trying to drive to, and be able to provide solutions that really not only look at the business problem at hand but also what is the organization trying to do.

The role is definitely emerging, and within the next couple of years, as Robert said, the term might change from information architects to knowledge architects, based on where information is and what information provides to business.

A lot of new folks come from data modeling backgrounds. They really have to understand business language, business process, and their roles.

Gardner: Mei, how far along are we actually on this definition and even professionalization of the information architect role?

Selvage: I’d like to share a little bit of what IBM is doing internally. We have a major change to our professional programs and certification programs. We’ve removed IT out of architect as title. We just call architect. Under architect we have business architecture, IT architecture, and enterprise architecture. Information architecture falls under IT architecture. Even though we were categorized one of the sub components of IT architecture.

Information architect, in my opinion, is more business-friendly than any other professionals. I'm not trying to put others down, but a lot of new folks come from data modeling backgrounds. They really have to understand business language, business process, and their roles.

When we have this advantage, we need to leverage those and not just keep thinking about how I create database structures and how I make my database perform better. Rather, my tasks today contribute to my business. I want to doing the right thing, rather than doing the wrong things sooner.

IBM reflects an industry shift. The architect is a profession and we all need to change our mindsets to be even broader.

Delivering business value

Weisman: I’d like to add to that. I fully agree, as I said, that The Open Group has created TOGAF 9 as a capability-based planning paradigm for the business planning. IM and IT are just two dimensions of that overall capability, and everything is pushed toward the delivery of business value.

You don’t have to align IM/IT with the business. IM and IT become an integral part of the business. This came out of the defense world in many cases and it has proven very successful.

IM, IT, and all of the architecture domains are going to have to really understand the business for that. It’ll be an interesting time in the next couple of years in the organizations that really want to derive competitive advantage from their information holdings, which is certainly becoming a key differentiator amongst large companies.

Gardner: Robert, perhaps while you’re talking about The Open Group, you could update us a bit on what took place at the Austin Conference, particularly vis-à-vis the workgroups. What was the gist of the development and perhaps any maturation that you can point to?

Weisman: We had some super presentations, in particular the one that Eugene and Mei gave that addressed information architecture and various associated processes and different types of sub-architectures/frameworks as well.

The vision paper is right now in the final review. Following that, we're preparing a consolidated request for change to the TOGAF 9 specification.

The Information Architecture Working Group, which is winding down after two years, has created a series of whitepapers. The first one addressed the concerns of the data management architecture and maps the data management body of knowledge processes to The Open Group Architecture Framework. That whitepaper went through final review in the Information Architecture Working Group in Austin.

We have an Information Architecture Vision paper, which is an overall rethinking of how information within an organization is going to be addressed in a holistic manner, incorporating what we’d like to think as all of the modern trends, all types of information, and figure out some sort of holistic way that we can represent that in an architecture.

The vision paper is right now in the final review. Following that, we're preparing a consolidated request for change to the TOGAF 9 specification. The whitepapers should be ready and available within the next three months for public consultation. This work should address many significant concerns in the domain of information architecture and management. I'm really confident the work that working group has done has been very productive.

Gardner: Now, you mentioned that Mei and Eugene delivered a presentation. I wonder if we can get an overview, a quick summary of the main points. Mei, would you care to go first?

Selvage: We’ve already talked a lot about what we have described in our presentation. Essentially, we need to understand what it means to have a successful solution information architecture. We need to leverage all those best practices, which come in a form of either a proven reference architecture or methodology, and use that to achieve alignment within the business.

Eugene, do you have anything you want to specifically point out in our presentation?

Three keys

Imbamba: No, just to add to what you said. The three keys that we brought were the alignment of business and IT, using and leveraging reference architectures to successfully implement information architectures, and last was the adoption of proven methodology.

In our presentation, we defined these constructs, or topics, based on our understanding and to make sure that the audience had a common understanding of what these components meant. Then, we gave examples and actually gave some use cases of where we’ve seen this actually happen in organizations, and where there has been some success in developing successful projects through the implementation of these methods. That's some of what we touched on.

Weisman: Just as a postscript from The Open Group we’re coming with an Information Architecture and Planning Model. We have a comprehensive definition of data and information and knowledge; We've come up with a good generic lifecycle that can be used by all organizations. And, we addressed all the issues associated with them in a holistic way with respect to the information management functions of governance, planning, operations, decision support and business intelligence, records and archiving, and accessibility and privacy.

This is one of the main contributions that these whitepapers are going to provide is a good planning basis for the holistic management of all manner of information in the form of a complete model.

Gardner: We’ve heard about how the amount of data is going to be growing exponentially, perhaps 44 times in less than 10 years, and we’ve also heard that knowledge, information, and your ability to exploit it could be a huge differentiator in how successful you are in business. I even expect that many businesses will make knowledge and information of data part of their business, part of their major revenue capabilities -- a product in itself.

With respect to the projected increase of information available, I actually see a decrease in information holdings within the enterprise itself.

Let's look into the future. Why will the data and information management professionalization, this role of the information architect be more important based on some of the trends that we expect?

Let's start with you, Robert. What's going to happen in the next few year that's going to make it even more important to have the holistic framework, strategic view of data information?

Weisman: Right now, it's competitive advantage upon which companies may rise and fall. Harvard Business School Press, Davenport in particular, has produced some excellent books on competitive analytics and the like, with good case studies. For example, a factory halfway through construction is stopped because they didn’t have timely access to the their information indicating the factory didn’t even need to be constructed. This speaks of information quality.

In the new service-based rather than industry-based economic paradigm, information will become absolutely key. With respect to the projected increase of information available, I actually see a decrease in information holdings within the enterprise itself.

This will be achieved through a) information management techniques, you will actually get rid of information; b) you will consolidate information; and c) with paradigms such as cloud, you don’t necessarily have to have information within the organization itself.

More with less

So you will be dealing with information holdings, that are accessible by the enterprise, and not necessarily just those that are held by the enterprise. There will also be further issues such as knowledge representation and the like, that will become absolutely key, especially with demographics as it stands now. We have to do more with less.

The training and professionalization of information architecture, or knowledge architecture, I anticipate will become key. However, knowledge architects cannot be educated totally in a silo, they also have to have a good understanding of the other architecture domains. A successful enterprise architect must understand all the the other architecture domains.

Gardner: Eugene, how about you, in terms of future trends that impact the increased importance of this role in this perspective on information?

Imbamba: From an IBM perspective, we’ve seen over the last 20 years organizations focusing on what I call an "application agenda," really trying to implement enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, supply chain management systems, and these systems have been very valuable for various reasons, reducing cost, bringing efficiencies within the business.

But, as you know, over the last 20 years, a lot of companies now have these systems in place, so the competitive advantage has been lost. So what we’re seeing right now is companies focusing on an information agenda, and the reason is that each organization has information about its customers, its products, its accounts like no other business would have.

