October 04, 2012 - 10:26 AM
Many of us remember, and may have used this excuse when we were younger. For some reason, we made a choice not to complete a school assignment and when the teacher asked for it, the answer was the dog ate it. Of course this brought many laughs from the class but not typically from the teacher or the parents. (I still feel the sting associated with the results of this excuse.) Today, the scenario has changed in that the dog is no longer the culprit for loss of digital information it is the PC or even the cloud. Every time I hear that the cloud ate some bit of information that is no longer findable, the vision in my mind is that of a cloud shaped Pac Man passing across the sky gobbling up everything it can find.
Of course this is not the case and no the cloud did not eat your information in a way that it is never to be found again. What is does mean is that if you are to use the cloud, especially for business, you must plan for it as you would any other information technology. You must organize and tag your information in a way that makes it findable not only to you but anyone in your organization having a need for it as well. This means that consistent practices in the way information is captured, stored managed, preserved and delivered is essential to the level of success you expect. If you have 1,000 employees and each applies their own tags – which by the way no two are the same and there is no linkage between the tags – how will you find all of the relevant information you seek? It is one thing to search for information and another to find it. The fact you are choosing a cloud application is irrelevant to the level of findability.
In my view, cloud applications are a good thing and a solid approach for some businesses but they should not be the scapegoat for poor information and process management practices. If you placed something in the cloud and you can no longer find it, the likelihood the cloud ate it is highly unlikely. It is more likely and logical that the way it was stored was not part of a consistent practice and the cerebral filing method used is in failure – you forgot where you put it and what you called it. Consistency, repeatability, and predictability are what most organizations expect from their information management practices and systems. The way to achieve this is through planning, structure, and continuous improvement. Whether it is in the cloud or on-premise, the approach should be the same and the technology not the blame.
If you are ready to move forward and are finding yourself stuck or unfocused and are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started. Be sure to investigate AIIM's Enterprise Content Management training program.
And be sure to read the AIIM Training Briefing on ECM (authored by yours truly). Click on the image to download and read.
What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.
Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
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This post and comment(s) reflect the personal perspectives of community members, and not necessarily those of their employers or of AIIM International