French Caldwell

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French Caldwell
VP and Gartner Fellow
15 years at Gartner
19 years IT industry

French Caldwell is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research, where he leads governance, risk and compliance research. Mr. Caldwell also writes and presents on knowledge management. His research includes analysis of the impact… Read Full Bio

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Happy #GIGD, the Problem with Twitter, and Where’s the Love for Info Gov?

by French Caldwell  |  February 20, 2014  |  1 Comment

I WASN’T SURE HOW TO WRAP THIS. HOPE YOU LIKE IT. HAPPY #GIGD!

Global Information Governance Day — who knew.  Not I, and I must apologize to those who take such industry observance days seriously — which I don’t — but I forgot to bring flowers or a bottle of wine or something.  What’s really appropriate for #GIGD anyway?

Not that information governance is not a serious subject, but a tweet jam on the topic is about as useful as a band-aid on a skull fracture.  Information governance is just broken in most organizations, and frankly, in most cases it isn’t going to be rescued.

First of all information governance just doesn’t command budget, does it.  No matter how much you talk to executives about how much better their decisions could be if they had more reliable, accurate and timely information, they just aren’t going to pay for it.  Sorry — but it’s the truth.  Just ask all those KM folks out there (in the interest of full disclosure, I was a KMer and a darn good one).  Like KM, in the context of business information, IG just becomes another librarian function.

The other day a CIO shared that her discretionary budget had been whacked to zero.  She was cancelling all her projects, but one.  Guess what that one project was that didn’t need any budget — yep, IG!

But what if we could find a problem where doing IG well really has clear and direct payoffs — like KM did when CRM found it.  The marriage of KM and CRM has been an outstanding success.  Certainly not as strategic as the marriage of KM to business decision making or business performance would have been, but no one can doubt that CRM really loves KM and vice versa.  In the IT world, money is love, and CRM sure has a lot of money.

But who loves IG?  E-Discovery — that’s who.  But ugh, IG doesn’t really love e-discovery and that’s sad.  IG want’s to be even bigger than e-discovery — Big IG wants to really find its full potential in supporting business decision makers to make better decisions — and not just the big decision makers, but all of those people who are making crucial decisions all across the enterprise, and even customers who are making decisions.

Unfortunately, that’s just not going to happen.  Big IG is stuck with regulation and litigation for now.  But there’s a lot of room for little IG in all those business digitalization projects — frankly they don’t work without IG — but this isn’t the Big IG that we all want to be.  So what! — the point is there is a little IG in every business digitalization project and as the Internet of Things takes off, all those little IG’s will add up to a mammoth amount of IG — but they are not going to be controlled from BIG IG CENTRAL.  Ain’t gonna happen — get over it.

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WE ALL NEED A LITTLE IG!

So, except for regulation and litigation where Big IG is being forced into an arranged marriage with Big Discovery, there’s no one else out there for Big IG.  On the other hand, a whole bunch of little IGs really add up to a whole lot of love.

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