Where I see a lot of trends is that many outsource basic database administration, kind of a commodity or activity out to a third-party where they keep the information architects in-house. That’s where we can add in the value.

So, what we're seeing today is leveraging that information for competitive advantage, trying to optimize your business, gleaning the information that you have so that you can understand the relationships between your customers, between your partners, your suppliers, and optimize that to deliver the kinds of services and needs, the business wants and the customer’s needs.

It's a focus from application agenda to an information agenda to try and push what’s going on in that space.

Gardner: Mei, last word to you, future trends and why would they increase the need for the information architecture role?

Selvage: I like to see that from two perspectives. One is from the vendor perspective, just taking IBM as an example. The information management brand is the one that has the largest software products, which reflects market needs and the market demands. So there are needs to have information architects who are able to look over all those different software offerings in IBM and other major vendors too.

From the customer perspective, where I see a lot of trends is that many outsource basic database administration, kind of a commodity or activity out to a third-party where they keep the information architects in-house. That’s where we can add in the value. We can talk to the business. We can talk to the other components of IT, and really brings things together. That’s a trend I see more organizations are adopting.

Gardner: Very good. We’ve been discussing the role and impact of an information architect and perhaps how to begin to implement a more successful data and information strategy.

This comes to you as a sponsored podcast in conjunction with The Open Group Conference in Austin, Texas in the week of July 18, 2011. I’d like to thank our guests. We’ve been joined by Robert Weisman, CEO of Build The Vision Incorporated. Thanks so much, Robert.

Weisman: You’re very welcome. Thank you for inviting.

Gardner: And we’ve been here with Eugene Imbamba. He is Information Management Architect in IBM Software Group. Thank you, Eugene.

Imbamba: Thank you for having me.

Gardner: And Mei Selvage, she is Lead of the IBM Community of Information Architects. Thanks to you as well.

Selvage: You’re welcome. Thank you too.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks to our viewers and listeners as well, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: The Open Group.

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast from The Open Group Conference in Austin on the growing role and importance of the information architect. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2011. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Information Management Takes Aim at Need for Improved Business Insights From Complex Data Sources

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on how companies are leveraging information management solutions to drive better business decisions in real time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Learn more. Sponsor: HP.

Get a free white paper on how Business Intelligence enables enterprises to better manage data and information assets:
Top 10 trends in Business Intelligence for 2010

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BriefingsDirect. Today's sponsored podcast discussion delves into how to better harness the power of information to drive and improve business insights.

We’ll examine how the tough economy has accelerated the progression toward more data-driven business decisions. To enable speedy proactive business analysis, information management (IM) has arisen as an essential ingredient for making business intelligence (BI) for these decisions pay off.

Yet IM itself can become unwieldy, as well as difficult to automate and scale. So managing IM has become an area for careful investment. Where then should those investments be made for the highest analytic business return? How do companies better compete through the strategic and effective use of its information?

We’ll look at some use case scenarios with executives from HP to learn how effective IM improves customer outcomes, while also identifying where costs can be cut through efficiency and better business decisions.

To get to the root of IM best practices and value, please join me in welcoming our guests, Brooks Esser, Worldwide Marketing Lead for Information Management Solutions at HP. Welcome, Brooks.

Brooks Esser: Hi, Dana. How are you today?

Gardner: I’m great. We’re also here with John Santaferraro, Director of Marketing and Industry Communications for BI Solutions at HP. Hello, John.

John Santaferraro: Hi Dana. I’m glad to be here, and hello to everyone tuning into the podcast.

Gardner: And also, we’re here with Vickie Farrell, Manager of Market Strategy for BI Solutions at HP. Welcome to the show.

Vickie Farrell: Hi, Dana, thanks.

Gardner: Let me take our first question out to John. IM and BI in a sense come together. It’s sort of this dynamic duo in this era of cost consciousness and cost-cutting. What is it about the two together that you think is the right mix for today’s economy?

Santaferraro: Well, it’s interesting, because the customers that we work with tend to have very complex businesses, and because of that, very complex information requirements. It used to be that they looked primarily at their structured data as a source of insight into the business. More recently, the concern has moved well beyond business intelligence to look at a combination of unstructured data, text data, IM. There’s just a whole lot of different sources of information.

Enterprise IM

The idea that they can have some practices across the enterprise that would help them better manage information and produce real value and real outcomes for the business is extremely relevant. I’d like to think of it as actually enterprise IM.

Very simply, first of all, it’s enterprise, right? It’s looking across the entire business and being able to see across the business. It’s information, all types of information as we identify structured, unstructured documents, scanned documents, video assets, media assets.

Then it’s the management, the effective management of all of those information assets to be able to produce real business outcomes and real value for the business.

Gardner: So the more information you can manage to bring into an analytics process, the higher the return?

Santaferraro: I don’t know that it’s exactly just "more." It’s the fact that, if you look at the information worker or the person who has to make decisions on the front line, if you look at those kinds of people, the truth is that most of them need more than just data and analysis. In a lot of cases, they will need a document, a contract. They need all of those different kinds of data to give them different views to be able to make the right decision.

Gardner: Brooks, tell me a little bit about how you view IM. Is this a life cycle we’re talking about? Is it a category? Where do we draw the boundaries around IM? Is HP taking an umbrella concept here?

Esser: We really are, Dana. We think of IM as having four pillars. The first is the infrastructure, obviously -- the storage, the data warehousing, information integration that kind of ties the infrastructure together. The second piece, which is very important, is governance. That includes things like data protection, master data management, compliance, and e-discovery.

The third, to John’s point earlier, is information processes. We start talking about paper-based information, digitizing documents, and getting them into the mix. Those first three pillars taken together really form the basis of an IM environment. They’re really the pieces that allow you to get the data right.

The fourth pillar, of course, is the analytics, the insight that business leaders can get from the analytics about the information. The two, obviously, go hand in hand. Rugged information infrastructure for your analytics isn’t any better than poor infrastructure with solid analytics. Getting both pieces of that right is very, very important.

Gardner: Vickie, if we take that strong infrastructure and those strong analytics and we do it properly, are we able to take the fruits of that out to a wider audience? Let’s say we are putting these analytics into the hands of more people that can take action.

Very important

Farrell: Yes, it is very important that you do both of those things. A couple of years ago, I remember, a lot of pundits were talking about BI becoming pervasive, because tools have gotten more affordable and easier to use. Therefore anybody with a smartphone or PDA or laptop computer was going to be able to do heavy-duty analysis.

Of course, that hasn’t happened. There is more limiting the wide use of BI than the tools themselves. One of the biggest issues is the integration of the data, the quality of the data, and having a data foundation in an environment where the users can really trust it and use it to do the kind of analysis that they need to do.

