The Knowledge Worker Desktop.

Tag: compliance

Success of digitization in the Danish Ministry of Transport.

by on Mar.31, 2010, under Digital government, e-government, government 2.0, innovation, Paperless government

At cBrain we have been involved in the development of a new “all-in-one software solution for paperless governmental departments” as we describe it. For white paper on this solution click here.

The following is a translation of a news release from the Danish Ministry of Transport – click here.

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The 4th of January 2010, the central department within the Ministry of Transport implemented a complete digitization of internal workflows. Already – after nearly three months – there is reason for saying that the project has been a success.

The full digitization involves casework, knowledge sharing, communication and archiving/journalizing done electronically in a single system, the electronic document and records management system, cBrain F2.

cBrain F2 was developed in collaboration between the IT company cBrain and the Ministry of Social Affairs, but the central Department within  the Ministry of Transport is the first place where cBrain F2 is implemented throughout the entire organization.

Head of the Department, Jacob Heinsen explains it this way: “We have – like most others – through a number of years had an electronic document management system, but it was just not generating the desired benefits because the system was not integrated, and because the cases were still moving around the house on paper. With the new system, we have not banned the use of paper in the proceedings, but paper has simply been outperformed. The employees are experiencing that it now is easier to handle cases and submit them to management electronically. They will no longer need to make a lot of paper copies, and they can also continuously follow how the cases progresses in F2. With the new system electronic document and records management is no longer an additional task, but a real reduction in work.”

A user survey conducted after two months of operation confirm this impression. By switching from the existing electronic document and records management system to cBrain F2, employee satisfaction with the system went from “poor” to “satisfactory”. “You would think it was a lie, but employees say they were actually excited about work after the introduction of the new IT system,” says Jacob Heinsen.

Project leader Thomas Ginnerup-Nielsen says about his experiences with the project: “It’s been hard work, but actually we have not had any crises in the process. It is in itself unusual for a government IT project. But the ultimate test is, of course, the results living up to – well, actually exceeding – the objectives of the project.”

See a showcase of user survey and results here.

Questions can be directed to contacts mentioned in the news release.

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Enterprise 2.0 will re-invent corporate silos…. AND it is OK!

by on Jul.27, 2009, under compliance, eDiscovery, enterprise 2.0, innovation, software for the knowledge worker

During the last few weeks I have been engaged in a number of discussions about different aspects of the concept of Enterprise 2.0 in the aftermath of the June 2009 Enterprise 2.0 conference here in Boston.

People are coming at this from all kinds of angles and I assume that reflect their professional experiences within areas like Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Knowledge Management (KM), Business Process Management (BPM), Project Portfolio Management, (PPM), Innovation Management (IM) and other such classifications of different aspects of what makes an organization function. AND now we have a new classification with Enterprise 2.0 that we are trying to define.

Each one of these classifications or disciplines has its own set of “magic quadrant” constructed by research firms to assess vendor solutions and “hall of fame” defined by (vendor) associations and Enterprise 2.0 is probably not far behind.

Much discussion was about breaking down the corporate silos to further adoptions of social media tools to improve overall communication. But to quote Paula Thornton“there is an issue greater than adoption at play here: hesitation to recognize the breadth and depth of adaptation that needs to occur across the entire enterprise and every aspect of the business model.”

Similarly Fred Zimny states: “many business decision makers who decide to dive into the E2.0 sea, often come back more confused than they were before taking that dive. AIIM’s year-old survey, which found that 74% of surveyed organizations had no idea what E2.0 meant or how it could be meaningfully applied, likely would’ve come back with a similar numbers today.”

Carl Frappaolo has weight in on the discussion about the use of collaborative social technologies in an Enterprise 2.0 setting and if such information will be considered subject to legal discovery – “a class action suit regarding patient/individual privacy rights, the courts ruled that content in “FaceBook, MySpace, instant-messaging threads, blog posts and whatever else the plaintiffs might have done online” was discoverable. The plaintiffs’ objection that this violated the plaintiffs’ privacy was shot down. These tools and their content were viewed as public, not on a private network, but the public world wide web.” And later “You should not have a different management policy for e-mail, or blogs, or microblogs. The medium or format should not dictate policy (other than acceptable use of the tool of course). It is the content that matters no matter what format or tool it was created in.”

I could not agree more – all content is legally material, so you better find a way to manage the exchanges of information regardless of the medium!

