Tag Archives: information management

Information management

Eric Elliott
Eric Elliott
Director of Information
Technology,
OPTI Canada

An interview with Eric Elliott, Director of Information Technology, OPTI Canada

BearingPoint took sometime to sit down with executives in a series of discussion to get their insights into information management. This conversation is with Eric Elliott, director of information technology for OPTI, a Canadian energy company. The company, with its partner Nexen Inc., has formed a joint venture to develop oil sands projects in the Athabasca region.

He joined the company in early 2007 to help strengthen IT governance and operational processes. Given the highly regulated nature of the oil and gas industry in Canada, Eric is particularly focused on the content and document management challenges the company must address to operate successfully in the country.

In the conversation he discusses the importance of implementing an effective information management strategy at a start-up organization operating in the highly regulated fossil fuels industry. Including specifics on a current information management project they are undertaking and leading practices in dealing with your partners on information management and what lies ahead.

Read the full conversation

View the rest of the series

A New Perspective on C-Level Cooperation

Partners in information managementChief Financial Officers and Chief Marketing Officers are not traditionally thought of as best friends. It might have something to do with the juxtaposition of left and right brain thinking, or differing views on how to measure the performance of marketing programs and their impact on the bottom line that keeps these two executives from sitting next to each other at the lunch table.

Yet this relationship is becoming more important as both executives realize the value of more specific marketing and customer information to help drive strategic decisions; a merger of the creative and analytical minds can clearly help improve performance and fuel growth.

Many clients of BearingPoint’s World-Class Finance practice were asking about this, so we decided to partner with APQC, conduct a survey, and report our findings on the topic. You’re invited to read the resulting report: “CFOs and CMOs: partners in information management”.

One of the disconnects highlighted in the report is around the availability of data for customer segmentation and profitability analysis: while 80% of CFOs said they are providing sufficient data, less than 40% of CMOs said they are getting the data they need to make good decisions.

We hope these findings are helpful. Please feel free to share your comments and ideas here once you’ve read the research.

Author: Monica Huber

Information management: why it’s essential for life sciences companies

Life Sciences Information ManagementInformation is the backbone of life sciences organizations. When used
effectively and formally woven into the culture of an organization,
information can streamline processes and help an organization gain
competitive advantage.

But exponential growth in data volumes and complexity is posing a serious and daunting challenge across the industry. Simply managing information better in a technological sense is not enough. Life sciences organizations gain better control of enterprise information by understanding the scope and complexity of the data management problem and by defining the strategic business objectives of effective information management.

Read more about how life sciences companies can address these information management challenges.

Sweat Equity

Reposted from E2.OH – Investigations into Enterprise 2.0
post by Nate Nash

The results of the dank, humidly oppressive heat outside and the icy breeze incessantly wheezing at full tilt from the vent over my cube is an appropriate metaphor for many things here. The two extremes combine into a somewhat temperate, moderately sticky existence that takes every opportunity to remind me my wool suit is a far from informed fashion statement. I have become the mildly disappointing middle-ground between immovable environment and the best laid apparel plans. A pitiful melange of attempted professional grandeur, slogging sweatily through a rain forest.

Awesome. Let’s implement some E2…

I suppose I am built for cooler climates, but alas I find myself in a tropical metropolis. It is not technically that hot. However, it is extremely technical when it comes to atmosphere. The humidity, smog, and millions of people everywhere fit like a moist, size too small glove, squeezing you into anonymous exhaustion. On this particular day Jay and I are presenting our progress on a new portal and KM prototype. The majority of the presentation was your usual schnauzer and quarter horse, but I found a specific snippet of dialog worthy to resurrect this rustbucket of a blog.

I loudly clear my throat, hoping to startle open the drooping eyelids of the unlucky meeting attendees. I bat .500 on the try, but figure it is better than a wholly unconscious audience.

“After interviewing stakeholders from across your organization, a single, shining beacon of a requirement has emerged. That beacon my friends, is the guiding principle by which we have developed your prototypes. From the most senior director down to the interns, your organization’s needs can be summed up in a single phrase…. ”

I pause for effect as fluttering eyelids and the squeaking of uncomfortable people adjusting uncomfortable chairs creates the desired climatic precipice. (In case it isn’t already blatantly apparent, I tend toward the dramatic. Come on…anybody can do PowerPoint. Let’s cook with jet fuel for once.)

“Nobody can find anything. Ever.”

A full room of vigorously nodding heads confirms the statement. A man leans forward from a particularly rickety chair in the back of the room and slightly raises his left hand. I acknowledge his question as he unknowingly blasphemes, “We need a logical structure! Just like my hard drive. Is this what you have created for us?”

