Andrew White

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a research vice president and agenda manager for MDM and Analytics at Gartner. His main research focus is master data management (MDM) and the drill-down topic of creating the "single view of the product" using MDM of product data. He was co-chair… Read Full Bio

“Forward Guidance” versus the Peril and Pleasure of Ignorance

by Andrew White  |  October 17, 2014  |  2 Comments

I was dismayed after reading two articles.  One in yesterday’s US print edition of the Financial Times, the other from today’s Wall Street Journal.

Bank of Canada turns sceptical on forward guidance

The Bank of Canada was an early adopter and pioneer of “forward guidance”.  This practice has become popular with central banks around the world.  The last head of the Canadian central bank took the same job recently with the Bank of England.   Forward guidance is the practice of sharing with the market and public at large the expectations of the future by the central bank.  Such guidance typically focuses on the future timing and scale of changes interest rates.  The idea is that by exposing such “forward guidance”, the market would be less exposed to sudden shocks.  In the past a central bank might have changed interest rates with little warning.  Markets tend to over react to shocks.

An article in yesterday’s Financial Times, called “Bank of Canada turns sceptical on forward guidance“, reported that the current head of the central bank thinks such practices are best saved for times of crisis.  The article goes on to suggest that Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, argues that there is too much uncertainty to make the effort worthwhile.  Excuse me?  That is exactly why forward guidance should be used!  In times of certainty we don’t need such help.  Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.  Most central banks have elaborate; if outdated and very manual, data gathering processes and data analysis teams crunching numbers all the time.  If these guys can’t get their act together, who can?  It is because of the very same uncertainty Mr. Poloz refers that we need his best guesses. Maybe we need more forward guidance on his own confidence in his own data.  That might help us all hedge….

Jack Lew, Investment Killer

In an article in today’s US print edition of the Wall Street Journal, an Option piece (Jack Lew, Investment Kill) shows just how messed up the current US administration is with what drives growth in our economy.  The tax rule changes invigorated by the Treasury Secretary will actually slow investment in US by reducing the motivation of rational firms to repatriate their profits from overseas enterprise.  I think the situation is actually laughable.  I really can’t fathom why we put up with this madness.  The US, as the Opinion piece mentions, is one of the few developed nations that double taxes profits from overseas operations.  That should be stopped, not enhanced.  Our leaders, our policy makers, are completely out of touch with how rational firms operate, and how organizations compete.  They think they can do better.  Oh, hang on, we have heard that line before…


Category: Corporate Inversion Forward Guidance Interest Rates     Tags:

Economic Minute #4: Global Call for Bretton Woods II

by Andrew White  |  October 16, 2014  |  2 Comments

I spied two articles recently that caught my eye.  One was an Opinion piece calling for unbridled market driven economic growth (and a withdrawal from crony-centric, big government based socialism.  The other concerns capital flows.  The two topics and articles are related.

Behind the Global Growth Slowdown

In yesterday’s US print edition of the Wall Street Journal, Brian Wesbury (Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors, LP) derailed an Opinion piece a call to arms. Enough, already, of the centralist “we know better” government guided economy.  In fact he highlights some interesting data.  The Euro zone is led by governments with some of the highest public spending, as a percentage of GDP.  The US in contrast has lower public spending.  Mr. Wesbury highlights the crowding out effect of public spending over private.  He states the obvious, derided by socialists, that it is the private sector that creates wealth; public sector tends to re-distribute, not generate.

The world needs different ways of taming capital flows

The second article was from the US print edition of Friday’s (October 10th) Financial Times.  It too was a “Comment” piece, by Paul Tucker, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England, and senior fellow at Harvard university).  His piece looked at how capital flows follow trade patterns and so grease the wheels of growth and progress.  During periods like the gold standard and Bretton Woods, capital flows were closely monitored and even controlled, to help preserve exchange rate differentials and so support the idea of stable prices.  Today capital flows are much freer to hunt for margin in near real time, almost globally. He also suggests that it is not just capital flow that define a nation’s place in the economic growth league tables, but the composition of its state balance sheet.  Too much short-term debt, compared to its trading partners, could create an opportunity for capital flow.  This then reinforces the imbalance that then only gets worse.  Eventually something breaks.  The challenge is perhaps well captured with “when cyclical or event based conditions become structural or long term conditions”.