This leads me to what I see as the essence of Enterprise 2.0: We are looking for a way to manage the unstructured information that flow along a time-line for projects and business processes alike.

To me most business processes have the same issues as projects except they do not have a final end date. Projects and processes deal with people collaboration along a time-line with milestones and deadlines towards a measurable goal.

This information exchange is happening within teams, between corporate silos and often includes vendors, sub-contractors and customers.

ERP, CRM and other legacy systems have evolved over the last 20-30 years to manage an organization’s structured information – General Ledger, Receivables, Payables, Budgeting, Billing, Inventory Control, Distribution, Purchasing, Time Sheets and Expense Reports, Support, Sales and Marketing, Human Resources and other classifications depending on industry.

Corporate silos have evolved to provide specialized knowledge and accountability for different aspects of what makes an organization function.

Take the case of a project based organization like an advertising agency or similar consulting firm – they make money or lose money depending on how well they manage the scope definition of their projects (assuming they are competitive in the market place).

The scope definition is tied to a contract describing the products and services to be delivered to a client over a time period with given assumptions. Scope definition and assumptions most often changes as the project progresses and thus the need for efficient communication between all stakeholders to amend projects and contracts.

Corporate silos in larger organizations will be re-invented to take advantage of  Enterprise 2.0 and it is OK!

The CFO (Finance Department) will still exist and wanting to control (credit check at a minimum) when a prospect presented by Sales and Marketing can be defined as a potential customer and pre-sales team members can start reporting time and expenses toward that “customer”.

For advertising agencies up to 10% of total cost is often pre-sale cost. Once a customer contract is signed and budgets for cost and resources are approved the CFO will then approve the project for the project team to start reporting billable time and expenses to that account.

Changes to project scope will be reflected in changes to project timeline (most often) as well as resources (people, material, sub-contractors, etc.) required.

This will involve the legal department for amendments to the contract as well as Finance and potentially Human Resources.

Enterprise 2.0 done right will help provide better scope management by organizing the flow of unstructured information between stakeholders. In other words “getting the job done” and at the same time facilitate that possible regulatory compliance is adhered to and eDiscovery can be achieved at reasonable cost.

In a legal sense ALL project information exchange is material and we better plan for that without creating new barriers for “getting the work done” – that is the challenge for Enterprise 2.0 as the concept evolves.

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Will Enterprise 2.0 change corporate culture or reinvent the silos?

by on Jul.01, 2009, under compliance, eDiscovery, enterprise 2.0, integration drives paradigm shift

At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston last week there was an impressive representation of actual practitioners of “enterprise social software” from major corporations like BofA, Raytheon, Alcatel-Lucent, Allstate, Humana, Jet Blue, M&M Mars, Eli Lilly, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton and many others.

Many participants have blogged about the conference and I will refer to Bill Ives, Larry Hawes and Gil Yehuda and their summaries from the conference for a balanced view of the state of Enterprise 2.0. All have many references to other much respected bloggers and their conference take away and I encourage you to check them out.

Paula Thornton has an interesting post today – in reference to the conference – about “reinventing silos” that I find thought provoking. I have been in the trenches implementing solutions that would only succeed if company culture somehow could change/evolve/adapt. Paula is quoting Ben Foster from Allstate for saying “Enterprises and practitioners are often guilty of using Social Media as a cure chasing a disease.” I agree and will post about the role of organizational silos in my next post – stay tuned.

My own bottom line about the Boston conference is that there is a long way to go before Enterprise 2.0 “grows up” to be “WEB 2.0 for the enterprise” (or “Facebook and Twitter inside the firewall”). Integration with existing legacy systems, including general access control, logging of information exchanges in the context of a project or process combined with an upfront approach to industry specific compliance issues, FRCP and eDiscovery was rarely discussed during the sessions.

I also came away with the sense that a major driving force behind Enterprise 2.0 is a desire to get people to collaborate by other means than email. In essence that Enterprise 2.0 becomes a central repository for the exchange of messages and documents for a team of knowledge workers that need to collaborate in an easy and transparent way towards a common goal – sounds simple enough BUT it is not!