What we’ve seen in the last couple of years is serious attention on investing in that data structure -- getting the data right, as we put it. It's establishing a high level of data quality, a level of trust in the data for users, so that they are able to make use of those tools and really glean from that data the insight and information that they need to better manage their business.

Esser: We can’t overemphasize that, Dana. There's a great quote by Mark Twain, of all people, who said it isn’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble -- it’s what you know for certain that just isn’t so. That really speaks to the point Vickie made about quality of data and the importance of having high-quality data in our analytics.

Gardner: We’re defining IM fairly broadly here, but how do we then exercise what we might consider due diligence in the enterprises -- security, privacy, making the right information available to people and then making sure the wrong people don’t have it? How do you apply that important governance pillar, when we’re talking about such a large and comprehensive amount of information, Brooks?

Esser: I think you have to define governance processes, as you’re building your information infrastructure. That’s the key to everything I talked about earlier -- the pillars of a solid IM environment. One of the key ones is governance, and that talks about protecting data, quality, compliance, and the whole idea of master data management -- limiting access and making sure that right people have access to input data and that data is of high-quality.

Farrell: In fact, we recently surveyed a number of data warehouse and BI users. We found that 81 percent of them either have a formal data governance process in place or they expect to invest in one in the next 12 months. There's a lot of attention on that, as Brooks was talking about.

Gardner: Now, as we also mentioned earlier, the economy is still tough. There is less discretionary spending than we’ve had in quite some time. How do you go to folks and get the rationale for the investment to move in this direction? Is it about cost-cutting? Is it about competitiveness? Is it about getting a better return on their infrastructure investments? John, do you have a sense of how to validate the market for IM?

Santaferraro: It’s really simple. By effectively using the information they have and further leveraging the investments that they’ve already made, there is going to be significant cost savings for the business. A lot of it comes out of just having the right insight to be able to reduce costs overall. There are even efficiencies to be had in the processing of information. It can cost a lot of money to capture data, to store it, and cleanse it.

Cleansing can be up to 70 percent of the cost of the data, trying to figure out your retention strategies. All of that is very expensive. Obviously, the companies that figure out how to streamline the handling and the management of their information are going to have major cost reductions overall.

Gardner: What about the business outcomes? Brooks, do we have a sense of what companies can do with this? If they do it properly, as John pointed out, how does that further vary the profitability, their market penetration, or perhaps even their dominance?

The way to compete

Esser: Dana, it’s really becoming the way that leading edge companies compete. I’ve seen a lot of research that suggests that CEOs are becoming increasingly interested in leveraging data more effectively in their decision-making processes. It used to be fairly simple. You would simply identify your best customers, market like heck to them, and try to maximize the revenue derived from your best customers.

Now, what we’re seeing is emphasis on getting the data right and applying analytics to an entire customer base, trying to maximize revenue from a broader customer base. We’re going to talk about a few cases today where entities got the data right, they now serve their customers better, reduced cost at the same time, and increased their profitability.

Gardner: We’ve talked about this at a fairly high level. I wonder if we could get a bit more specific. I’m curious about what is the problem that IM solves that then puts us in a position to leverage the analytics, put it in the hands of the right people, and then take those actions that cut the costs and increase the business outcome. I’m going to throw this out to anybody in our panel. What are the concrete problems that IM sets out to solve?

Esser: I’ll pick that up, Dana. Organizations all over the world are struggling with an expansion of information. In some companies, you’re seeing data doubling one year over the next. It’s creating problems for the storage environment. Managers are looking at processes like de-duplication to try to reduce the quantity of information.

Lots of information is still on paper. You’ve got to somehow get that into the mix, into your decision-making process. Then you have things like RFID tags and sensors adding to the expansion of information. There are legal requirements. When you think about the fact that most documents, even instant messages, are now considered business records, you’ve got to figure a way to capture that.

The challenge for a CIO is that you’ve got to balance the cost of IT, the cost of governance and risk issues involved in information, while at the same time, providing real insight to your business unit customer.

Then, you’re getting pressure from business leaders for timely and accurate information to make decisions with. So, the challenge for a CIO is that you’ve got to balance the cost of IT, the cost of governance and risk issues involved in information, while at the same time, providing real insight to your business unit customer. It’s a tough job.

Santaferraro: If I could throw another one in there, Dana, I recently talked to a couple of senior IT leaders, and both of them were in the same situation. They’ve been doing BI and IM for 10-plus years in their organization. They had fairly mature processes in place, but they were concerned with trying to take the insight that they had gleaned and turn it into action.

Along with all of the things that were just described by Brooks, there are a lot of companies out there that are trying to figure out how to get the data that last mile to the person on the front line who needs to make a decision. How do I get it to them in a very simple format that tells them exactly what they need to do?

So, it’s turning that insight into action, getting it to the teller in a bank, getting it to the clerk at the point of sale, or the ATM machine, or the web portal, when somebody is logging onto a banking system or a retail site.

Along with all of that, there is this new need to find a way to get the data that last mile to where it impacts a decision. For companies, that’s fairly complex, because that could mean millions of decisions every day, as opposed to just getting a report to an executive.

That whole world of the information worker and the need to use the information has changed as well, driving the need for IM.

Analyze the data

Farrell: Dana, you asked what the challenges are, and one that we see a lot is that people need to analyze the data. They'll traipse from data mart to data mart and pull data together manually. It’s time-consuming and it’s expensive. It’s fraught with error, and the fact that you have data stored in all these different data marts, just indicates that you’re going to have redundant data that’s going to be inconsistent.

Another problem is that you’ll end up with reports from different people and different departments, and they won’t match. They will have used different calculations, different definitions for business terms. They will have used different sources for the data. There is really no consistent reconciliation of all of this data and how it gets integrated.

This causes really serious problems for companies. That’s really what IM is going to help people overcome. In some cases, it doesn’t really cost as much as you’d think, because when you do IM properly, you're actually going to see some savings and correction of some of those things that I just talked about.

Gardner: It also seems to me, if you look at a historic perspective, that many of these information workers we're talking about didn’t even try to go after this sort of analytic information. They knew that it wasn’t going to be available to them. They’d probably have to wait in line.

But, if we open the floodgates and make this information available to them, it strikes me that they are going to want to start using it in new and innovative ways. That’s a good thing, but it could also tax the infrastructure and the processes that have been developed.

Without that close alignment between business and IT, a tie of the IT project to real business outcomes, and that constant monitoring by that group, it could easily get out of hand.

How do we balance an expected increase in the proactive seeking of this information? I guess we are starting to talk about the solution to IM. If we're good at it and people want it, how do we scale it? How do we ramp it up? What about that, John? How do we start in on the scaling and the automation aspect of IM?