The answer is not to control capital movements.  That would slow down the cycle of investment and curtail organic growth and natural re-balancing processes.  What the world needs now is a new Bretton Woods agreement, a Bretton Woods II, if you will.  It needs some serious advanced and developing national collaboration focused on monitoring global imbalances and orchestrating the re-balancing of same.  Such countries that need to work together include:

  • United States
  • China
  • Germany, representing the Euro, with French and Italian participation
  • Japan
  • UK
  • Canada
  • India
  • Brazil

This would be the first tier of collaboration.  Other nations would play a smaller role in following this Bretton Woods II lead.  Post Bretton Woods gave rise to the World Bank and the IMF.  These organizations are doing a reasonable job of monitoring financial and economic events, but they have no executive authority and nor are the leading nations of the world taking heed of the advice being offered.  We need action, not more reports.

The goal is not to establish capital controls.  The goal is to work with the IMF and others to monitor and reduce global trade imbalances where possible, and/or manage the result re-balancing of financial reserves that results.  This is not about saving the dollar’s status as reserve currency – it is about saving the global economy.  I now can finally glean some of the understanding Keynes must have worked through as he was seen, by America’s Harry Dexter White, as someone trying to save the pound.


Category: Bretton Woods GDP Global Economy Global Trade Globalization     Tags:

News Roundup: What the US can Learn from Britain’s Fall; Bernanke’s failed re-mortgage; and information asymmetry wins Nobel

by Andrew White  |  October 14, 2014  |  3 Comments

America, Britain and the period of Empire

Gideon Rachman, of the Financial Times, offers up a salutary “Comment” in today’s US print edition regarding the eerily similar situation the US finds itself compared to the British Empire around 1920’s.  Specifically the correlation follows in terms of political will (or lack thereof), financial weakening, and regional conflict in roughly similar areas around the world (Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Iraq).  His point being that there are lessons to learn from recent experience.  It’s a good, if too short, explanation for the comparisons.

The main warning however is in his conclusion. As Britain’s hold on empire was waning and its ability to promote order around the world weakened, the world drifted toward greater instability.  The drift toward greater unrest could hardly be prevented and soon enough, events too the world toward a Second World War.  Rachmans’s warning is clear. The good news, not explored in his Commentary, is that the failings of the two ‘Empires’ are similar, but current conditions are not as dire as they were for Britain back then.  The US can keep printing money; there is no natural “replacement” for the dollar; and better yet, all other developed and developing nations have their own imbalances to worry about.  For Britain, Germany was already challenging global trade dominance and the US was just waking up and getting ready to take over the role of worlds’ creditor.

We do need, however, to remain watchful.  China is a key red flag.  Indolent smaller offspring too, like North Korea, may yet sap the patience of its peers.  The biggest risk we face, perhaps, is deflation….

Bernanke’s failed mortgage application exposes the flaw in banking

In another FT “Comment”, Amir Sufi (co author of House of Debt, and professor of finance at the university of Chicago Booth School of Business) highlights a fascinating irony on the news that Ben Bernanke, ex-head of the Federal Reserve, had his application for a mortgage refinancing turned down.

In 1983 Bernanke was doing research into the Great Depression and determined the greatest value banks play is winnowing out good borrowers from bad borrowers.  It was for this primary reason that he concluded that banks should be saved, since their demise would denude the market if this key function.  So it is ironic that even today banks are not smart enough to spot his potential worth.  He can command up to $250,000 per speech!