According to a recent AIIM report, there has been a dramatic increase in the understanding of how Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, blogs, forums, and social networks can be used to improve business collaboration and knowledge sharing, with over half of organizations now considering Enterprise 2.0 to be “important” or “very important” to their business goals and success. Only 17% admitted that they have no idea what it is, compared to 40% at the start of 2008. However, only 25% of organizations are actually doing anything about it – but that is up from 12% in the previous survey.
AIIM does a lot of research and some of the findings are quite scary:

  • 34% of organizations never delete emails, 31% have no policy, 8% delete when running out of storage space, 27% delete after 1- 24 months
  • Some 45% of organizations do not have a policy on Outlook “Archive settings” so most users will likely create .pst archive files on local drives
  • 33% of organizations have no policy to deal with legal discovery, 40% would likely have to search back-up tapes, and 23% feel they would have gaps from deleted emails.
  • 18% had been exposed to a legal challenge in the last 12 months and a further 15% in the last 3 years – a one-in-three chance.

Old habits and deep-seated corporate culture will be difficult to change without the chief change agents being senior management backed by a concerted effort to communicate to employees why this will benefit the overall organization and not threaten the individual. Knowledge is often perceived as power/job security and a difficult thing to share without getting something in return.

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ROI and the privacy paradox – can social networks be secure?

by on Jun.24, 2009, under eDiscovery, enterprise 2.0, integration drives paradigm shift, software for the knowledge worker

Today at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston there were a number of interesting presentations and panel discussions. One of the “debates” that stuck in my mind was the one about ROI. For this audience I think the consensus was that measuring ROI is meaningless since social media is a game changer that cannot be sensibly measured.

Social networks are, the argument goes, under the same scrutiny that the telephone was decades ago – why would you want to put a telephone on every person’s desk? People would just use it to gossip and call family and friends and hinder “real work”.

When the IBM PC (PC clones and the Lisa/Macintosh a bit later) emerged in the early 1980’s a similar discussion took place – I know, I was there on the vendor side! Department managers often had the budget privilege (cost < $10,000) to purchase PCs as productivity tools without the approval of the IT department and soon PCs were everywhere because it helped people “get the work done”. Soon networking capabilities emerged facilitating email sharing of information and for a while IT lost control of computing.

It took the 1990s for IT departments to regain overall control of “data processing” within larger corporations. Central control of licensing and distribution of software and subsequent maintenance updates put the IT department back in control. In many corporations internet filters limited how employees could access the Worldwide Wide Web.

Social media tools have changed the rules about who controls personal and corporate data. For the most part they have been free – Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and others – and have simply reflected how people communicated privately with friends and family and simply applied these tools to groups of people within corporations. They just appeared because people found them useful to “get the job done”. CIOs are challenged with controlling the information flow and integrating the new concepts into the legacy IT structure.

As Elizabeth Bennett writes about trends in the June 2009 issue of cioinsight.com:

FEELING THE FEAR – but doing it anyway.
CIOs are setting aside ROI as they boldly rush into the enterprise social media fray.
She gives examples… Dell is expanding projects across divisions and Cisco and Booz Allen Hamilton are graduating from individual tools and rolling out strategic companywide platforms. And the most successful projects have at least two things in common: They were built with a key business process in mind, and predicting their ROI was not part of the equation.
She talks about the culture wars and cultural barriers that impedes adoptions at many firms and wraps up by quoting Dell CIO Robin Johnson. Johnson says his role is to enable collaboration and exploit what’s available to improve idea generation and intellectual property – safely! But sometimes that posture is out of sync with the openness these tools foster, creating another kind of clash:” Those with an audit or controls mind-set are unpopular”.

Booz Allen Hamilton’s Walton Smith talks in the article about a new generation of system integration and is adamant about the level of care and attention needed to drive adoption and usage of these new tools with change management being a big part of the budget.

Cisco’s CIO Rebecca Jacoby is quoted: “You learn you way through it. It’s not comfortable to go through that cultural change, but it is unavoidable. You just roll with it.”

Fascinating reading and I am sure we will see robust tools and platforms emerge that will integrate with current corporate legacy systems and retain the ease-of-use that have made today’s social media tools so popular.

The issues of privacy, FRCP and eDiscovery will evolve within these emerging enterprise 2.0 platforms, as the culture war between openness and control goes on.

Until then “you just roll with it”.