I now have 2 reasons to sweat. The aforementioned climate and my answer to this question.

“You don’t need organization. You need transparency. Your guiding requirement is not a new place to put things. It is a new way to do things. The effectiveness of this organization is stifled through the corralling of people, process, and technology into utterly unusable pockets of opacity. We propose transparency as the guiding principle for change, affecting all aspects of the organization, technological or otherwise. Your complete organization states the inability to quickly find information as a chief concern. This is not caused by ineffective execution. This is caused by ineffective dogma.”

Glasses, ties, papers, feet, eyebrows are adjusting. The room is exploding with minor adjustments. Everyone in simultaneously slightly adjusting something. I am wondering whether I should adjust my flight home to account for the looming stage hook. Slowly the lesser vibrations cease and the same man speaks again.

“But my department needs control. My department has very sensitive information that can’t be shared. I need to be able to find information from the other departments, but our documents are confidential.”

The nodding quickly reaches a fever pitch, heads bobbing like chop after a summer squall. I launch into a pointless rant about what actually makes information confidential but it is relatively clear to me the stage has been set. No matter where we go from here, this implementation will be about air-conditioning in the tropics. You see no matter the intent or design of air-conditioning, there is always a lingering wisp of the natural environment. Sometimes it is barely noticeable, other times it is overwhelming. I am confident that the “guiding principle of transparency” will not be watered down to a “suggestion of translucency”, but there is a long road ahead. In order for complete success to occur, there must be an organic change in the environment, not a temporary, man-made attempt at cooling things off. Without the underlying shift in the organizational climate surrounding transparency, there will be rooms that are too cold or too hot, depending upon your perspective and location. Change is difficult indeed. However, addressing the root cause will make for much longer lasting results. Dropping a wiki on a group of people without first seeking to alter their method for work is like wearing a suit in the rainforest. Looks decent from afar but is completely uncomfortable up close.

Luckily, the organization is committed to the concept (at least), and starting to warm up (pun intended) to the prospect of change. We are committed as well, but should probably look into procuring a few linen suits.

Collaboration with Wikis: Filling the void

Post by Sean Lew, Business Consultant at BearingPointCollaboration

There is a growing need for organizations to collaborate more efficiently across time zones, geographic locations and across departments. Collaboration promises greater efficiency, streamlined communication and better knowledge retention across an organization. Collaboration software like wikis has also been sprouting all over organizations with no real direction from the senior management. Many organizations have started taking a more serious look at such forms of collaboration technologies.

Internal collaboration

Collaboration is not just providing a virtual platform for employees to work together. It allows employees to hold conversations and discussions online and provides background and context for visitors or new team members. With all the information well documented, there is a reduced risk of losing information when employees move on.

Many collaboration technologies also provide a social aspect of it where employees can connect with people outside of their team. This allows self discovery of assets within the organization, find other experts and innovate on the project, department or the business.

External collaboration

Collaboration with suppliers and customers should also be an area organizations should look at. Harvard Business School (http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/5258.html) conducted a research on Procter and Gamble’s (P&G) innovation model which includes connecting with the global talent pool in search of promising ideas and implement P&G’s capabilities to create better and cheaper products – fast. Such forms of collaboration, may it be with suppliers or customers can be very astonishing.

The success of collaboration is to take an enterprise view and formulate an adoption strategy across the various departments. What is your organization doing to strategize and implement changes to meet the needs of your rising collaboration requirements?

Author: Sean Lew

Information Management: turning knowledge into actionable insight

Information managementToday’s enterprise is filled with volumes of information, with more constantly generated by employees, suppliers, partners and customers every minute. The enterprise stores this information in everything from databases to content management applications, from data warehouses to departmental file servers, and even on individual employees’ hard drives.

While all these repositories make it easier to access information, their disparate nature makes it hard to analyze the information. The enterprise must be able to identify problems or potential areas for innovation. In order to do this , there must be an an overarching structure for data, which makes it possible to see patterns or trends.

This article with CIO magazine outlines the challenges businesses face with information management.

Information Management: How to Achieve Organizational Success

The key step to enhancing information is to look at the situation across your entire company to evaluate where the problem lies. Once you’ve focused on the business requirement, you can easily see where the technology fits in. When a company has enhanced information and data, they have a better chance at success. The organization also must have the ability to react to market changes, and better yet, be proactive.

Join BearingPoint Senior Business Advisor Jaime Garza to discuss the call for better management of information to support profitability measurement and pricing in today’s U.S. interest rate environment. Changing interest rates affect all of us when it comes to our personal savings accounts and other financial services. The interest rate movements have begun to have an impact in new ways – especially for mid-size and larger institutions.

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