Sufi highlights what banks really are: they are not, he supposes, efficient information gatherers and processors.  The conclusion is that political mental models are all wrong and out of date.  And clearly banks need to get their act together.

Student of Big Firms’ Behavior Wins Nobel

In today’s US print edition of the Wall Street Journal there was coverage of the Nobel Prize for Economics that was awarded to French economist Jean Tirole, for his research into how large firms compete and how regulators may understand that basis and influence it.  In a nutshell the research looks at information asymmetry.

This fascinating party-topic explores how different sides of an information exchange can perceive each other’s views differently, merely on the pretense that each side does not have the same data or perception capability even if they did have the same data.  Information asymmetry goes to the heart of trade, competition, collaboration, and information theory.


Category: American Empire Banking Banking Regulation British Empire Information Asymmetry Information Sharing Information Theory Information Trust     Tags:

IMF Annual Meeting: Global Economy remains on the wrack and no one stepping up to solve the difficult decisions.

by Andrew White  |  October 10, 2014  |  1 Comment

The IMF published its bi-annual Global Policy Agenda report this week.  In a nutshell the leaders of our community of nations are not doing enough to get the economy moving.  In fact many actions are actually undermining the natural desire to drive growth from organic, private sector means.

The headline appears:  “…[T]he continued weakness of investment and economic activity—six years after the global crisis—suggests that bolder policies and more decisive execution are needed to generate balanced, sustainably higher, job-rich, and inclusive growth.”

The IMF report includes a score card for a range of activities being monitored in developed, emerging, and low income developing countries. While there is generally good news on the monetary front (quantitative easing with tapering), the fiscal front is awash with red marks.  It seems reform is not being brought forth and so the general malaise is set to continue.  In fact, as cycles go, it is becoming clear that we might actually hit the next economic slowdown or easing, before we get to any form of significant growth.  Perhaps we need a political revolution to get things going.

The policies promoted by the IMF report calls for growth, driven by demand, supply, productivity, and investment.  The particular emphasis on policy differs by country as each has a slightly different set of conditions spanning growth, productivity, and investment.  The U.S. Is encouraged to spend on infrastructure, as are places like India.  Spain, with acute youth unemployment, is encouraged to reduce employer social contributions.

Monetary policy in the U.S. Is said to be satisfactory.  I think this means that the IMF cannot figure out anything different to what the Fed says when it talks about what happens when it tapers and the need to raise rates beckons.  Rightly the IMF calls out the complication of asynchronous monetary policy changes across the globe.  Such asymmetry in how such economies change monetary policy will only exacerbate the imbalances that already exist across the globe.

Unfortunately the IMF is so full of policy ideas it seems to forget one thing.  In its haste to come up with the complete set of ideal levers to pull off a sustainable recovery, it seems to assume that politicians are the ideal captains of industry to get the job done.  It was these captains that steered the good ship, “Global Economy”, against the rocks in the first place with a set of policies that they had little idea would create unforeseen conditions.  The main policies governments should focus on are where they help enable private sector growth and investment.

  • Education policy aligned to modern industrial, services and digital economic needs
  • Infrastructure modernization (physical, as well as digital)
  • Incentives for private industry to innovate (R&D credits, tax breaks) and invest in productivity improvements (yes, less broad and ill defined regulation)
  • Reduced price and subsidy based market distortions
  • More effective broad based, and lower/simpler tax framework

These policies are not, on whole, a priority for any group, let alone, single nation.  These policies are mired in political debate.  The ship has a hole and while the water continues to pour in, the politicians are up top, in the warm dining room, discussing who should go tell the boss that the ship is floundering.

Unemployment is not bad, per se, when looked at in the light of cyclical and structural change.  Reeducation of last month’s work-force to meet next month’s requirements, and removing barriers to innovation and new business ideas, would be ideal.  Given the sniff of the rabbit, the hunting dog needs no further inducement to run.  The private sector won’t fix all the worlds ills, but it can generate funds, and quickly, to keep the worlds fat rabbits running their government silos.  And to pay for enough life boats.