Santaferraro: With our customers, some of the strategy and planning that we do up front helps them define IM practices internally and create things like an enterprise information competency center where the business is aligned with IT in a way that they are actually preparing for the growth of information usage. Without that close alignment between business and IT, a tie of the IT project to real business outcomes, and that constant monitoring by that group, it could easily get out of hand. The strategy and planning upfront definitely helps out.

Farrell: I'll add to that. The more effectively you bring together the IT people and the business people and get them aligned, the better the acceptance is going to be. You certainly can mandate use of the system, but that’s really not a best practice. That’s not what you want to do.

By making the information easily accessible and relevant to the business users and showing them that they can trust that data, it’s going to be a more effective system, because they are going to be more likely to use it and not just be forced to use it.

Esser: Absolutely, Vickie. When you think about it, it really is the business units within most enterprises that fund activities via a tax or however they manage to pay for these things. Doing it right means having those stakeholders involved from the very beginning of the planning process to make sure they get what they need out of any kind of an IT project.

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Gardner: It strikes me that we have a real virtuous cycle at work here, where the more people get access to better information, the more action they can take on, the more value is perceived in the information, the more demand for the information, the more that the IT folks can provide it and then so on and so forth.

Has anybody got an example of how that might show up in the real world? Do we have any use cases that capture that virtuous adoption benefit?

Better customer service

Farrell: Well, one comes to mind. It’s an insurance company that we have worked with for several years. It’s a regional health insurance company faced with competition from national companies. They decided that they needed to make better use of their data to provide better services for their members, the patients as well as the providers, and also to create a more streamlined environment for themselves.

And so, to bring the IT and business users together, they developed an enterprise data warehouse that would be a common resource for all of the data. They ensured that it was accurate and they had a certain level of data quality.

They had outsourced some of the health management systems to other companies. Diabetes was outsourced to one company. Heart disease was outsourced to another company. It was expensive. By bringing it in house, they were able to save the money, but they were also able to do a better job, because they could integrate the data from one patient, and have one view of that patient.

That improved the aggregate wellness score overall for all of their patients. It enabled them to share data with the care providers, because they were confident in the quality of that data. It also saved them some administrative cost, and they recouped the investment in the first year.

Gardner: Any other examples, perhaps examples that demonstrate how IM and HP’s approach to IM come together?

More real-time applications and more mission-critical applications are coming and there is not going to be the time to do the manual integration.

Farrell: Another thing that we're doing is working with several health organizations in states in the US. We did one project several years ago and we are now in the midst of another one. The idea here is to integrate data from many different sources. This is health data from clinics, schools, hospitals, and so on throughout the state.

This enables you to do many things like run programs on childhood obesity, for example, assess the effectiveness of the program, and assess the overall cost and the return on the investment of that program. It helps to identify classes of people who need extra help, who are at risk.

Doing this gives you the opportunity to bring together and integrate in a meaningful way data from all these different sources. Once that’s been done, that can serve not only these systems, but also some of the potential systems more real-time systems that we see coming down the line, like emergency surveillance systems that would detect terrorist threat, bioterrorism threats, pandemics, and things like that.

It's important to understand and be able to get this data integrated in a meaningful way, because more real-time applications and more mission-critical applications are coming and there is not going to be the time to do the manual integration that I talked about before.

Gardner: It certainly sounds like a worthwhile thing. It sounds like the return on investment (ROI) is strong and that virtuous adoption is very powerful. So, John Santaferraro, what is that HP does that could help companies get in the IM mode?

Obviously, this is not just something you buy and drop in. It's more than just methodologies as well. What are the key ingredients, and how does HP pull them together?

Bringing information together

Santaferraro: We find that a lot of our customers have very disconnected sets of intelligence and information. So, we look at how we can bring that whole world of information together for them and provide a connected intelligence approach. We are actually a complete provider of enterprise class industry-specific IM solutions.

There are a lot of areas where we drill down and bring in our expertise. We have expertise around several business domains like customer relationship management, risk, and supply chain. We go to market with specific solutions from 13 different industries. As a complete solution provider, we provide everything from infrastructure to financing.

Obviously, HP has all of the infrastructure that a customer needs. We can package their IM solution in a single finance package that hits either CAPEX or OPEX. We've got software offerings. We've got our consulting business that comes in and helps them figure out how to do everything from the strategy that we talked about upfront and planning to the actual implementation.

We can help them break into new areas where we have practices around things like master data management or content management or e-discovery.

Across the entire IM spectrum, we have offerings that will help our customers solve whatever their problems are. I like to approach our customers and say, "Give us your most difficult and complex information challenge and we would love to put you together with people who have addressed those challenges before and with technology that’s able to help you do it and even create innovation as a business."

Everyone in the IM market partners with other firms to some extent.

When we've come in and laid the IM foundation for our customers and given them a solid technology platform -- Neoview is a great example -- we find that they began to look at what they've got. It really triggers a whole lot of brand-new innovation for companies that are doing IM the right way.

Gardner: Given these vertical industries, I imagine there are some partners involved there, a specialist in specific regions as well as specific industries. Brooks, is there an ecosystem at work here as well, and how does that shape up?

Esser: Absolutely, Dana. Everyone in the IM market partners with other firms to some extent. We've chosen some strategic partners that complement our capabilities as well. For example, we team with Informatica for our data integration platform and SAP BusinessObjects and MicroStrategy for our BI platform.

We work with a company called Clearwell, and we leverage their e-discovery platform to deliver a solution that helps customers leverage the information in their corporate email systems. We work with Microsoft to deliver HP Enterprise Content Management Solution. So we really have an excellent group of go-to-market partners to leverage.

Gardner: We've talked about the context of the market, why the economy is important, and we looked at some of the imperatives from a business point of view, why this is essential to compete, what problems you need to overcome, and the solution.

So, in order to get towards this notion of a payback, it's important to know where to get started. There seem to be so many inception points, so many starting points. Let me take this to you, John. The holistic approach of being comprehensive, but at the same time, breaking this into parts that are manageable, how do you do that?

Best practices

Santaferraro: One of the things that we have done is made our best practices available and accessible to our customers. We actually operationalize them. A lot of consulting companies will come and plop a big fat manual on the desk and say we have a methodology.

We've created an offering called the methodology navigator which actually walks the customers through the entire project in an interactive environment, where depending on whatever step of the project they are in, they can click on a little box that represents that step and quickly access templates, accelerators, and best practices that are directly relevant to that particular step.

We look at this holistic approach, but we also break it down into best practices that apply to every single step along the way.

Gardner: This whole thing sounds like a no-brainer to me. I don’t know whether I am overly optimistic, but I can see applying more information to your personal life, your small business as well as your department and then of course, your comprehensive enterprise.

I think we're entering into a data-driven decade. The more data, the more better decisions, the more productivity. It's how you grow. Brooks, why do you think it’s a no-brainer? Am I overstating the case?

It's how leading edge companies are going to compete, particularly in a tough and the volatile economy.

