Are we treating Information like Space Junk? A call to action!

When I was a kid, there were four iconic advertising campaigns. Jingles that just about everyone you knew could sing at a moment's notice. Today these ads are almost always the topic of a trivia question at your local pub. They were:-


  1. Aeroplane Jelly
  2. Vegemite
  3. Slip Slop Slap
  4. Do the right thing


The first 2 are staples of a child’s eating regime, and very Australian. The third is considered one of the most successful health advertising campaigns in Australian history. Slip on a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen and Slap on a hat has been joined more recently with Seek out the shade, but remains a tireless message to everyone that the sun down under is very dangerous to the skin.


The last campaign was Do the right thing; a litter campaign that ran through the 1980’s. Studies state that it reduced littering by over 70% since its inception. While a catchy jingle, it seems that this campaign hasn’t reached depths of space. Recent reports state that there are over 500,000 objects floating in orbit over a centimetre in size, most of which are travelling in excess of 30,000 km/h. Not so bad if everyone is travelling in the same direction, but collisions are likely to occur, and at that speed this can be very dangerous.


Believe it or not this got me to thinking about the Cloud.


Cloud technologies or services come in many different forms, and while I won’t profess to be an expert, I’ll admit to being an avid voyeur of its emergence. It's this voyeurism that has me thinking about the link between the strategies for Records Management and the strategy or more importantly lack of strategy for real Records Management in the Cloud.


Let me elaborate. At a typical HP TRIM customer today, we consider the effort and process of Records Management as a tool to help add value to the business or corporate knowledge that is contained in the information captured and managed. Not only do we get this intrinsic value, but for the most part we also get the very obvious value of Classification, Retention and  Disposition. Core structures of information management, which are not trivial to implement.


In the Cloud, the key concern still seems to be security. Security in the sense of data security. Make sure no one outside of my organisation can access my information. This is understandable, seeing as how the corporate memory in the form of emails, documents, contracts etc, are now easily posted to a Cloud storage platform. Not to make data security seem unimportant, but in a traditional Records Management implementation, the security of the data is a given, and the access to the data becomes much more scrutinised. The DoD 5015.2 Standard for Classified Records, doesn’t focus on the infrastructure security, nearly as much as it focuses on the ability of an organisation to manage its information in an appropriate way, including, security, access control, retention, disposition, classification and the list goes on.


So the question remains, with the IT world spinning towards lower cost Cloud infrastructures, why do we think that we can forget what we learned about Records Management. Just like space debris, do we need a call to action in the information management world, starting with the campaign slogan...


Do the Right Thing!



I’ve already got a great idea for a jingle....




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