1 Comment »

Category: Global Economy Global Trade IMF     Tags:

“A Day in the Life of an Analyst” at Gartner’s IT/Expo Symposium – Day 4 and Wrap Up

by Andrew White  |  October 9, 2014  |  4 Comments

If you don’t want to read the detail, here is my wrap up for the week:

  • Word of the day: congruence (alignment and leverage of information investments)
  • Graphic of the week: hierarchy of metrics (relating data to business outcome)
  • Theme of the week: where to start with information strategy/governance in a newly forming digital world, and how to grow a connected set of information initiatives to create something of greater value: synergy: EIM

Here’s the run down on day 4

5.20am work up and called home to get everyone up.  Wife has a head cold now so she can’t wait for me to get home and help out.  Went back to sleep for an hour and skipped breakfast as my day does not start until 8.30am with an inquiry.

7.51am “Mused” and compared notes to yesterday.  Seems like I am a little more settled but still a lot of activity is going on as my mind is trying to collate what happen during the week with the entire rich dialog with end users.  Just realized I had only one vendor oriented 1-1.  That’s interesting.


8.29am called in to an inquiry on the phone from the 1-1 booth area.  I have too as I have a 1-1 at the top of the hour.  I really wish we didn’t schedule phone inquiries when we are at events.  The noise level is not conducive to a rich dialog and not having my PC and notes from previous calls means I am less prepared than I should be.  Anyway, call went well.  End user said they got what they wanted.  It was about selection of and responses from software vendors in the MDM market, specially focused on product data.

9.00am 1-1’s start up for the day….

Here is the final tally of topics and themes I talked about this week in 1-1’s, and evening conversations with end users:

  1. Business relevancy/business case for EIM/ starting journey 9
  2. Specifically MDM (all other topics but focused on master data) 7
  3. Information strategy/road map 5
  4. Organizing for effective Information mgt/Governance 4
  5. Information governance/prioritize efforts 4
  6. Big data 4
  7. How to govern and link structured data to unstructured data (i.e. content, records) 3
  8. Best practices 2
  9. Data dictionary 2

12.25pm read some of my newly subscribed IMF alerts and wrote a quick review of a current IMF bulletin.  I’ll publish it as a blog later.

2.00pm a repeat Information Governance Roles and Responsibilities for Business and IT.  8 folks stuck it out to the end of the event and we had a good, rich dialog.  Here is a summary of the points made, questions asked, and comments

  1. How to get business involved?  It’s not ITs lead but too often seen that way by business.
  2. Business people too busy to do info governance?
  3. What is info governance?  When no one in business wants to own data, or when they all do?  – What role business outcomes?
  4. Involving audit and risk mgt may help.
  5. Need to show business value but how can you?  Monetize mistakes?
  6. As you integrate data you can expose more risk due to the new inference from the integration; this points to our ethical big data research.
  7. Some firms have business owners who stand up to own data but some other firms have no such business recognition.
  8. The keeper of the data versus the owner of the data.
  9. Where does data definition fit in?  Once and done or periodic review and affirmation?  Business glossary…
  10. How to get different business units/leads to share, collaborate?  Trust is key.
  11. Information governance- another name for information dating agency.  Data-agency
  12. Process owner, that transcends applications, can help drive need for shared data
  13. Business and/or regulatory mandates can enforce change to share and collaborate
  14. How do you measure progress with IG
  15. Policy Change request process transparency
  16. Where to establish the data quality firewall
  17. The roll of standards
  18. Key roles like data quality knowledge…..
  19. CDO v CIO?

The last point highlighted an issue for me that I want to blog about in more detail.

One of the attendees of the Round table had just sat in on a session led by my colleague Deb Logan.  The session was  focussed on the new role of the Chief Data Officer.  The attendee took away from the session a perception I don’t think was correct.  And the attendee, a CIO in county level public sector, knew it too.

