A recent headline encapsulates the problem big business has with data and compliance: “Large Wall Street firms agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines over failures to keep electronic records such as text messages between employees on personal mobile phones.”
Isn’t it strange how little some companies care about one of their most valuable assets? A shipping company knows where every shipping container is located 24/7. A financial institution documents the existence and ownership of every asset in its control. A restaurant chain micromanages its inventory so it has the freshest product for customers with minimal waste and maximal profits. But every business today is also an information business; most big companies spend significant portions of their budget on IT to make their business efficient, competitive, and responsive to their markets and customers. The commodity of information is so valuable that it is sold and traded and has transformed businesses. And yet, most executives have little to no clue about all the information assets their companies have or how they are being created and used. And that is a compliance failure waiting to happen and a strategic advantage squandered.