The problem of managing the structured/unstructured convergence will become increasing complex as the volume of information grows. Think about this... The average car will have 100 million lines of code by 2011. The Airbus A380 contains over 1 billion lines of code.
A recent study from the IBM Institute for Business Value found having superior data governance is critical to success for top performing companies. By a factor of three to one, the study found that top performers were much more sophisticated in their approach to governing organizational information relative to lower performing companies (42 percent versus 14 percent).
On Wednesday, IBM unveiled its information governance strategy and announced new software and services to help companies better govern and drive cost savings from their information. Products announced include InfoSphere Business Monitor, which tracks the quality and flow of an organization’s information and provides real-time alerts of potential flaws, and Optim Data Redaction, which protects an organization’s information by automatically recognizing and removing sensitive content from documents and forms. They also announced an expanded set of services related to information governance.
All of which caught my eye for three reasons.
One is my continued thinking about the world of "ECM" (see previous post on Would an ECM Rose by Any Other Name be this Confusing?) and the increasing fuzziness of where the lines (if they exist) for "ECM" begin and end. The convergence of unstructured and structured information is a key part of this increasing confusion.
Secondly, this whole question of information governance drives toward a key underlying issue associated with content management -- the question of "trusted" information. It seems our traditional definitions of records management increasingly come up short when trying to deal with the torrent of information flowing through our organizations. There is so much information in our organizations that isn't a formal record in the traditional sense of the word, but yet still must be evaluated against some yardstick of trust. And that yardstick is likely a variable yardstick depending on who is relying on the information and the stakes of that reliance.
Lastly, I am conscious of this whole question of information governance and privacy because I got a note yesterday from our former payroll provider, Ceridian, saying that "some of my personal information may have been illegally accessed by an unauthorized hacker." But I guess I should rest assured that only information that was hacked was my "first name, last name, social security number, and in some cases, birth date and/or the bank account that is used for direct deposit of your pay." Yikes.