Her take-away was that Gartner was saying that the role and title of CIO was dying or reducing to only focus on “keeping the lights on” (I.e. Technology only) and that CDOs are the new role taking over the lead with information innovation, strategy, governance, MDM and risk mitigation.  This is partially correct.  Our message is a little more nuanced:

  1. Some CIOs, perhaps the majority, report that they have so little time and support left that they are unable to devote sufficient time to the needs of information strategy and innovation etc. They report that business is pushing them to only focus on technology, vendors, and keeping the lights on.
  2. In some industries, most often those that are based on information products namely banking and insurance, Chief Data Officers emerged some years ago focused on risk management and the value of information.
  3. Some CIOs, perhaps the minority’s, suggest they do have a balanced and effective handle on information innovation, strategy, governance, and technology at the same time.

The attendee said she was in the last of the three groups.

Thus we started to write about the CDO as a means to help the CIO put the laser focus on the part of their job that was, for the majority, missing.  We should not imply the CIO is going away.  We should imply that the work, the role, the scope of what we call CDO should be established.  It can be part of the CIO role; it might be a role reporting to the CIO; if could be a role reporting into line of business.  The real advice is not to get caught up on names but focus on the role and work.

I understand this attendee was quite upset at what she took away from the session.  She sad she is a CIO with good strategy and business focus.  For this confusion I can only apologize.  I hope we can improve on our messaging.  I understand she will continue her dialog with Deb Logan, so I hope the issue will be cleared up.  I hope the issue did not spoil the close of the event fir too many attendees.

It was a great week.  I really, really enjoyed it and would hope I can attend next year.  Hope to see you then!


Category: Chief Data Officer Chief Digital Officer CIO Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Information Governance Information Innovation     Tags:

“A Day in the Life of an Analyst” at Gartner’s IT/Expo Symposium – Day 3

by Andrew White  |  October 8, 2014  |  3 Comments


Day 3.  The ride continues.  More ideas.  More silver bullets.


So before I forget, update from day 2:

  • In one 1-1 yesterday I met a CFO.  That was fun.  Much more business centric conversation
  • At dinner last night the client compared our session to their dinner with Daryl Plummer last year.  They said our dinner conversation was better!!!!!  However it was really because I had a silver bullet for the CIO.  I thought it was my sparkling conversation..

Anyway, here’s a recap of day 3

5.20 woke up and called home to get the wife and kids up.

6.40am used my “muse” to train my mind.

As you can see from these two screen shots, the activity monitored during the 3-minute periods were different.  Both sessions were recorded roughly at the same- early morning before I had left my hotel room.  Monday morning my mind was more settled.  Tuesday my mind was much more active and harder to control.






Each time the device calibrates your current brain activity through a couple of tests.  You are asked to think of a number of items and the device determines a level set of ‘active engagement’.  Then the real test starts.  You hear sea lapping up against a shore, and you are asked to count and observe your breathing.  As your mind wanders and other ideas pop up, the device senses the additional activity and a wind picks up and continues to build as your mind continues to wander.  You then try to control the randomness of how your mind works, and focus on the beach and the breathing.  So the wind does down.  If you can keep focused you get to hear birds fluttering by.

Monday I heard quite a few birds.  Tuesday I heard mostly wind.  I think the new ideas brimming in my mind are just too exciting and my Muse seems to sense it.

