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Information Architecture News & Analysis

Prevent Enterprise Search From Going to the Weeds

2014-24-November-Overgrown-Greenhouse.jpgAs an Enterprise Search expert, I get a lot of questions about Search and Information Architecture (IA). And what I've discovered is that people have plenty of misconceptions.

I'll share some of them in this article — and hopefully help you avoid some common mistakes about planning and implementing Enterprise Search.

Nitro: From Down Under to Over $15M

Document productivity company Nitro, originally founded in Melbourne, Australia, will beef up its San Francisco headquarters after raising $15M from Bay Area venture capitalists (VCs) in a bid to go after the big fish of document management, including Adobe and Citrix.

Nitro's products, including Nitro Pro and Nitro Cloud, enable document sharing in the enterprise. This includes the ability to sign and share documents and exchange them on mobile devices.

Hey CIO, CEO: You're Leaking Data

Of all the vital responsibilities C-level executives have, keeping data secure is a big one. Especially today, when many managers consider data to be the "new gold" or the "new oil”… feel free to add your own metaphor.

The Harvard Business Review has published a number of articles that say that those who leverage their data best will be at a competitive advantage.

“Data-driven decisions tend to be better decisions. Leaders will either embrace this fact or be replaced by others who do,” wrote Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson in an article in 2012.

But what happens when your strategic data is at someone else’s disposal as well? And we’re not just talking about data that’s been hacked or deliberately open sourced and shared with select parties, but also the stuff that your employees lob over company firewalls for convenience sake.

If you’re a manager this kind of behavior should be cause for concern because we could be talking about the very strategic assets and intellectual property you’ve been charged to protect.

Creating Governance Solutions for Hybrid SharePoint Environments

2014-03-November-Air-Ground.jpgWhat are the differences between SharePoint governance in online versus on-premises deployments? This question comes up regularly at conferences and events -- administrators and business owners alike want to know if their organizations need to change their administration activities for the cloud. With many organizations either planning a move to the cloud or developing those plans, they need to know whether there are differences in what you can manage and how SharePoint is managed in the cloud.

Are there differences? Yes. Will these differences impact your existing governance policies and procedures? Most definitely.

Big Data Projects: Taking Care of the Foundation

2014-30-October-Building-Blocks.jpgAll programs need a foundation, and big data programs are no different. Preparing an organization for big data requires a lot of the same capabilities for small data, content management and other information management and access programs. The challenge lies in making it real for the organization and paying for long term capabilities with short term benefits.

Is Your Information Architecture Ready for SharePoint 2013?

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SharePoint Administrators will naturally focus on the infrastructure side of a migration to SharePoint 2013, but migration is also the perfect time to reevaluate your information architecture (IA) and prepare it for this new and improved version of SharePoint.

Take Back Your SharePoint Governance Plan

2014-21-August-Tug-of-War.jpgLet’s start at the beginning … What is a governance plan? In the IT world a governance plan is typically a set of roles, responsibilities, procedures, policies, etc., that an organization can build around the usage of a particular piece of technology. When you are implementing new software either for the first time or in preparation for an upgrade, a governance plan is important, but depending on the technology, may not always be required.

When you are implementing SharePoint, a governance plan is definitely required.

Why You Should Never Upgrade SharePoint

Information Management, 2014-11-August-Monkey-Tools.jpgClients often tell me that they want to "upgrade their SharePoint" without understanding what it is that they are requesting. "Upgrade" makes the process sound much easier than it actually is.

When you upgrade Microsoft Office, you can open all of your old documents in the new version after a simple install. If your previous version of Office was really old, the software might prompt you upon opening each document to convert it to the latest version -- a one-time task that runs automatically.

People tend to think that a SharePoint "upgrade" is as simple as installing the latest version of SharePoint on the server, and then the content and documents will automatically port over. This could not be further from the truth!

Information Architecture: The Engine that Drives Retail

2014-22-July-Steam-Locomotive.jpgUnder pressure from pure play e-Tailers such as Amazon and eBay, brick and mortar retailers are scrambling to defend their businesses. To stay competitive, most have now added an e-Commerce channel. The challenge for many legacy retailers is that e-Commerce has involved a long learning curve and now mobile and web channels have become part of core functionality rather than a cutting edge addition to the brand.  Add to this that many traditional retailers still lack a core competency in the technical nuances necessary to compete effectively with the Amazons and eBays.

Dusting Off Intranet Metadata and Search

2014-22-July-Antiques.jpgSome people assume that if a concept is old, it's no longer relevant. Since we looked at the continued relevancy of the quaint old fashioned concept of information publishing on intranets in last month's post, I thought we'd take on a few more of those dusty relics of days gone by today: metadata and intranet search. The concepts are interrelated in that the success of communicating content on a one to many basis -- or an n to m basis, as you may have a small body of publishers or content creators putting out information to the company -- relies on findability.

No Application Should Be An Island

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Applications cannot thrive alone in today's hyper-connected world. Nearly every modern business process requires information from multiple sources. If a company’s applications are not working together the business loses enormous opportunities for synergy and automation. Instead of finding streamlined and efficient new ways to automate business processes, the company becomes mired in manual and redundant tasks, with multiple versions of the same data being created across the organization.

The days when CIOs could hope to standardize across a single platform or vendor and expect applications to automatically work together are now just a memory.

Organizing Your Content Means Cleaning Out the Junk

2014-02-June-Yard-Sale.jpgYour information is the lifeblood of your organization. It’s content you create, it’s content you obtain from customers, suppliers, partners. And there’s usually a lot of it. That’s where solutions like SharePoint and Office 365 come in -- to help you manage it all.

But before you start storing every last piece of information you have, ask yourself if it’s really something you need. Just because you can save and store almost limitless amounts of content, doesn’t mean you should. 

SharePoint 2013, This Old House Style - Moving In and Living Together

Social Business, SharePoint 2013, This Old House Style - Moving In and Living Together"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.” -- Yogi Berra

In many ways, this sums up SharePoint’s problem in its second decade -- we take it for granted.

How to Develop and Implement Your Discovery Readiness Program

It all starts with a “discovery program framework” -- which is just a glorified checklist. But it’s proven to be one heck of a useful checklist for those organizations who are addressing litigation readiness, compliance and e-Discovery.

SharePoint Content Migration + The Sins of Your Past

If you think that talking about SharePoint migration challenges is like a broken record, think again. Not only are their new challenges with each new release of SharePoint, but migration isn’t just a one-time activity. Smart organizations know it’s an ongoing task. But more importantly, with the last release of Office 365, SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2013, it’s even more critical to have a good migration strategy. Let me tell you why.

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