Esser: I don’t think you are, Dana. It's how leading edge companies are going to compete, particularly in a tough and the volatile economy, as we have seen over the last 5, 7, 8 years. It's really simple. Better information about your customers can help you drive incremental revenue from your existing customer base. The cool part about it is that better information can help you prevent loss of customers that you already have. You know them better and know how to keep them satisfied.

Every marketer knows that it's a lot less expensive to keep a current customer than it is to go out and acquire a new one. So the ROI for IM projects can be phenomenal and, to your point, that makes it kind of a no-brainer.

Gardner: Vickie, we apply this to customers, we apply it to patients, payers, end-users, but are there other directions to point this at? Perhaps supply chain, perhaps thinking about cloud computing and multiple sources of finding social media metadata about processes, customers, suppliers. Are we only scratching the surface in a sense of how we apply IM?

Farrell: I think we probably are. I don’t know that there are any industries that can't make use of better organizing their data and better analyzing their data and making use of that insight that they’ve gained to make better decisions. In fact, across the board, one of the biggest issues that people have is making better decisions.

In some cases, it's providing information to humans through reports or queries, so that they can make the decisions. What we're going to be seeing -- and this gets to what you were talking about -- is that when data is coming in in real time from sensors and things like that, it has location context. It's very rich data, and it provides you with a lot of information and a lot of variables to make the best decisions based on all those variables that are taking place at that time.

Where once we were maybe developing a handful of possible scenarios and picking the closest one, we don’t have to do that anymore. We can really make use of all of that information and make the absolute best decision right then and there. I don’t really think that there are any industries or domains that can't make use of that kind of capability.

Capturing more data

Santaferraro: Dana, I love what we are doing in the oil and gas industry. We have taken the sensors from our printers, and they are some of the most sensitive sensors in the world, and we are doing a project with Shell Oil, where we are actually embedding our sensors at the tip of a drill head.

As it goes down, it's going to capture seismic data that is 100 times more accurate than anything that's been captured in the past. It's going to send it up through a thing called IntelliPipe which is a five-megabyte feed is this correct that goes up through the drill pipe and back up to the well head, where we will be capturing that in real time.

Seismic data tends to be dirty by nature. It needs to be cleansed. So, we're building a real-time cleansing engine to cleanse that data, and then we are capturing it on the back-end in our digital oil field intelligence offering. It's really fun to see as the world changes, there are all these new opportunities for collecting and using information, even in industries that tend to be a little more traditional and mechanical.

Gardner: That's a very interesting point that the more precise we get with instrumentation, the more data, the more opportunity to work with it and then to crunch that in real-time offers us the predictive aspect rather than a reactive aspect.

As I said, it's been compelling and a no-brainier for me. John, you mentioned an on ramp to this, that it's really the methodological approach. Are there any resources, are there places people can go to get more information, to start factoring where in their organization they will get their highest returns, perhaps focus there and then start working outward towards that more holistic benefit?

It's really up to the customers in terms of how they want to start out.

Let me go to you first, Brooks. Where can people go for more information?

Esser: Of course, I'm going to tell folks to talk to their HP reps. In the course of our discussion today, it's pretty obvious that IM projects are huge undertakings, and we understand that. So, we offer a group of assessment and planning services. They can help customers scope out their projects.

We have a couple of ways to get started. We can start with a business value assessment service. This is service that sets people up with a business case and tracks ROI, once they decide on a project. But, the interesting piece of that is they can choose to focus on data integration, master data management, what have you.

You look at the particular element of IM and build a project around that. This assessment service allows people to identify the element in their IM environment, their current environment, that will give them the best ROI. Or, we can offer them a master planning service which generates really comprehensive IM plan, everything from data protection and information quality to advanced analytics.

So, it's really up to the customers in terms of how they want to start out, taking a look at the element of their IM environment, or if they want us to come in and look at the entire environment, we can say, "Here's what you need to do to really transform the entire IM environment."

Obviously, you can get details on those services and our complete portfolio for that matter at and

Gardner: Vickie, any sense of where you would point people when they ask do I get started, where can I get more information?

Farrell: Well, I think Brooks covered it. All of our information is at We also have another site that's There is some specific information about the Neoview Advantage enterprise data warehouse platform there.

Gardner: Very well. John Santaferraro, how about from professional services and solutions perceptive; any resources that you have in mind?

Santaferraro: Probably the hottest topic that I have heard from customers in the last year or so has been around the development of the BI competency center. Again if you go to our BI site, you will find some additional information there about the concept of a BICC.

And the other trend that I am seeing is that a lot of companies are wanting to move from just the BI space with that kind of governance. They want to create an enterprise information competency center, so expanding beyond BI to include all of IM.

We have got some great services available to help people set those up. We have customers that have been working in that kind of a governance environment for three or four years. The beautiful thing is that companies that have been doing this for three or four years are doing transformational things for their business.

They are really closely tied to business mission, vision, and objective, versus other companies that are doing a bunch of one-off projects. One customer recently had spent $11 million in a project over the last year, and they were still trying to figure out where they were going to get value out of the project.

Again, heading over to our BI website -- type in BICC, do a search -- there is some great documentation there I think that you will find to help set up some of the governance side.

Gardner: Well great. We've been talking about a natural progression towards data-driven business decisions and using IM to scale that and bring more types of data and content into play. I want to thank our guests for toady's podcast. We've been joined by Brooks Esser, Worldwide Marking Lead for Information Management Solutions at HP. Thank you, Brooks.

Esser: Thanks very much for having me, Dana.

Gardner: John Santaferraro. He is the Director of Marketing and Industry Communications for BI Solutions. Thank you, John.

Santaferraro: Thanks, Dana. Glad to be here.

Gardner: And also, Vickie Farrell, Manager of Market Strategy for BI Solutions. Thanks so much.

Farrell: Thank you, Dana. This is a pleasure.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. You’ve been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast. Thanks for listening, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Learn more. Sponsor: HP.

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Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on how companies are leveraging information management solutions to drive better business decisions in real time. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Information Management Targets E-Discovery, Compliance, Legal Risks While Delivering Long-term BI and Governance Benefits

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on the need to manage explosive growth of information within enterprises to head off legal risks and penalties.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Learn more. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on gaining control over information sprawl at enterprises. We'll take a look at the short-term and potentially massive savings from thwarting legal discovery fulfillment problems in advance by controlling information. And we'll examine how management lifecycle approaches can bring long-term payoffs through better analytics, and regulatory compliance, while reducing the cost of data storage and archiving.

To help us better understand the perils and promise around the well-managed -- versus the haphazard -- information oversight approach, we're joined by two executives from Hewlett-Packard (HP).

Please join me in welcoming Jonathan Martin, Vice President and General Manager for Information Management at HP. Welcome, Jonathan.