7.19am breakfast and brisk walk over to the 1-1 pavilion

8am started 1-1’s.  Here is a consolidated view of the question and topics covered in 1-1’s, dinner, drink, and corridor conversations:

  1. business relevancy/business case for EIM/ starting journey 6
  2. information strategy/road map 5
  3. information governance/prioritize efforts 4
  4. specifically MDM 4
  5. big data 3
  6. data lakes 3
  7. best practices 2
  8. data dictionary 2


Silver bullets distributed today 5

at 2.30pm today I was lucky enough to participate in a Round table on “roles and responsibility for IT and Business involved in information governance”.  Here are my notes from the dialog with over 20 organizations and overflow around the room):

  1. How to get data ownership into business?  Focus on change mgt; metrics – to drive line of business focus to drive change in their behavior
  2. How to get business to want to care about the data? IT needs to listen more, and learn how to re sate the problem as an answer that is relevant to the business person; to unearth the value prop; don’t talk about data definitions etc
  3. Is information governance new or part of something established? Still need to establish within core, main business processes, not outside
  4. It’s not s data issue; state the business outcome or metric that is held hostage by the data
  5. Does information governance create new skills?  Yes architecture and it needs to be embedded in business, not in its own discipline or office; DQ too- embed, not outside;  No longer independent; we got so caught up in documenting and not actionable work
  6. MDM is not a tool it’s more a process
  7. Where does IG roll up too?  Where in business?
  8. Public sector has same data issues but we focus on records mgt not necessarily MDM
  9. Some business leaders accept the issue but they think it’s a technology issue
  10. Hire a business relationship mgr to help market information governance to business
  11. When business and IT are perceived as culturally separate, establishing information governance is likely harder to work into the business
  12. Business may need to feel pain first, before they accept need for information governance
  13. Best practice: common metric to drive behavior, linking to business outcome
  14. Bad practice: inventorying information equates to boil the ocean and most often waste of time as here is no connection to business value or case
  15. Best practice: focus on agile start small; IG has to be agile
  16. Business architecture drives information architecture
  17. Engage with the business and seek to change the conversation from integration and systems, focus on capability of business work
  18. Best practice: Document and understand the flow of information across business systems
  19. You can hire tech skills for enabling tech etc. like analysts, DQ tools. Not so much the leader that sets policy; can’t hire the risk analysis, same for compliance
  20. Warning – there is a shortage of people with right skill sets; there are many inside the business though that are capable – how to get them
  21. Firms are formally defining data owners, data stewards still very vague and not well established
  22. What can you offer to business users in order to obtain their time to support IG?  Align work to what the business needs or is asking; increase buy-in, maybe use crowd sourcing
  23. Passion is most important trait ; seek huge desire over experience; still need the source institutional knowledge though at the center
  24. We don’t want too many business process focused folks-  we have too much of these already
  25. CDO also owns (where it exists) business continuity mgt and risk
  26. MDM location (retail) not .likely to stand alone.  May need to extend to product/ merchandising since location is so ingrained and embedded in supply chain and product.

I than had a 1-1 and a Team Send conversation with a services organization where we explored the EIM framework.

6.05pm dinner with a client I have had  the good fortune to work with for many years now.  I hope they will soon share their story as a case study at our upcoming 2015 EI and MDM Summit.


Word of the daycongruonse (alignment and leverage of information investments) Graphic of the week: hierarchy of metrics (relating data to business outcome) theme of the week: where to start, and how to grow a connectd set of information initiatives to create something of greater value: synergy: EIM


Category: Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Silver Bullet     Tags:

“A Day in the Life of an Analyst” at Gartner’s IT/Expo Symposium – Day 2

by Andrew White  |  October 8, 2014  |  2 Comments

What a day.  Fast paced, exciting, non stop.

5.30am woke and called home to get everyone up.  Checked email.

7.10am breakfasted with Bill Swanton who, I didn’t know until today, actually knew Eli Goldratt. I grew up in the MRP/MRP II era and so was very familiar with the exciting travails of Jonah in The Goal, then later, The Race.  I also got familiar with the software behind the Theory of Constraints, in the UK known as Optimized Production Technology, or Opt.  Bill was a lucky chap.  At least I have the good fortune of having rubbed shoulders with other legends in their own time, Darryl Landvater (S&OP) and Andre Martin (DRP), and also Carl Bhame (Demand Forecasting).

Unfortunately the bacon and egg was, like yesterday’s sausage, only just tepid. I hate tepid food.  Good coffee though.

