Predicting 2014

I know I am a tad late on my prediction post for 2014, but I have had a hard time coming to terms with what will happen this year. At this point, it is easy to predict where things are going overall, but specific events over the next 12 months? Much more challenging.

I learned this by evaluating my 2013 predictions. The ones that didn’t come to fruition are still trending in the right direction. Those predictions just failed to hit that magic event before the end of 2013.

Well, I am going to try again this year. I am going to lean more towards trends and less on specific events. I could predict Open Text is going to make a large acquisition and that SharePoint will be declared dead by {insert large number here} prognosticators this year, but those things happen EVERY year which makes it feel like cheating.

What can we expect in 2013?

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Checking the Industry Trends

I was playing with Google Trends the other day. I was curious what terms people were searching for on Google and how they related to the terms we seem to throw around the industry. This particular bout of curiosity stemmed from distinguishing between the technology and the business problems that people are trying to solve.

The first search was a set of standard terms we use when we talk about what we do on a regular basis.

  • Content Management, 1.00
  • Information Management, 1.52
  • Records Management, 0.32
  • ECM, 1.26 (Enterprise Content Management got 0.02)

It is a pretty consistent downward trend across the board. We can hypothesize as to why they are trending down, but I suspect it relates to the saturation of the term among those in the technology industry.

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The Lost Decade of ECM

imageOf the three posts rattling around in my head, this would be the third in order if I had to set a preferred order. Problem is, one idea takes more effort to develop while the other actually needs to refer to items in this post.

I spoke last week at Momentum in Las Vegas as part of EMC World. Instead of talking about Documentum or how I had worked with a client to solve a problem, I talked about the changing landscape of the Information Industry. The SlideShare version of the presentation is at the end of this post but I wanted to talk about the Lost Decade first.

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Getting to the Big Data Problem

The amount of data in your organization is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean you might think that it take a long time to read your inbox but that’s just peanuts to how much your organization touches in a single day.

- Mangling of quote by Douglas Adams in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The amount of data in your organization is massive. Anyone who has been in the Content Management industry for more than a few years can tell you that much. All those content repositories are nothing more than messy, poorly structured, data warehouses.

The part that I didn’t realize until watching Clay Shirky’s keynote at AIIM 2012 was that the amount of data that many organizations is amassing isn’t always enough. Many organizations just are dealing with what I will now shockingly classify as “traditional” Big Data issue. They don’t have the volume, variability, variety, or velocity of data. (Your actual “V”s may vary)

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The “Better” Information Professional

Normally I don’t like to post too quickly on a specific topic. This is because I like people to digest the previous post and let it bounce around the net a bit. Today calls for an exception.

As I discussed, I took AIIM’s new Certified Information Professional exam cold. While I did want to judge the exam, there was a second reason for taking it cold. I bet Cheryl McKinnon that I could score higher then her without studying. While I wasn’t overly confident, I figured the odds were even and the conditions of the bet weren’t onerous.

Well, I lost. Cheryl, a vice president of MARKETING, received a higher score. She is the better CIP.

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Certified Information Professional, A Valid Measure

Yesterday I talked a little about why the concept of a Certified Information Professional is important to making Information Management a real profession and the gap that it is aiming to fill. Today I want to talk about the exam itself and whether or not it is a good measurement tool.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details on how the exam was prepared by outside experts or any of that. While important, that isn’t a true measure. I think the true measure is the opinions of the battle-scarred veterans of the Information wars. Being one, I offer my opinion here to start building a consensus.

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Becoming a Certified Information Professional

imageToday I went out and passed AIIM’s Certified Information Professional exam. There are a lot of thoughts I want to share around this action, but it is going to take a couple of posts. In this post I am going to cover the Why. Later I will cover the What.

The first thing I want to say is that working for AIIM is not the reason I took the exam. My original goal had been to listen to feedback from others before I took the exam. It was always in my 2012 plans. Joining AIIM just moved me from the laggard position to that of the evaluator.

After all, if I was going to be the lead Information Professional at AIIM I should at least check out the certification sooner rather than later.

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My Next Life as AIIM’s CIO

Pretty exciting, eh? Definitely a different, yet very, familiar role. When you consider that I’m joining a pretty good team that just added Cheryl McKinnon as VP of Marketing, you can start to see some exciting, or at least interesting, times ahead.

Now that you’ve read the answer to the open-ended question from a week ago, what else is there to tell you? How about the story behind my move to AIIM and a little about what I see happening in my future?

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Exploring a Brave New World, HIMSS 2010

image This is going to be a busy week for me.  I am off to HIMSS 2010 in Atlanta for a two primary reasons (and about a thousand secondary).  The first is to support my Healthcare colleagues from Washington Consulting at the conference.  The second, which will make the first all the more challenging, is to learn more about the vertical that is Healthcare IT.

Before I jump into it, a funny little joke.  When I was in a meeting and we were talking about the trip to HIMSS, someone mentioned HL7. Being one of many new terms to me, I didn’t ask them what it meant, just glanced at them with a curious look on my face.  They told me, and I kid you not, Look it up later. Just remember that there is no HL6 or 8.  Thanks for the help guys. ( I did learn what it was later and actually understood the “7″ reference.)

Haven’t I Heard This Before?

So as I did research to get ready to hit the ground running, I saw a lot of challenges that the Healthcare industry is facing on the IT side.  I had heard most of it from a high level before in news reports and in Information Management/ECM case studies.  I had also picked some information up in planning for this year’s AIIM CMIS Demo.

When you strip out the names of the federal mandates and the acronyms that are common in the industry, I saw a lot words that I understood quite well:

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Documentum and the Search for Search

Those of you that follow Documentum’s products know that search has been a bug-a-boo the last few years. When 5.3 was rolled-out, there was much promised around faster search.  It is here, but at a price.  Additional hardware is needed and the version of FAST used by Documentum isn’t VMWare safe. To be fair, dedicating a server to search is part of the reason we have better performance, but it hasn’t been the panacea that we wanted.

In 7.0, we are looking at the prospect of Lucene support for the more plug-and-play repositories, while the larger ones will still be able to leverage a larger, multi-node, FAST installation. (Works great! Seriously, I mean it.)  This is fine, but supporting two search engines, neither of which you actually own, is an issue for any vendor.

So what is the solution? Last week I read an article speculating on the prospect of EMC looking for a search company to add to their portfolio. Now the article was pure speculation, but that is what makes it fun.  Let’s see if it makes sense and who could EMC acquire.

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