Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's just a click away

Ben Worthen’s article “Hackers Aren’t Only Threat to Privacy” in the Wall Street journal was really interesting. But it caught my interest because of the obvious—there is way too much personal information available online. You don’t need to be an information miner with criminal intent and you don’t have to be a dufus to expose information. It happens all day, every day. As he points out “such information is accessible to anyone who knows where to look”.

“A file containing names, social security numbers and home phone numbers of about 1000 current and former Atlanta Fire and Rescue employees was discovered online in April by city officials.”

Are you kidding me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Records Don't Forget

Records are the institutional memory when people forget. This morning the BBC reported that the Belgian Officials raided the Catholic Church offices looking for evidence of sexual abuse. What they were really looking for is records documenting past abuse. Records allow us to run our business, document our obligations and remember the past for future reference. Are you kidding me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Explain the unexplained.

I can’t help thinking about my dear mother saying “do as I say, not as I do”. As I was rereading a Wall Street Journal commentary entitled “Check It Again” about the FBI having issues with inaccurate data when I turned to another Wall Street Journal article entitled “FBI to Probe iPad Breach”. Putting aside the irony, as they exist all the time in info management world, the FBI is investigating email addresses exposed by ATT of some iPad users. Another case of an unexplained “glitch”, bad planning and/or info mismanagement?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Do you need motivation?

A Drug company client was seeking our help to justify further implementation of their records program. I found the following which I thought was fairly instructive. THIS an OLD story from 2002 but I thought pretty on point if you need a “stick” to motivate you. “Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) tumbled to a 16-month low on Friday after federal regulators began probing allegations of fraudulent record-keeping at a plant that makes one of the healthcare giant's best-selling medicines.” Don’t worry nobody cares about record keeping. Are You Kidding Me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Court of Public Opinion Works

Often I am asked, "Why should I worry about failing to manage information properly?" My first response is that if you are an information intensive business in an information economy then failing to harness the lifeblood of the organization is like giving away a competitive advantage, while squandering corporate assets. Next I say if you get nailed for information mismanagement, you can get whacked seriously by court, regulator and worse of all, the court of public opinion. By the way, for public companies the court of public opinion works on Wall Street as well as Main Street. Well some wise guys then say either aloud or internally, “forgetaboutit”. Brilliant I say. Lets take a look at how forgetful our public is and just how sleepy their eyes really are.

About seven week ago, 11 hard working Americans were killed in an explosion aboard the Deep Horizon that lead to the worst gas gusher leak experienced in America. BTW-my heart goes out to all those families that can't escape their loss as they are reminded of this tragedy all day long on every media outlet. Irrespective of who ultimately is at fault, BP is definitely getting whacked in so many kinds of ways already. Let’s take a look at some costs so far. BP has spent about 1 billion dollars on clean up already. The lawsuits and fines will be rolling in real soon. But wait—that is not the real pain. Remember the court of public opinion. People have told me they drive by BP stations to give their money to another gas station. OK-7 weeks ago they likely didn’t make that decision and we will see how BP is impacted next quarter and next year. How about Wall Street? Well here is where the hurt really hurts and the blood flows freely. Since the explosion, BP has lost about 50% of its value in the market or about 82 BILLION DOLLARS. Now that is serious dough.

Next time you wonder if destroying evidence plays bad on Wall Street or Main Street say the following—“I remember Andersen Accounting and they are out of business because they failed to properly manage information and I like my job.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Abysmal...never a good word

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Bank of America agreed to pay $108 Million dollars to settle claims that a mortgage company it bought cheated customers. No record-keeping issues there. Right? Nope. According to the article, “Because of Countrywide’s ‘abysmal’ record-keeping, the FTC said it would take some time to figure out who should be reimbursed. Most frat houses have better record-keeping…”

I was never in a frat, but they looked like it was big fun. Anyway, If you can’t get your record-keeping act together, have I got a consultant for you :)

Are You Kidding.