8.00am and off I went with a day full of end user 1-1’s.  Many different industries were represented, across public and private, though majority were private.  Most of the 1-1’s were with CIO’s – that was up on last year.  Two were with VP’s of IT, and one with an architect.

The mix of topics so far this week at Symposium looks like this:

  1.  Business relevancy/business case for EIM/ starting journey 5
  2. Information strategy/road map 5
  3. Information governance/prioritize efforts 3
  4. Specific to Big data 3
  5. Specifically Master Data Management 3
  6. Best practices in IM/EIM 2

Data lakes also came up in three 1-1’s though not specifically – just in passing.  Information exchanges/GDSN came up twice.

6.30pm drink with a client that was in fact a new, small vendor in stealth mode.  Or at least, their original business plan is public but their new plan is very, very interesting.  Explored some new ideas and opportunities in the emerging digital arena over a nice Cabernet.

7pm dinner with a client in the media industry – so this was all digital.  Really fun dinner with a really nice group of people.  It’s great to see organizations where the team members enjoy themselves, and actually enjoy themselves as they talk work and non work stuff  Lovely meal too.

10.35pm back in hotel room and last check of email.

Also forget that during the day I had heard that my nephew, Carl-back in England, had just put in an offer in on his first house – and it had been accepted!  So I texted “Congratulations” to him and his girlfriend.  Funny how things keep moving in real life, even though we are cocooned here in Disney.  Congrats again to Carl and his next exciting part of his journey.

Lastly, I handed out 4 silver bullets today.  I wonder how many organizations need one today….



Category: Big Data Business Case Business Outcome Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Gartner Symposium 2014 Global Data Synchronization Information Advantage Information as an Asset Information Exchange Information Governance Information Stewardship Information Trust Information Value     Tags:

“A Day in the Life of an Analyst” at Gartner’s IT/Expo Symposium – Day 1

by Andrew White  |  October 6, 2014  |  2 Comments

Actually this report is for day 1.5 since it started late Sunday evening with a couple of receptions and dinner with a client.  Lots of conversations in public sector, mostly looking at a future of growing demands on IT; and how to cope with regulations that are not that clearly defined; and how to keep IT business relevant.  Same conversation over dinner – though with quieter atmosphere.

6:10am check email before shower etc.

7:00am Monday started with a breakfast prep meeting with my colleague Michael Smith – since we are “on” at 11.15am later Monday.  We needed to iron out the last few wrinkles in our presentation.  Less-than-warm sausage and eggs over at Blue Zoo.  Could have been hotter but at least the coffee was good.

9:15am The main Gartner keynote – wow what an upgrade on last year.  Last year I thought was good but I felt this year was much more meaningful to me.  It seemed to relate more to what I, as a participant in the IT industry, need to think about if I am to play a key role in the change our organization needs to make in support of the digital future.  Awesome job.  I was really enthused – I hope you were too.

Quick break and then

11.15am: Michael Smith and I presented on the Role of Information in Digital Business.  In a nutshell we addressed:

  • Why is information (and an effective information strategy) more important than ever in a digital world?
  • How to make a (digital) information Strategy more business relevant?
  • How to keep your (digital) Information Strategy up to date

The questions after the session were interesting.  Several focused on “great ideas and all, but how can my organization do what you say – it seems so easy yet so hard to actually organize!”  Oh yes, it surely is that.  Seems we need to talk more about real world examples for how to drop the bread crumbs for others to follow.