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Enterprise 2.0 and regulatory compliance.

by on Jun.20, 2009, under compliance, e-government, eDiscovery, enterprise 2.0, software for the knowledge worker

Why is it that knowledge workers in government as well as private enterprises are fighting a culture of control driven by management focused on FRCP, Sarbanes-Oxley, eDiscovery and other regulatory compliance requirements?

The social media tools like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are already being used by teams in many governmental agencies and private firms because they help knowledge workers “get the job done”.

However these tools are often a nightmare for the Chief Security Officer (if such a “C” level position exists). Regulatory compliance continues to be the main driver for security spending in most industry segments and a substantial financial burden for governmental agencies.

Sarbanes-Oxley for the USA came about after the Enron scandal and with the current financial meltdown for sure new regulations will emerge. Current US regulation is a patchwork of local, state and federal regulation.

The complexity of all the existing US regulations is such that it hinders small and medium sized businesses’ expansion into national or even multi-national market coverage even if that is exactly what the internet offers smaller businesses – the ability to source and operate like big multinational.

Most regulations deal with privacy and accountability. Sarbanes-Oxley for publicly traded firms is the big accountability regulation but smaller firms often trade with publicly traded companies and therefore indirectly will be required to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley.

Privacy is a hodgepodge of regional, national and industry segment specific laws. Obviously you cannot pretend these regulations don’t exist or hope they go away. Non-compliance may present a very real legal and financial risk to your organization.

Every bit of information exchange within the organization and with outside stakeholders must be auditable, i.e. there must be an audit trail and the kitchen sink approach to archiving of all information exchange and subsequent use of fancy search tools to retrieve information deemed to be material in a lawsuit will not work or at least be very, very expensive.

According to Ralph Losey, an eDiscovery attorney of FloridaLawFirm.com the cost of an eDiscovery associated with Microsoft is between $10 and $20 million dollars for each and every lawsuit.

Often organizations are opting not to go to court and instead just settle because litigation is becoming too expensive. Settlements are still expensive.

In the USA the Better Business Bureau shows 34 federal privacy laws that apply to business – industry specific, consumer protection, etc. Add the EU, Canada and the Far East and you are looking at 100+ privacy laws that could affect a company doing business globally.

Social media tools as we know them today do not provide an audit trail of information exchange with an easy way to access it. If you are ever the subject of an eDiscovery audit from a lawsuit, you may need to produce reports on hundreds or thousands of document transactions and other information exchanges from social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Enterprise 2.0 tools emerging as “social media tools for the enterprise” are as far as I can see not addressing these issues.

For the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston this coming week – June 22-25, 2009 – I see very few, if any reference to the issue of regulatory compliance! I see no mentioning of FRCP, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, eDiscovery, etc. or discussion of audit trails and archiving of information exchanges or “record management” in the context of a business process.

These are issues we deal with when implementing process applications like our Knowledge Worker Desktop for government or private enterprises.

I will be at the conference next week trying to find out how all these powerful emerging enterprise 2.0 tools could provide synergy to our process applications.

I believe in the future we will see a movement toward self-supported definition and ownership of processes by business stakeholders and project teams. Simple interconnected utilities (enterprise 2.0+) rather than comprehensive suites (SharePoint, OpenText, etc…) will emerge.

This will help to improve the orchestration of teams, people, content and collaboration, BUT someone must be the driving process engine.

I look forward to the Enterprise 2.0 conference!

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Government Agility in Asia.

by on Jun.03, 2009, under e-government, government 2.0, software for the knowledge worker

Government agility is one of the headlines that caught my attention concerning the government information forum to be held in Hong Kong on August 19-21, 2009.

It is a conference with an IT focus but many of the sections are very relevant for senior governmental executives wanting to get an understanding of new opportunities for improvements in how government and citizens interact.

Most of the speakers are from Asia – China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia among others.

Bill Schrier, the CTO from the City of Seattle is the only speaker not from the ASIA region. He is widely regarded as a thought leader in the use of social media and other tools to create a translucent government. His blog http://schrier.wordpress.com/ is worth a read.

I like his recent quote: “Making government “transparent” is in vogue in 2009, whether by doing map mashups of crimes or twittering by Mayors and public agencies. But I often wonder if we’re exposing the trees, without showing the forest or illuminating the true ecosystems of governing.” And he goes on ” So I’d say we’re starting to get adept at exposing the trees – or maybe the branches, twigs, leaves, owls, squirrels, nuts and bark of government operations. But what does all this data mean, and how can it influence government behavior, budgeting and public policy choices?”

