Friday, February 25, 2011

Let Employees Park Their Data Where They Want?

Face it, employees don’t really care about records management. They believe it is somebody else’s problem. After all, it isn’t in their job description and it doesn’t make money - right?

The saying, “don’t try to put a square peg in a round hole” holds true when trying to park or store corporate information. Employees want the flexibility and user interface that SharePoint offers, so why fight it? Forcing employees into a rigid, non-friendly records management storage environment will only cause them to squirrel away data into their own storage environments such as hard drives, removable media, home PCs, etc. Let them use SharePoint if they want to - just get the right governance and controls in place behind the scene, upfront. It is better to give employees the environment they want, and are willing to use, then to force them to go underground with their data. Records management governance can be practically transparent to the end user in SharePoint, if done correctly. The employee gets the environment they want and the corporation gets the governance they want. Both win!

Brightstarr has partnered with Kahn Consulting, an industry leader in information management, to aid corporations in the use of SharePoint as their records management tool of choice. Let us help you manage your SharePoint environment to meet compliance requirements and give your employees an environment they love to work in.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Information Flows

Information flows. Sometimes really fast. Sometimes it causes waves that are unintended and even seriously problematic. For example, email was never intended to be the business medium of choice for all business for all reasons. I’m sure no one ever thought that secret email communiqu├ęs from Arabian leaders supporting the US taking military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be disclosed. Wikileaks has made many government officials blush about many secrets sent in email form. Thus there is fall out. Ok, Enough of that.

I came up with a really great idea. Tell me what you think. I was going to advance an idea that changes the world with Twitter or FaceBook or any of the social networking sites. I was going to call it “Social Networking Overthrowing Totalitarianism” or “SNOT” for short. That way a few people in lands where leaders are not democratically elected can overthrow the bums. But wait, is the whole world ready for democracy? Do they really aspire for that type of freedom? Is the guy that stepped down actually a bum? Maybe he is way better than what will be coming. Overthrowing a “life-long” president, for example, doesn’t mean that democracy rings out all over.

Recently we failed to support our friend in Egypt and due to pressure “from the street” he was forced to step down. Remember he was our friend for years. We gave him billions of dollars in military support and some of our military technology. Now Egypt has the military running the show. A step forward?

When or if they have an election in Egypt, what if the Muslim Brotherhood is elected “fair and square?” What if another terrorist organization uses the democratic process to gain power so they could impose Sharia (Islamic law) on everyone. Maybe they will countenance the continued harassment and killing of the Coptic Christians. If it happens I guess I could change the name of my organization to “Social Networking Overthrowing Theocracy” or “Social Networking Overthrowing Thugs”.

Nuts. I just realized the Arab world is on fire in places like Bahrain, Syria, Iran all because information is flowing way too fast. Now maybe my organization is moot. I am so last week.

Yikes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Plan, anticipate and deal now.

My mantra for every new technology used in the business context is that there will be employees that misuse the technology or otherwise create liability or a major headache or both. Years ago I wrote about an employee who used the company email system to rank on his employer, more specifically his boss. For his efforts the guy was fired. Thereafter the fired employee sued. Because the business was unionized the union argued that the employees bashing was “protected” within the meaning of the labor relations laws. The employee won and the company had to reinstate the fired employee.

Fast forward to today. Imagine an employee bashing his boss on FaceBook or some other social networking site. Imagine no more. The case has already happened and the guy got canned for doing the same thing.

Well, taking the conversation out of the union context for a moment. Before every new technology is allowed at work, policy should already be in place to regulate the employees conduct. If you don’t address it upfront, I am sure you will be force fed the failure not too far down the road.

Plan, anticipate and deal now. Issues of information control, proper use of company technology, location of company records, and now third party technology are the issues of the day. Deal now before you learn the hard way.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heed the lessons

While some might question the journalistic legitimacy of Al Jazeera anyway, they are now “leaking” documents of the peace process between Israel and Palestinian Arabs. One could argue that they are engaged in partisan politics to undermine the Palestinian authority in much the same way that Wikileaks did when they disclosed that Arab governments worried about a nuclear Iran as much as the west. In any event, is information dumping now the way journalism will evolve or will real media outlets take the higher road to responsible journalism? But that’s not really what I wanted to tell you. What I wanted to remind you is that more information fits into smaller places making taking it that much easier. So when trying to protect your corporate secrets, better heed the lessons of leaks and dumps — manage information like it’s an asset and expect that others want your assets.

Destruction of Evidence

A nascent IT guy says to his colleague “Hey, these lawyers have their shorts in a bundle over this e-discovery thing. Besides I am not sure what destruction of evidence looks like.” The colleague giggles and says it’s like pornography, you will know when you see it” Are you sure, mutters nascent IT guy”.

Let me help

On February 9, the Wall Street Journal reported about ongoing insider trading scandal. According to the article one note stated “Just go into office…shred as much as u can”. The missive was sent by instant messaging. Well that would clearly be destruction of evidence if you had an obligation to preserve for a imminent or pending legal matter.

Then the article states “One of them allegedly ripped up his computer drives with pliers after the reading the Wall Street Journal report on the probe”. Ok, there is a imminent legal problem and that would be destruction or attempted destruction.

The fund manager who destroyed the computer later dumped the pieces in four separate garbage trucks around New York”… Does not look as it related to intent, now does it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Internet records as potential evidence

As all sorts of internet records are reviewed as potential evidence in the government’s prosecution of Jared Loughner for his heinous assault in Arizona that killed 6 including a small child, a judge and seriously wounded a special Congresswoman and others, the other side is preparing to defend this obvious criminal (yeah, yeah I know, we are innocent until proven guilty). Also interesting is the lawyer he was appointed free of charge, to undermine the evidence and defend Loughner (we do have a great country indeed), is Judy Clark who also represented the Unibomber and Sept. 11 criminal, Moussaoui. I sure hope the evidence is strong and the trial swift.