Lunch and then

1.45pm: prep for a workshop on “building and sustaining an effective EIM strategy”.  Over 50 folks wanting to talk about information strategy, spanning public sector, healthcare, energy, education, manufacturing, and other industries.  This is both an easy and a hard workshop to work.  As firms differ so much we hope to put firms together from similar industries – what way the table-conversation should be more relevant.  But when there are so many industries represented, it is a tough ask.  Hopefully it worked out.  There was lots of dialog about metrics, outcomes, organizational challenges, governance issues and so on.    Hopefully everyone left with the workshop material in order to take it back to the office next Monday and continue the effort with peers

4:30pm The afternoon had a couple of 1-1’s left to squeeze in. Here is the running count of interactions by topic for the week so far:

  • Getting started with an effective, business relevant EIM/IM strategy #3
  • How to Operationalize Information Governance (i.e. make it part of how we do things around here) #1

With a full day of 1-1’s tomorrow I expect my list to grow substantially.

6:05pm late for a drink with a client in the media/information industry.  It is amazing that the stock market gives information centric businesses a higher net-worth even if such firms are better, or worse, at brick and mortar firms at managing information for better business outcomes.  In some cases growth trumps all – maybe in all cases.

6.30pm: Evening reception with a financial services client.  Great feedback on the day and some ideas for further improvement.  Even over a glass of wine too. Great fun.

8:30pm Dinner with friends and colleagues – nice way to end the day.  Off to bed after checking email.

11:08pm Sweet dreams #GartnerSYM.  See you bright and early

 ttp:// and yes, that was Frank Buytendijk and Chris Howard drinking Heineken early in the morning (you know the camera was watching).




Category: #GartnerSYM Business Relevant Digital Information Strategy Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Gartner Symposium 2014 Getting Started     Tags:

How Productivity Shifts from People to Technology – Healthcare and ICD-10 News

by Andrew White  |  October 3, 2014  |  3 Comments

A report on CNBC this morning (Where the jobs are) said that ‘medical coders’ were being hired around the country.  This is, of course, good news for employment.  The reason for the increase is related to the number of options used for coding medical conditions and treatments, known as ICD-10.  This federal (Department of Health and Human Services) standard, an update to a previous standard (ICD-9) massively increases the number of codes (from around 13,000 to 69,000) available and has been in the press recently for what appears as overkill and too much bureaucracy.  See and the code for “struck by a turtle”.

What the CNBC reporter said that I found interesting is how productivity is going to be negatively impacted.  The reporters comment was very short term focused.  A lot more manual work is now needed and this will attract errors and rework.  So logically more people are needed to get the same job done, though “the job done” is actually a much bigger job.  The goal however is that this new standard will effectively create a big data type opportunity and improve data sharing.  With much more data captured, analysts and data scientists might be able to triangulate on new insight from such granularity.  Watch out naturalists and zoo keepers – someone’s coming after your tutles!

I thought it interesting that human productivity might worsen initially though IT-based productivity might actually improve later.  If things work out as planned, that is.

Related story: How the Jobless Rate Underestimates the Economy’s Problems.


Category: Health IT Healthcare Industry Standards Productivity Uncategorized     Tags:

Heat on CIO’s and CDO’s to increase spend on Information Security Continues to Increase

by Andrew White  |  October 3, 2014  |  2 Comments

Following my blog the other week (see Information Security Breach: When Does Yours Take Place?) on the ultimate “gap” that needs to be closed to prevent cyber security breaches, there was an update today in the US print edition of the Wall Street Journal, also reported on CNBC, an earlier report (in the summer) on the information security breach at J.P. Morgan.  The ‘hit’, it seems, was on 76 million households.  Thankfully though only contact details were taken, not account details, the report says.

What is interesting is the reported spend by J.P. Morgan on security solutions to help plug the gap and protect important data: $250m annually.  I’d like to be the sales guy on that deal.  Clearly the urgency of this issue is leading to some quick decisions.  Planning however is still needed, in fact more so, unless we can keep shelling out significant amounts of money and still make a profit.  Anyway, we know cyber attackers will almost always be at least one step ahead of the good guys (and vendors) so a more systemic, operational and business relevant framework embedded within an information governance structure is needed- more than ever.  I don’t think many of us can afford to wait…


Category: Data Breach Information Governance Information Security Security Breach     Tags: