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Automated Information Governance, Data Blueprints, and ChatGPT

Authored by Sean Burgess - Jun 12, 2023

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IRMS Manchester 2023 recap and impressions

We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it and make important choices wisely

– E.O Wilson

A synthesizer is an intellectual who uses the mind creatively, and I have to say that the 2023 IRMS Conference was a fantastic event which brought together a huge crowd of synthesizers to talk about the world of information and records management. After such an energetic event, I had to spend some time putting together my thoughts and takeaways from what was a diverse agenda.

EncompaaS has now been a vendor sponsor for four years, and it’s been clear to see how much the industry has changed in that short time. Driven by the most challenging extrinsic factor that many of us will have ever experienced, we’ve been forced to change the way we work, how we address our daily roles, and how we attack the information complexity. 

I think this new era in information takes on two meanings: 

  1. The people within the community – it was great to meet so many new faces at the event. Some who were brand new to the space with great ideas, alongside some who were more experienced and have perhaps more bumps and bruises but haven’t attended before, as well as everyone else in between. This drove a lot of new thinking and we had some brilliant discussions at our stand. The industry is in good hands! 

  2. The way the information landscape has changed – for organisations this is something we need to embrace and attack head-on! I wrote an article in the March bulletin addressing information transformation and creating your “Information Blueprint”. This was clear across many talks and discussions – how can we tackle a growing information heap, whilst still deriving value and knowledge from what we have, wherever it is located, to drive efficiencies in processes and manage risk?

This leads perfectly to some of the thoughts I was having during and post-event around how we as an industry work intelligently moving forward. You may have noticed at our stand we had a whiteboard and we asked delegates to give their thoughts on “What is giving you a headache?”, a question we received some great responses to!

  • “Where is all of my personal data?”
  • “What about the information that’s not in M365?”
  • “Managing over-retention”
  • “Not knowing what I have and where”
  • “Staff turnover – no one knows what anyone owns!”
  • “Tracking down information across various platforms and departments”
  • “Organisational culture v Information systems”

These views are telling, and it cannot be underestimated how challenging the world is for information and data professionals. So much so, I often refer to roles in our industry as being more akin to plate spinning. Information now resides in a diverse range of repositories and applications – M365 and everything that comes with it, alongside non-M365 information management systems, as well as line of business applications such as Workday or ServiceNow, platforms that perhaps historically wouldn’t have been considered information sources. However, what this means is that the more platforms there are, the more plates there are to spin and at some point, one or more of those plates are going to fall. 

How do we address this? Two key factors were clear at the conference:

  1. The sharing of real-life information management journeys by those in the trenches daily was inspiring to see. Not only for myself as a vendor, in thinking about how we can continue to shape our technology to align with where organisations are, but also for those who are at differing stages of their process. Many are looking to see how others have fared to ensure they can best avoid hiccups or take advice on ways to accelerate certain elements of their transformation journey.

  2. There are a diverse and valuable set of vendors out there who can work alongside you to achieve your goals. EncompaaS is one of them, helping our clients to automate discovery, classification, and governance throughout the information lifecycle and across any information source. However, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we achieve without the work of other technologies. This is an area where I have seen a huge change in the IT world – vendors collaborating to reach the best possible success with an organisation. 

As an IRMS community, the continued sharing of thought leadership and experience will only help those within it, and I expect that next year in the beautiful location of Brighton, there will be new challenges to address and discuss, as well as some brilliant stories of organisations who have tackled their information journeys head-on over the next 12 months. I am looking forward to hearing these!

I’ll finish with my three general takeaways – it will be interesting to see how these fare this time next year:

  1. Records Management is still a fundamental process for organisations 
    This is an obvious one, right? Possibly. However, I think the term “Records Management” itself has different meanings to many people. The understanding of your information from inception to disposition is still very important and has now taken on a new lease of life. Many organisations are not just looking to implement Records Management from a governance, lifecycle management or data protection perspective anymore – I had a lot of conversations at the conference with individuals looking to begin to understand their data landscape to also derive value from that content… How can that information influence a business process and create efficiencies, as well as drive value in decision-making at a senior level?
  2. The Blueprint 
    Every organisation has information in lots of different systems, creating a siloed approach to information management and therefore records management. A great way to address this is to create a Blueprint of your information assets. By federating the view of your sources of data you can enact discovery, search, classification, and governance centrally. This enables you to treat information on its merit, as opposed to where it is located – by doing this you can dispose, apply retention, or relocate more effectively. From my perspective, with EncompaaS we will help you to automate all of these processes to create a federated information management strategy.
  3. OpenAI
    Many are beginning to think about the impact that the recent significant enhancements in AI will have on our world. Each conversation was different – some want to take it on, and some are more sceptical, both of which are understandable. We at EncompaaS are incorporating OpenAI into our platform and it is very exciting. This will enable our clients to classify content with almost zero training, addressing significant time and cost challenges when it comes to understanding and classifying data quickly and accurately.
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Sean Burgess

Sales Lead

Send an email to [email protected] for more information.

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