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IT and IG - Friends or frenemies?

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Information Technology and Information Governance seem like they should be closely aligned, but in practice they often work against each other's goals. Is this inevitable, and if not, how can it be addressed?

Published in: Leadership & Management
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IT and IG - Friends or frenemies?

  1. 1. Information Technology & Information Governance: Friends or frenemies?
  2. 2. About knowquestion  Information and Knowledge Management specialist consulting firm  “Joining the dots” between technology, governance, and people  Based in Canberra and Melbourne Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  3. 3. frenemy, n. 1. Someone who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy 2. A rival with which one maintains friendly relations Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  4. 4. Case study 1: Tech focus ≠ good IG 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  5. 5. Case study 1: Tech focus ≠ good IG  Recordkeeping-compliant system based on SharePoint 2010  Mandate to implement new, comparatively untested system by the CIO  12 months design and piloting by the IM team – lots of bugs discovered and squashed  Rollout plan produced to progressively migrate business areas with a minimum of disruption over 18 months Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  6. 6. Case study 1: Tech focus ≠ good IG  IT never understood the IG complexities  “Can’t we just migrate everything in one go?”  IM manager quit, team was disbanded and relocated under various IT teams  IT took control, saw upgrade to SharePoint 2013 seen as “the answer”  3 years later, the project is still in limbo Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  7. 7. Case study 2: Don’t bury IG Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  8. 8. Case study 2: Don’t bury IG  Consultant setting up an Information Governance structure at request of business  Set up overarching process with senior exec attending steering committee  Information stewards appointed  Knowledge café identified key areas requiring improved governance Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  9. 9. Case study 2: Don’t bury IG  Responsibility to deliver strategic IM capability was placed with CIO  CTO was assigned responsibility  Treated IM as part of IT architecture  Redirected IM funds into data architect / data modelling role  Lack of money and resources to progress IM  3 key IM champions have moved to other orgs/areas in frustration at being stalledTwitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  10. 10. Case study 3: IT is not “special” Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  11. 11. Case study 3: IT is not “special”  Local council was having trouble completing their initiatives and projects  During a workshop, 600 separate initiatives were tabled (4 x A0 pieces of paper, 6pt font)  A new governance process was devised and agreed by all major stakeholders (including IT) to jointly agree on the top ~10 priorities  Agile approach – everyone collaborates on completing priorities & minimise conflicts Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  12. 12. Case study 3: IT is not “special”  Review of process 3 months later found that IT had withdrawn nearly all of their work from the priority queue  Justification was that “IT know best what they should be doing”  Ignored fact that IT choosing to do tasks that were not a business priority was a key reason for bottlenecks in the first place! Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  13. 13. This is not IT’s fault! Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  14. 14. Well, it kind of is. Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  15. 15. Mystique and “specialness” of IT  The productivity revolution from affordable local computer servers, PCs, and the internet in the 90s gave IT a ‘touch of magic’  For 20 years IT has been able to obtain a significant budget simply by promising the technically successful deployment of technology Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  16. 16. The IG problem  We know that: ◦ lack of audit, integrity, and data quality controls leave organisations at legal risk, cause scandals and reputational damage ◦ poor information and data architecture can have a serious and ongoing impact on productivity ◦ technology upgrades decrease productivity by forcing users to relearn the UI ◦ migration of information and data across technology platforms are costly and error- prone Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  17. 17. “Expecting A while rewarding B” IT is rewarded for doing tech, not on managing the impacts of having done it. Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  18. 18. Centralised IT planning  It’s easy for strategic and project plans to become a mechanism for IT to: ◦ hold the ultimate veto power ◦ prioritise pet projects ◦ adopt a technically simpler approach ◦ demonstrate “progress” without actual business benefits ◦ avoid blame for outcomes Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  19. 19. What employees do  Rather than challenge this mystical, controlling mentality, employees are going around IT  “Shadow IT” spend can be 50% or more of the corporate IT budget Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  20. 20. What employees do  Since shadow IT is technically unauthorised, IG won’t find out about it officially  And if it does, IG must either tacitly ignore the IT directives to follow corporate process, or protect the interests of the business Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  21. 21. If IT is a mystical “black box” it can’t be strategically used. Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  22. 22. Are IT and IG destined to always be frenemies? Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  23. 23. A. System changes should be initiated in response to business problems. Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  24. 24. B. A process of prioritisation should determine which problems are to be solved first. Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  25. 25. Senior exec support for the process  Too often, inconsistent messages from executives and managers sink Information Governance initiatives  IG works when there is ongoing buy in and follow through from the highest levels down  Not a dictatorship but a collaboration  IG personnel should genuinely listen and respond to needs, not impose a mandate  Better buy in from staff = better outcomesTwitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  26. 26. C. Business problems need to be treated holistically. Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  27. 27. Genuine IT engagement  Good CIOs are recognising the need to be genuinely strategic about information and not just technology  Essential to have consultation and engagement with all areas of business  Problem: The business often lacks the ability to technically describe what’s needed Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  28. 28. D. Information Governance is best placed to integrate all views about information handling. Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  29. 29. Bridging the gap  Information Governance teams need to provide both processes and staff expertise to describe and negotiate the technical implementation of business needs by IT  Adopting this approach is normally a step outside the comfort zone of both IT and IG  Making this relationship work is all about … Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au
  30. 30. Respect. Twitter: @smbounds http://knowquestion.com.au

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