Tag Archives: information sharing

Information Management: Mark Coughlan interview

mark coughan
Mark Coughlan
Director
ING Groep N.V.

BearingPoint took some time to sit down with executives in a series of discussions to get their insights into information management. This conversation is with Mark Coughlan, Director, ING Groep N.V. (Amsterdam).

ING Groep is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investment, life insurance and retirement services to more than 85 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 50 countries. Mark Coughlan, an ING director, is recognized as an energetic, passionate leader who believes success comes from building professional teams with high levels of motivation and empowerment. Mark Coughlan, has responsibilities for operations and information technology (IT) across ING functions—covering finance, risk, human resources and other corporate areas—and part of ING Wholesale Banking.

In this Q and A, Mark talks about topics including the increasing need for better IM strategy and how to build one to eliminate siloed information. He also discusses data governance and data replication and how they are effecting industries.

Read the full conversation

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Information Management: An interview with Tom Conophy

tom_conophy
Tom Conophy
Chief Information Officer
InterContinental Hotels

BearingPoint took some time to sit down with executives in a series of discussions to get their insights into information management. This conversation is with Tom Conophy, Chief Information Officer, InterContinental Hotels.

For the past 25 years, Tom has tackled some of the most challenging issues in technology-supported business strategies across a variety of industries. So when he took over as chief information officer (CIO) of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC in 2006, his mandate was clear: explore and apply the technologies that are most likely to advance the mission of his organization and look for opportunities to innovate in ways that will set InterContinental Hotels apart in a highly competitive market.

With the active support of his company’s senior leadership, Tom has seen InterContinental Hotels leverage its Advantage Technology Platform to establish a competitive advantage in the hospitality sector. He points to the company’s advances in business intelligence and Web-based marketing as central to its recent growth. The company, which is now building the world’s largest hotel in China, is the third largest hotel chain, with brands such as InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites.

Tom spoke with BearingPoint about his organization’s information management initiative, read the full conversation

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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

Data security: Protecting personal information and privacy

Data Protection

In June 2006, the U.S. government got a wake-up call: A Department of Veterans Affairs laptop containing personal information on about 26 million current and former military members and their spouses was lost. Not only did the government have a potential breach of privacy to deal with, but it also faced media scrutiny and public criticism. How much damage could result to individuals and to the federal government if personally identifiable information (PII) got into the wrong hands? In this case, fortunately, the data was recovered without compromise. But that’s the exception rather than the rule. In many cases, the consequences of this kind of privacy breach are severe—to the individual and to the organization maintaining the data.

As the gatekeeper to the biggest storehouse of personal information identifying American citizens, what role should the government play in maintaining and protecting that data? The answer: a monumental role, to say the least. That role doesn’t come without challenges, of course. In this white paper, we examine some of the challenges federal agencies face in creating a “culture of protection,” discuss the roadblocks that may get in the way and offer new thinking to managing privacy issues.