TechnologiesInformation ManagementDiscovery

How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Compliance and Love Information Management

Even in heavily regulated industries such as energy and resources, the term “records management”(RM) has a somewhat negative connotation.
Over the span of my career in engineering firms, energy companies and public sector bodies responsible for governing the industry, I’ve come to accept that executives are reticent to invest in RM initiatives.
In my experience, is has typically been some compelling event that has driven major information and records management initiatives within these businesses – a scathing audit demonstrating non-compliance; a health, safety or environmental incident that could have been avoided; or a costly claim or lawsuit – where poor information management (IM) or the reactive costs of eDiscovery were too high a price for the business to pay.Today, it is hard to imagine that there is any executive, or employee for that matter, that doesn’t recognize the value of information to their day-to-day operations. Especially when you consider that companies such as Google and Facebook are making such lucrative business out of information alone.

Yet, many utilities and resources companies continue to suffer from poor information management – often failing to invest in the tools that support even their most basic information management needs – let alone leveraging that information for innovation and competitive advantage.

Information has value, and when properly managed, information can reduce risk as well as positively impact your overall revenue, efficiency and profitability. When effective information management is embedded in the processes and activities that you perform in the course of your normal operations you achieve increased compliance – and you realize the strategic value of that information.

This is where “Information Governance” comes in. I am pleased that the IM industry has adopted this term to reflect the new era of information management. It more accurately reflects the paradigm shift we’ve been experiencing over the past 20-30 years, as electronic information in its many forms, has replaced antiquated practices and tools rooted in paper-based processes.

An effective Information Governance strategy not only addresses the myriad of information types in your business – paper, electronic documents,rich media, structured data and master data, or sensor and operational analysis data – but it manages the information in the core business processes and applications across the enterprise. The right Information Governance platform is foundation that unifies the information silos and processes – and delivers value to the core operations of the business.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be running a series of blogs that demonstrate how Information Governance supports business processes and challenges that are specific to energy and resources companies.

You will hear from my colleagues, in their individual areas of expertise, about content-centric applications such as: Engineering Document Management; Contract Management; Asset Information Management;Customer Communication and Customer Information Management.

We will also cover two additional topics reflecting the challenges of the complex information technology landscape (IT) in modern energy companies:governing your SAP and SharePoint information; and managing legacy systems and information silos from mergers, acquisitions and joint-ventures.

I hope that you will join us for the entire blog series, as we demonstrate how Information Governance manages your risk, ensures your compliance and delivers value to your business.

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OpenText is the leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM). Our EIM products enable businesses to grow faster, lower operational costs, and reduce information governance and security risks by improving business insight, impact and process speed.

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