Seattle is at the forefront of making the public aware of the goings-on in government and I assume that is why he was invited to speak.

Other topics covered at the Hong Kong conference – to name a few that caught my eye:

NOT AN OXYMORON: GOVERNMENT & BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE.
•    Responsive, agile policy-making calls for real time insight into the operations of the government machine. In a data rich environment, public sector is well placed to see a quick return from tools that deliver actionable intelligence to government decision-makers.

VIP Address – TRANSFORMING GOVERNMENT OPERATION THROUGH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
•    Exploring the networks and internet technologies for the delivery of government information, services and processes
•    Using technology to provide user-centered information and services and achieve joint outcomes

BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT FOR OPERATIONAL BEST PRACTICE
Mapped and monitored processes drive effective BPM strategies, enabling public sector organizations to embrace operational best practice.
•    Compliance & improvement initiatives driving public sector BPM
•    More than workflow automation: process-centric government
•    Process visibility enables process agility

So often at these events the focus is on technical stuff like portals and databases and not so much on better tools for the governmental knowledge worker. This conference seems different in the topics it covers.

Government transformation requires that citizens, politicians and senior governmental knowledge workers (or as Gartner calls them “Officer 2.0”) work towards a common goal.

It seems to me that too often the governmental employees’ pivotal role in this transformation is ignored and better tools are not addressed – it is refreshing to see a change of attitude coming from ASIA.

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Enterprise 2.0 and white collar productivity.

by on May.12, 2009, under enterprise 2.0, integration drives paradigm shift, software for the knowledge worker

Enterprise 2.0 as a concept has gained a lot of momentum since Andrew McAfee from Harvard University (http://andrewmcafee.org/blog/) coined the term a few short years ago. Today there is even a separate exhibition for Enterprise 2.0 – http://www.e2conf.com – with a lot of serious attention and money being paid to the concept.

Enterprise 2.0 has often been described as social software or so-called WEB 2.0 for the enterprise (inside the firewall). AIIM (http://www.aiim.org/What-is-Web-2.0.aspx) defines it as “a system of web-based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise”.

In contrast to traditional legacy enterprise software, which imposes structure prior to use, enterprise social software as we know it today tends for the most part to encourage use prior to providing structure.

Obviously with FRCP, Sarbanes-Oxley and other compliance issues this is a conflict and corporate management might feel under legal obligation to control and at least monitor the internal communication in order to hold people accountable for their actions communicated to others using Enterprise 2.0 tools.

Now, the question is if this is not all due to the lack of proper tools for today’s white collar knowledge worker?

And will we see Enterprise 2.0 evolve in a similar pattern to when ERP evolved from a bundle of best-of-breed point solutions to fully integrated ERP packages?

We think so and will cover our experiences, opinions and observations in this blog – stay tuned.

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Integration lowers eDiscovery cost.

by on May.11, 2009, under compliance, eDiscovery, enterprise 2.0, government 2.0, integration drives paradigm shift, software for the knowledge worker

Many work routines for white collar workers within government and business enterprises (Customer Relationship Management, Employee Hiring and Case Management are examples) have common issues when people need to collaborate and share information along a timeline with milestones and deadlines galore.

Traditional software tools for white collar workers today are not integrated.

Often the process of archiving information (emails, documents, notes, etc.) is a separate work routine after the work has been performed involving the knowledge worker deciding what to archive and what META data to add for the purpose of later information search and retrieval.

New integrated productivity tools like the Knowledge Worker Desktop are automating the archiving process and assuring that META data are derived automatically from the context of the work performed and NOT as a separate after-the-fact process. This has shown major improvements in productivity and quality of work.

Regulatory compliance (Sarbanes-Oxley, FRCP and HIPAA) demands that companies establish and maintain an adequate internal control structure and procedure for their business processes and for Sarbanes-Oxley also control points for their financial reporting.

The kitchen sink approach to archiving everything will NOT work. Archiving and indexing according to content (words and phrases) is better. BUT automatically archiving and indexing emails and documents (WORD, EXCEL, POWERPOINT, PDFs, E-Mails, IMs, etc.) according to context is the only viable way to ensure that you later can actually produce messages and documents that someone considers legally material, a term often referred to as eDiscovery.

Again, integration is the key driver of this paradigm shift .

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