#5Thoughts – Mixed Bag for the week of Sept 21


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No single theme was worthy of 5 Thoughts this week, so here’s a mixed bag of stuff.

1.   Cloud Security still a concern

On September 16th I spoke at an event in Calgary, hosted by Box and Skyhigh Networks (the video and slides, if you’re interested). My presentation was about using cloud to enable innovation, but the discussion that followed focused primarily on security. Specifically, that an org’s data centre is more secure than a cloud provider’s. Uhm, no.

2.   AIIM Road Trip – Calgary

On September 22nd I attended the Calgary session of AIIM’s 2015 Road Trip. The theme was the whole going paperless thing. It got me thinking …

Almost every project that I’ve been involved in or heard about that involved getting paper out of processes didn’t go far enough. Sure, they scanned the incoming docs (invoice, application form, cheque, whatever), but then the process reverted to what they used to do with paper. Stop that. When org’s go to the effort to eliminate paper, they also have to get rid of the whole circulation, review, approve steps where possible.

For example:

I worked on a project for an auto insurance company a few years ago. They were attempting to remove paper from their claims processing. One of their largest sources of paper was from car rental companies. Their initial approach was to have invoices submitted as email (attachments and body, depending on rental company). It was a good move, but still involved too much human intervention. My advice to them, which they followed, was to talk to the rental companies and get them to send over data batches, to be ingested by my client’s solution. They called, the three rental companies with the largest volumes agreed (hell, it saved them time and money, too), and my client ended up saving USD$250K annually. Development and testing was a total of 2 ½ days.

3.   I Wasn’t Expecting That

Back in April I posted this case study about a client of mine. At the time that I submitted the report I had no expectation that my client would do anything with it. After all, during the final presentation the message about “managing information is not a priority for this year” was quite bluntly delivered. As it turns out, a government audit that impacts public finding soon changed some of my client’s priorities.

I’m happy that the client is taking action based on the report I delivered (with Laurence Hart’s help). It’s a shame, but not unexpected, that it took negative findings to get the ball rolling. Oh when will they learn that it’s so much better and cost effective to be proactive about these things?

No, KS, I don’t think I called you “sad and tragic”.

4.   Data Residency

During the aforementioned AIIM Road Trip, one of the presenters mentioned something about data residency and how they could point to providers with Canadian presence (mostly small players, is my understanding). The issue I have is that it continues to cave to the FUD. There are very few circumstances under which Canadian organizations must, by law, have data reside in Canadian data centres. Before going and selecting a provider based on FUD and misinterpretation of requirements / regulations, find out what the real facts are and go from there.

5.   BoxWorks & Scanners

BoxWorks 2015 is next week and someone needs to build a scanner the automatically shreds the originals, then burns them as they come out.

4 Comments on “#5Thoughts – Mixed Bag for the week of Sept 21

  1. Chris, you stated; “There are very few circumstances under which Canadian organizations must, by law, have data reside in Canadian data centres”. All of my clients seem to be under a different impression. Can you point me in the right direction to find this information?
    Thanks,
    Chip

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  2. The problem we always see with residency (US) is a concern for the unknown. What if some portion of the project documents have a requirement? What if requirements change and we have to go back and find stuff and move it? We had to specify that the repository we set up for our customers is 100% in the US, even though, I’m sure a that for a lot of the content, it doesn’t matter.

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    • Dan, you’re right that there are unknowns and complex requirements. I guess the main point I’d make is to understand the requirements and to try and account for the unknowns somehow. As opposed to relying on FUD, misinterpretation, ignorance, etc. I.e.: do your friggin’ homework.

      Liked by 1 person

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