Jonathan Martin: Hi, Dana. Good to be here.

Gardner: We’re also joined by Gaynelle Jones, Discovery Counsel at HP. Thanks for joining, Gaynelle.

Gaynelle Jones: Hi, Dana. Good to be here.

Gardner: Let us start with you, Jonathan. We've seen quite a bit of change in the business issues around information, including risk, compliance, and oversight. Could you help set up our discussion by helping us understand how the world has changed in the past year or two, and why information management issues have become more prominent?

Martin: If you look at every organization over the last 20 years or so, fundamentally they've built a majority of their business processes on top of information technology (IT). And, the information that flows through those IT systems tends to be one of the core assets of any business in today's economy.

Now, over the last five to 10 years, we've become increasingly addicted to information, both at home and at work. At home, the idea, even three years ago, of walking around with 40,000 songs in your pocket would have been a little crazy. Today, we do it almost as habit. At work today, 85 percent of our business communications go by email.

What we've seen is a trend that's been going on for the last 15 to 20 years, and the size of it is beginning to really impact businesses. This trend is that information tends to either double every year in developing countries, and tends to double about every 18 months in developed organizations. Today, we're creating more information than we have ever created before, and we tend to be using limited tools to manage that information. We're getting less business value from the information that we create.

Over the last few years, organizations have put in place what we might call an ILM strategy. Some vendors like to tell you, it stands for the "information lifecycle management." A lot of customers who have been through the pain of an ILM implementations will tell you, it's really about "investing lots more."

Throwing more capacity

That's really been the way that the problem is being solved -- just throwing more and more capacity at the problem and throwing more and more storage space, and more and more available space to store this information.

Unfortunately, in the last 18 months or so, the economy has begun to slow down, so that concept of just throwing more and more capacity at the problem is causing challenges for organizations. Today, organizations aren't looking at expanding the amount of information that's stored. They're actually looking at new ways to reduce the amount of information.

At the same time, we're going into the stage of the economic cycle where everyone is thinking beyond how to reduce cost and cash burn, and how to ensure that this never happens again. Eight years ago, we saw the economy go through a similar cycle.

As we began to bump along the bottom in 2002 and pull back into recovery in 2003, we saw the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley. Coming into 2010, both in the US and in Europe, there is going to be a new wave of a regulation that organizations are going to have to take on board about how they manage their business information.

Gardner: So the business risks have certainly gone up, but it looks like one particular type of risk is pressing, the legal risk. Gaynelle would you tell us a little bit about your background, what your role is at HP, and why the legal aspects of information management are so important?

Jones: Oh, certainly, Dana. I'm the Discovery Counsel at HP. I work with the litigation group in managing the discovery process for HP. I've been a litigation manager, as well as a prosecutor and a trial judge. Because we have black-letter law that computerized data is discoverable if relevant, and because of the enormous amount of electronic information that we are dealing with, the litigants have to be concerned with discovery, in identifying and producing it, and making sure it's admissible.

I'm charged here with developing and working with both the IT and the litigation teams around making sure that we are compliant, and that we respond quickly to identify our electronically stored information, and that we get it in a form that can be produced in the litigation.

Gardner: Now, the stakes here are quite high. Not being able to fulfill the quest for discovery and for information in its various electronics forms can come at a high penalty. Do you have any examples of how that can work?

Horror stories in the news

Jones: Oh, absolutely. There are horror stories that have been in the news in recent years around major companies such as Morgan Stanley, Enron, Qualcomm and a host of others being sanctioned for not following and complying properly with the discovery rules. In Morgan Stanley and Zubulake, the court issued adverse inference instructions, because data was lost. Morgan Stanley had a jury return of verdict around $1.4 billion, and in Zubulake, the jury returned $29-million verdict.

In each case, companies failed to properly implement litigation rules, directly pointing to their failure to properly manage their electronic information. So the sanctions and the penalties can be enormous if we don't get a hold of this and comply.

Gardner: And these types of legal requests or at least legal issues are not uncommon at large organizations. Do you have any sense of what the typical legal caseload is typically?

Jones: It depends on the enterprise. At HP, we have everything, which puts us sort of on the cutting edge to develop and really come up with some best practices. But the typical enterprise would have data around employment matters. You would be dealing with the human-resource databases.

It might have contracts, and have to deal with keeping up with the contracts, emails, and correspondence. Emails, by themselves, have tremendous issues in terms of identifying and preserving, as well as voice mail and instant messages.

At HP, we have hundreds, if not thousands, of database applications that contain our business

We've seen, over the last few years, organizations move from taking a very reactive approach on these kinds of issues to a more proactive or more of a robust approach.

records, our sales records, our revenue, our marketing, and so forth. So, we have dynamic databases, and all of these things can come into play in litigation, if they have relevant information.

Gardner: Jonathan, you mentioned earlier the issues around compliance and the fact that regulations are bound to creep up in a number of industries and in different countries as well. Between the regulatory issues and the legal issues, it seems like there is an awful lot of money to be saved by doing this correctly.

Martin: Absolutely. We've seen, over the last few years, organizations move from taking a very reactive approach on these kinds of issues to a more proactive or more of a robust approach. We heard from Gaynelle earlier some of the examples of the reactive approach. Organizations that are in this mode tend to take one of three ways as strategies for solving their problems.

They may trust their employees to do the right things. Obviously, everybody knows that translating policy into day-to-day behaviors for employees is not always easy. Employees, by their very nature, in the main don't tend to be particularly okay with legal or regulatory requirements of the organization.

Trusting the lawyers

The second one is that they trust their lawyers. When they run into an issue and they're subpoenaed for some information, or required to present information from an audit, they pull in a couple of bus-loads of lawyers, and get the lawyers to dig or troll through miles and miles of content to try and find the relevant information. It tends to be a very, very expensive approach to just finding information.

The third one is that they trust that their IT consultants. When the subpoena for a piece of information to come in, to find that one email in hundreds of millions of emails that the organization sends. So, as you see, we've got lots of examples in the industry of why taking a reactive approach to a litigation readiness or the ability to respond to an audit is a bad one.

Over the last two to three years, organizations began to take a more proactive approach. They're gathering the content that's most likely to be used in an audit, or that's most likely to be used in a legal matter, and consolidating that into one location. They're indexing it in the same way and setting a retention schedule for it, so that when they're required to respond to litigation or are required to respond to an audit or a governance request, all the information is in one place. They can search it very quickly.

Gardner: Of course, we've also seen a great deal of additional types of content. We're talking about all sorts of electronic. We're talking about social media, where folks are blogging, and they are using sources that are offsite and that are in someone else's servers, perhaps in a cloud environment, and we're also, I suppose, thinking about paper. How do we think about approaching this proactively, when it's such a mish-mash of content types?

