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Tuesday, January 11, 2011
It's easy to offer yearly predictions based on a wave of momentum that surrounds the software industry. In 2010, however, some significant things happened in the information world, which are bound to result in some significant feats of organizational change in 2011.
Consider the issues surrounding information security with WikiLeaks and the continued and evolving success of social media and Facebook fueling expectations of the demise of traditional email. Let's also not forget the acquisitions that took place in 2010 as a result of vendors competing for the title of the best end-to-end eDiscovery solution to address escalating litigation costs.
Let's address each of these transformative events one by one.
Impact of WikiLeaks
With the high-profile exposures of a whole range of government and financial organizations to the guillotine that is WikiLeaks, more and more companies are taking a closer look at themselves and saying, "could it happen to us?" At the heart of the concern is the large amount of unsecured and sensitive information that typically flows through organizations in an unchecked, unmonitored and generally unsecured manner. In 2011, I expect companies to revisit or initiate information security reviews and establish strategies that address the need to better secure, access and monitor critical unstructured information.
Facebook Meets eDiscovery
This year, I also predict compliance and eDiscovery mandates will affect Facebook. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was recently quoted as saying traditional e-mail is dead and his company is striving in 2011 to simplify electronic communication through the social network. In 2011, we will see social networks used in more and more cases of eDiscovery particularly as Facebook plans to introduce its own email service very soon that complements its social posts. What is even more interesting about this development is Facebook's intention to maintain an indefinite perspective on information retention and access for every single email in its system. You can therefore expect in 2011 restrictive organizational policies on information retention to be circumvented and rendered ineffective as employees defer to using facemail instead of corporate mail. This is something I plan to cover in more detail in a future post as we see this debate evolve.
I'm also placing my bets on information privacy and that this subject will begin to be addressed in more detail on a worldwide basis in 2011. Historically in Europe, data privacy, access and retention discussions have been centered on the "individual" and their data security rights. Meanwhile, in the U.S., retention and data management has been more of a "corporate" discussion and the responsibility of businesses. The couple of exceptions to protecting the security of individual data would be HIPPA and PIPEDA. I think it's worth discussing further the nuances of these different security rights, which I'll also do in a future blog.
For now though, I think we're going to see more convergence of these issues across the U.S. and the Pond. The catalyst for change is the information cloud. As information is unified and moved without the knowledge or permission of individuals regardless of borders, tighter controls mandated of cloud providers in different countries, as well as new legal and ethical questions, will fuel the debate for better global policy.
Information Governance Drivers
Finally, let's not forget Information Governance. I expect 2011 to be about simplification, proactive behavior, and efficiency, and more importantly seeing through the illusion and misdirection of information management to the practical delivery of access and retention solutions that add direct measurable value to the way organizations govern their information.
I, for one, am excited to watch these transformations come about. Do you see these same trends playing out in 2011? What else do you see happening?
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