On the front page of the US print edition of the Wall Street Journal there was an article, “A Whisperer Who Makes ‘Transformers’ Movies Click”. The article brought to mind two analogies with the current interest in information governance and stewardship support. The article highlights a service behind Michael Bay, the director of the “Transformer” movie phenomena. It turns out that there is “another guy”, behind the scenes, that has helped brings the movie to live. This is the “whisperer” – Mr. Bryce. This is the first analogy. Today many information governance efforts succeed, up to a point, with “citizen stewards”. That is, individuals who are passionate for the work, who know its value, and while they exist in their role, success is approved. Of course, “success” is limited since the work is limited to the scope and power base of the “citizen steward” or “citizen governor”.
The second analogy concerned technology. The article explains how Mr. Bryce has built a kind of “pop up” business solution, that is able to sweep in when a movie is in trouble, and bring it home to completion and success. This is very close to the idea that we are seeing emerge with information stewardship applications. These are packaged solutions that comprise what had previously been sold as stand-alone tools and technologies. Additionally the new solutions have a business-consumable UI, as opposed to the traditional IT UI. So when I read about this “pop up” solution for movie direction, I thought of pop-up solutions for information governance.
The reality however is that movie making is a lot more mature than is information governance. The pop-up solutions in the information governance and stewardship are really still only emerging. For one thing, business end users really don’t know what they need since few of us have actually operationalized the work of information governance before. Second the vendors don’t know what is needed (for the most part). So we are in this period where we are waiting for demand to coalesce and solutions to develop. The chasm is in sight….