Martin: At first, the problem statement may look absolutely enormous. What we see is that

SharePoint is a business that is exploding for Microsoft right now. It's growing like wildfire through many organizations.

organizations begin to chunk that problem statement down into the areas that a subpoena is most likely to target or the area an audit is most likely to target. Typically, if you think of the things that subpoenas look for in an audit, they tend to look for business conversations.

We've already identified that 85 percent of business conversations today go through email. So, as organizations begin to take a more proactive approach to electronic discovery -- as it is called in the US, and electronic disclosure, as it is called in the rest of the world -- they really focus on email first of all.

So they're gathering all emails that the organization sends, consolidating them into one place, indexing them, setting retention schedule for them, and getting them ready, should they be required to respond.

Subsequently, the area that is very much in focus now is Microsoft SharePoint content. As you know, SharePoint is a business that is exploding for Microsoft right now. It's growing like wildfire through many organizations, and is being used in a very different way than traditional content management applications.

It's a very collaborative, free-form, and very easy-to-use set of tools. Typically, we see lots of projects spinning up within organizations. As the project begins, they will spin up a SharePoint along with it, as a repository, where they can put all the content relating to the project, as well as the meeting minutes for the projects, the collaboration, etc.

New wave of solutions

This really becomes the central point within the project team for them to collaborate. Typically, the things that are going into those are meeting minutes, statements of work, draft contracts, submissions, etc. -- by anybody's definition, true business records. We're beginning to see a shift from the auditors and the litigators, away from just focusing on business conversations on email, to begin to target this new wave of content-management solutions, particularly around SharePoint.

Gardner: I see. We're looking at structured content, unstructured content, communications, and even minutes for meetings. I want to go back to Gaynelle, if I could. We're not just talking here about crisis intervention. It seems to me that, over time, this is going to be something that will pay back in significant ways, when it comes to managing intellectual property, protecting rights, and the use of very important information within the organization.

Jones: Absolutely. You have to be concerned with all sorts of issues and litigation, including the ones you've mentioned, as well as privacy issues with the data that you're dealing with, and other regulatory areas, issues that might impact upon the information that you have.

You have to be able to identify and manage the information and think ahead about where you're likely to have to pull it in and produce it, and make a plan for addressing these issues before you have to actually respond. When you're managing a lot of litigation, you have to respond in a quick timeframe, by law. You don't have time to then sit down and draw up your plan.

When you are doing it then, you are paying outsiders -- legal fees to the outside counsel, their

. . . organizations that went through this shift from reactive to proactive two to three years ago have actually got a new asset within the organization.

associates, and so forth. This makes the process at least twice as expensive, than if you've planned ahead, strategized, and know where your information was, so that when the time comes, you could find it and preserve it and produce it.

Gardner: Jonathan, the economic payback here can be very large and impactful, because of the prevention of these discovery problem awards. Certainly, you can react more quickly to issues around security and risk, but it strikes me that there is a long-term benefit as well. The return on investment (ROI) isn't immediate and impactful at a crisis level, but perhaps at an analytics level. We hear similar rationale around why we should invest in business intelligence (BI), for example?

Martin: Today, eyeballs are very focused on information governance around risk litigation. What we're seeing, though, is that organizations that went through this shift from reactive to proactive two to three years ago have actually generated a new asset within the organization.

If you logically think through the process, as an organization, you are taking a more proactive stance. You're capturing all of those emails, you're capturing content from file systems and your SharePoint systems. You're pulling sales orders. You get purchase request from your database environment. You're consolidating maybe miles and miles of paper into a digital form and bringing all of this content into one compliance archive.

This information is in one place. If you're able to add better classification of the content, a better way of a layer of meaning to the content, suddenly you have a tool in place that allows you to analyze the information in the organization, model information in the organization, and use this information to make better business decisions.

Unstructured data

Traditionally, as you've mentioned, BI is focused solely on structured content, content that sits in databases. Today, 80 percent of the information an organization creates is actually in an unstructured form. If any of you went to business school, you'll know all about that 80-20 rule. You're supposed to focus on that 80. In BI, we tend to focus on the 20.

Organizations are finding, by going through an e-discovery initiative and by going through a more proactive approach to this, they ultimately end up with a brand-new repository in the organization that can help them make better business decisions, leveraging the majority of the content that the organization creates.

Gardner: Now that we understand the dimension of the problem and that there are significant short-term and long-term payoffs, how do you start approaching the solution? You did talk about chunking it up a little earlier. That made a great deal of sense, but is there an overarching vision of how to think about information differently that perhaps sets the stage for beginning this process?

Martin: There are probably a couple of stages that we see organizations go through. The first one is just to catalog the information that you have out there. Use some kind of stored user-management technology to find where all the information resides in the organization.

An example of that might be something like the Storage Essential Suite from HP. This really

Some applications you may never be able to retire. Other applications, you might have a duplication of capability within the datacenter.

allows you to identify where all the applications are in the organization, where all the content sits, where the databases are, and where all the storage arrays are. That gives you the ability to find all the information.

The second step is to de-duplicate the content in the organization. There are really two ways that we can do this. First, may be to take a huge swage of information by retiring legacy applications, through applications that fit into data center that may be required for regulatory or reporting reasons, but consume power, heating, lighting, support, service, license requirements etc.

Target those applications. Some applications you may never be able to retire. Other applications, you might have a duplication of capability within the data center. So, begin to de-duplicate the systems or retire the systems that are no longer required. Equally, get focused on de-duplicating the actual content that the organization creates.

Take an HP example, if [HP Chairman and CEO] Mark Hurd sends out an email to everybody with 2009 goals, everybody realize this is an important email. It's got nice attachments and a PowerPoint associated with it. So, everybody in the organization says, "I need to save this." Mark Hurd sends out one email, and it ends up getting saved 300,000 times.

That's an extreme example of duplication. On average, every piece of information an organization creates gets duplicated somewhere between 5 and 20 times by the time it has been backed up, sent to other people in emails, etc.

The second step, once you've discovered all of this content, is to begin to de-duplicate or cull down the amount of content. Once you've done that, the third step tends to be to take the content that's most likely to be used in a discovery exercise and put it into a system of record.

Consolidating content

There are a series of products from HP, products like HP TRIM for records management, and HP Integrated Archive Platform for storing, archiving and retrieving content, that allow you to take all of these different types of content, consolidate them into one place, index them, set the retention schedule, and store them for long term preservation.

The final step, once you've got all that content in one place, is to add a layer of analytic or modeling capability to allow you to manipulate that content and respond quickly to a subpoena or an audit request.

Gardner: Gaynelle, listening to Jonathan explain the overarching vision for this, could you, as a consumer of this, help us understand, when you do this, what the net results are?

Jones: Absolutely. We've been really fortunate to be able to jump up and get first in line, shall we say, for the benefits of these products. We're working right now on putting an evidence repository in place, so that we can collect information that's been identified, bring it over, and then search on it. So, you can do early electronic searches, do some of the de-duping that Jonathan has talked about, and get some early case assessment.

