Monday, November 16, 2015

No, Technology Can’t Solve Your Information Problems

Note: This is an excerpt from a post I published on LinkedIn Pulse. Read the full post.

You see the vendor sales pitches all the time: “Our innovative technology products will solve all of your information problems and make you look super smart!” Balderdash!

The solution to your business information problems are things technology vendors cannot sell you in a box or digital download.

Is technology part of the solution to your information problems? Of course it is. I am not suggesting we go back to stone tablets and smoke signals here. But the critical parts of the solution to your business information problems are things technology vendors cannot sell you in a box or digital download. IT is not the solution to information problems any more than calculators are the solution to financial problems.

To overcome information chaos, you must define your Information Strategy, Architecture, and Governance. Your organization has to define these, perhaps with the help of one or more Certified Information Professionals. You need to move from being IT-focused to being information management focused—with IT taking an important but supportive role.

Your information strategy, architecture, and governance provide the comprehensive set of business requirements that should define your IT solutions.

Read the full post.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Introducing AIIM: The Global Community of Information Professionals

It is no secret that I love AIIM International. I owe a lot to AIIM for my professional development, industry knowledge, and the wonderful network within our industry. I only wish I had learned about AIIM much sooner than I did! So, this post is a very quick introduction to some of the value I see that AIIM offers. Please share it with anyone you think can benefit from AIIM Professional Membership.

AIIM (pronounced “aim”) is the global community of information professionals with around 80,000 members worldwide. This non-profit professional association has been around since 1943 and has been a leader all these decades in the fast-changing world of information technology and management. Do you work with ECM (Enterprise Content Management)? AIIM defined ECM starting in 2000. Do you work with PDFs? The AIIM Standards Program leads the international PDF standards development on behalf of ANSI and ISO.

AIIM provides the industry’s top training in ECM, Electronic Records Management, Content Analytics, SharePoint for Collaboration, Business Process Management, and other information management topics. I teach for them part-time in the DC area and hold several AIIM training certificates myself.

AIIM is the association behind the Certified Information Professional (CIP), which has become an industry standard for demonstrating broad knowledge across the spectrum of information management disciplines. Independent market research of business executives by AIIM confirms:
  • 61% prefer consultants that hold the CIP designation
  • 64% prefer to hire a CIP vs. a non-certified candidate
  • 76% would pay a CIP a salary premium.
You can read more about that research in “Rise of the Information Professional: A Career Path for the Digital Economy”.

AIIM has excellent market research. That’s what first drew me to the organization years ago.

AIIM has several events throughout the year:
  • The AIIM Conference happens in the spring. This next year it will be in New Orleans in April.
  • The AIIM Road Trip series goes to several cities in North America (and just wrapped up 2015’s Road Trip series).
  • AIIM Webinars happen on a regular weekly basis and cover all kinds of topics from SharePoint to Capture to Business Process Management.
  • World Paper Free Day is an effort to get organizations to reduce the amount of paper we generate professionally and personally. It is coming up on 11/6/15.

Are you an information professional? Working in ECM, knowledge management, records management, business intelligence, SharePoint, or other related discipline or technology? If you want to get trained and get active in a professional association, you need to join AIIM today.

Are there other relevant associations worth joining? There sure are. Should you also be a member of AIIM? You sure should!

Secure Your Computer and Avoid Pop-up Scams

Scam Pop-Up (Parody)
If you get a pop-up while surfing the Web that claims you have a virus or a trojan horse or other security issue, don't believe it, don't call the number, and don't click any links or even their "OK" button. Just close your browser (and all open programs) and run your computer's security scan.

I just ran across a pop-up with a toll-free number and a message of doom and gloom in both text and audio, urging me to call their tech support line to get my computer fixed. THIS IS A SCAM. They are trying to trick gullible people (or the very young or those new to computers) into giving them personal information or direct access to their computer.

There is a special place in hell for such scammers. Just be smart enough not to let them drag you down with them.

If you don't have security software, you can get it for free, so get 'er done!

Free Security Software for Mac: Sophos Mac Antivirus

Free Security Software for Windows: Microsoft Security Essentials

There are other options (feel free to leave your favorites in the comments). Also, paying for quality security software for your business is worth it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Finally! A Way to Make SharePoint Useful

On 8/26/2015, I was the featured speaker for an AIIM Webinar on SharePoint and how to make it useful.

View the presentation slides below or view the recorded webinar at (requires AIIM membership to view).

Webinar Description

According to a recent AIIM survey, 37% of SharePoint users have failed to achieve their original expectations for the platform. Despite having ready access to SharePoint, many users cling to their file-shares, or more recently, adopt other ways of sharing documents via web-based services, citing serious functionality gaps for workflow, and content processes that work the way THEY work.

Custom code can be expensive and time-consuming, and customization options are limited in cloud-hosted SharePoint environments. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to add intuitive forms and data from line-of-business systems to deliver the full promise of SharePoint?

View upcoming webinars and see the webinar archive at