Information governance vision and reality at AIIM Forum London

Judging by the level of attendance (probably around 200 delegates) at the AIIM Forum in London on 25 June information governance is a very hot topic. Indeed what was scheduled as a roundtable discussion hosted by IBM with spaces for 20 participants attracted an audience of over 70! Although attendance was free, thanks to a wide range of sponsors, delegates still had to justify a day away from their desks. In total there were over 20 papers in three tracks, with a mixture of case studies, roundtable discussions and three plenary presentations. Two of these were given by John Mancini (AIIM President) and Doug Miles (Director, AIIM Market Intelligence) on future directions in information governance and information management. The third was given by Urs Raas (HP Autonomy) who talked about the future of ECM without turning it into a sales pitch for HP. All three were very well presented.

Two other presentations stood out. The IBM “standing-up roundtable” was managed with great skill by Roger Johnston, Information Lifecycle Governance lead at IBM Europe. He was the only speaker of the day that I heard focus on the business value of information governance. In the course of the session he asked for quite a number of show-of-hands responses to core questions, and I was dismayed by the low level of adoption of information governance at an organisation-wide level even though this was the core role of most of the participants. The fundamental problem seems to be that CEOs still do not understand the importance of information governance.

I was also very impressed by the presentation on the way in which the BBC has adopted collaboration and mobile applications. This was given by Mark Kelleher, Head of Business and Mobile Systems Delivery at the BBC. He and his team had to find secure solutions to support 20,000 employees and a constantly changing group of 15,000 contractors. Clearly the BBC is well on the way to being a digital workplace with total location-independence of information access.

Overall it was a very interesting day of presentations and discussions with exhibitors. However the event did show up that information governance and information management are not really synonyms. The focus was mainly on acquisition, storage and records management, with making effective use of information assets somewhat lower on the agenda. AIIM should be congratulated in running a well-organised event at no cost to attendees and for its commitment to the cause of effective information management.

Martin White