It may sound frightening - but today, at this very moment, there is a high likelihood that if you are the CEO or Executive Manager of a Local Government organisation, your IT staff are managing only 25% of your information. Yes, the people who have responsibility for making sure your data is clean, complete and secure may not consider 75% of your information when they make daily decisions. They may not even know it exists.
To be fair it may not necessarily, be their fault. Times have changed so quickly that the systems they manage held 100% of your organisation's information not so long ago. But in a few short years, information is no longer stored in the same place, web-based systems for simple tasks have proliferated, and the volume of information has multiplied year on year. In a period of such rapid change, with finite resources, it's sometimes simply too hard to keep up.
Let’s think back to the good old days. When IT was easy. You bought a system, you put it on servers and staff could use the organisation’s network to access those systems from their office desktop or laptops. They could even get a citrix connection and login from home. As an IT Manager your job was to make sure the network was fast and secure. Staff could log on to their PC and access the systems they needed. You had firewalls and security in place that made sure data couldn’t get in or out.
Fast forward to today. Cloud computing has become ubiquitous. Amazon Web Services gives you the facility to launch a server in their data centres, from your phone, in a matter of minutes. For a few dollars a month. Software as a service means we can sign up to use online software in a matter of minutes. How many of your departments have got Survey Monkey accounts for example? Staff have smartphones that are more powerful than the PCs they have at work. Social media means they can communicate with and market to customers quickly and conveniently at no cost. And so on and so on….
This environment provides great flexibility to staff wanting to use digital tools. However, it also brings great challenges to the discipline of information management.
Yes your billing information, planning information, engineering information may still be on your ERP system sitting in your server room or data centre. But what about the many other services that are used frequently by the community? These services collect lots of data as they are used frequently by large numbers in the community. Our research indicates that they could generate up to 75% of your data.
What information may be outside the control of your IT staff?
- Library information?
- Customer emails lists?
- Surveys and consultation information?
- Health services information?
- Arts and culture information?
- Sports and recreation information?
- Inbound and outbound communications made via social media?
More than likely, lots of the information related to services that the community use frequently is held on the cloud and not managed by IT. This information is outside your firewall but you have responsibility for it.
Is it secure? Is it backed up? Does it conflict with information on your internal systems? These are questions you IT manager must be able to answer.
IT frameworks that worked in an era of client server environments no longer cut the mustard.Firstly, they no longer ensure your data is secure. Secondly, as we will discuss in future blogs, old frameworks make it impossible to deliver a Single Customer View environment.
As CEO or Executive Manager, you need an IT framework that will support your organisation to operate effectively in todays increasingly digital world.
We’ve helped dozens of CEOs and Executive Managers understand what it is they really need from an IT framework, unique to the requirements of their own organisation.
If you would like to talk to us or alternatively chat with some of the CEOs and Executive Managers we’ve assisted over the years. Please get in touch with us.