Our counsel can find out quickly what kind of emails we've got and get a sense of what the case is

The earlier you do it, and more that it's planned, the more it's a shared expense.

worth long before we have to collect it and turn it over to our outside vendors for processing. That's where we're moving at this point.

We think it's going to have tremendous benefit for us in terms of getting on top of our litigation early on, reducing the cost of the data that we end up sending outside for processing, and of course, saving cost across the board, because we can do so much of it through our own management systems, when they're in place. We're really anxious and excited to see how this is going to help us in our overall litigation strategy and in our cost.

Gardner: Now, of course, now a days, we can't look for much discretionary spending. Any requests for spending are highly scrutinized, but I'm curious. When it comes to this legally mandated and enforcement approach with information, where does the PO come from? Who signs on the bottom line to say that we need this? Is this an IT expenditure, a business expenditure, or a legal expenditure. Gaynelle, do you have any sense of that -- or you, Jonathan, as well?

Jones: I'll start, and Jonathan deals with it at a broader stage. Ideally, we get involved, if we don't do it ahead of time in terms of planning. This is what we're doing with our evidence repository, and it becomes a part that will be shared across the business. If you wait until you are actually in the litigation, then it generally ends up being paid by the business, or the group that owns that litigation. So the earlier you do it, and more that it's planned, the more it's a shared expense. At least, that's the way we do it at HP.

From reactive to proactive

Martin: Absolutely. If you move from that kind of reactive to proactive approach, you commonly see the creation of what we would call "the committee." Typically, the committee is a combination of representatives from the legal side of an organization, as well as the IT side of an organization.

Typically today, these e-discovery projects don't get funded at the start of the year. They're one of those things that IT typically doesn't have a line item for. When they get subpoenaed to do something, then it suddenly become a priority, as we've already heard.

What you tend to find is that the committee gets together, looks at what the legal operating budget looks like, and where they're spending money on doing these requests, and by bringing these capability in-house, are they able to shift money from the legal operating budget to an IT budget to be able to gain some efficiency.

Just from a purely IT perspective, you can see almost immediate return by going down this path of retiring applications that are no longer required in the organization. Obviously, every application you have up and running creates a footprint, requires cooling, lighting etc. You can decommission these applications, while maintaining access to the content that they use to create. There's an immediate return for the organization.

Gardner: I'm curious about what is to come in terms of technology. We've certainly seen lot of

Just from a purely IT perspective, you can see almost immediate return by going down this path of retiring applications that are no longer required in the organization.

interesting advances around consolidation and warehousing of data. Again, perhaps mostly on the structured side, we've seen them around BI and analytics, but are there any activities at, say, HP labs for example, that point to the opportunity be doing yet more with this problem set?

Martin: Yes, there are probably two big areas on the horizon. The organizations that have been through the fundamentals like the capture process, the collection process, and the preservation process are beginning to think about.

The first is the scope of content that they capture. Increasingly, we're seeing more and more content move into the cloud. This is may be coming from a top-down initiative, or from a cost or capability perspective. Organizations are saying, "Maybe it's no longer cost effective for us to run an email environment internally. What we'd like to do is put that into the cloud, be able to manage email in the cloud, or have our email managed in the cloud.”

Or, it may come from the grassroots, bottom up, where employees, when they come to work, are beginning to act more and more like consumers. They bring consumer-type technology with them, something like Facebook or social networking sites. They're coming to the organization to set up a project team and to set up a Facebook community, and they collaborate using that.

New implications

So we're seeing either top-down or grassroots-up content moving into the cloud. From a regulatory perspective, a governance perspective, or a legal perspective, this has new implications for the organizations. A lot of organizations are struggling a little bit on how do they respond to that.

Gardner: So, in this case, the source data might not be in your control, but you would have access to the metadata about that data, and that becomes yet another aspect of your systems of record in your index.

Martin: Yes, potentially, and how do you discover this content, how are you required to capture this content, or are they the same, legal obligations, the content that's inside your data center of this various IT data centers? How do you address applications, maybe mashups, where content may be spread across 20 to 30 different data centers. It's a whole new vista of issues that are beginning to appear as content moves into the cloud.

Jones: We're seeing some of that now with situations in our litigation, where we have our third-party set managing our data. We have an obligation to make sure that that gets preserved.

Even smaller enterprises that perhaps may think that they don't have to deal with some of these issues, if they're providing services to companies like ours, will need to be able to have management or preservation programs in place, because we have to reach out. We're seeing in litigation where you have to deal with telephone company providers, the cable company providers, and other providers. So, it's not only managing your information, but getting access and preserving for litigation that information that others maybe managing.

Gardner: So, from your perspective, Gaynelle, we've already got a difficult situation that

The courts haven't yet addressed the cloud era, but it's going to definitely be one for which we're going to have to have a plan in place.

perhaps is going to become more difficult with the advent of a cloud era.

Jones: Right. The courts haven't yet addressed the cloud era, but it's going to definitely be one for which we're going to have to have a plan in place. The sooner you start being aware of it, asking the questions, and developing a strategy, the better. Once again, you're not being reactive and, hopefully, you're saving money in the process.

Gardner: I appreciate the discussion. It's been very interesting. To finish up, how do folks start to get a handle on this? Are there some steps or some places for information? Where do you begin on this journey?

Martin: Probably one of the best ways to learn is from the experience of others. We've invested quite heavily over the last year in building a community for the uses of our products, as well as the potential use of our products, to share best practices and ideas around this concept of information and governance that we've been talking about today, as well as just broader information management issues.

There is a website, If you go there, you'll see lots of information from former users about how they're using their technology. If you're interested in going beyond education and getting an understanding of how HP might be able to help you in your environment with these kind of issues, we run something called the Information Management Transformation Experience Workshop, which is quite a mouthful.

If you search for IM Transformation Workshop on the HP site, you'll find that, and from there you'll be able to engage with us. Typically, it's a half-day workshop experience where we come in and brainstorm on what the issues might be and best practices that we might have for getting them solved. It's a kickoff to a broader engagement.

Gardner: Very good. We've been learning about the perils and promise of mismanaging, and then perhaps getting a proactive handle over, information and content and providing a governance approach, and a life cycle approach. We really appreciate the input from Jonathan Martin, Vice President and General Manager for Information Management at HP. Thank you, Jonathan.

Martin: Thanks, Dana.

Gardner: And also, Gaynelle Jones, Discovery Counsel at HP. Thanks so much, Gaynelle.

Jones: My pleasure.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions. You have been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast. Thanks for listening, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Learn more. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard.

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on the need to manage explosive growth of information within enterprises to head off legal risks and penalties. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2009. All rights reserved.