Meet Atul Mathur, Vice President of Technology at IMC. Late last year President Obama issued a directive calling for better electronic records management across the federal government, not just from agency to agency. Agencies now must submit new methods of maintaining records by March of this year. Read more about the memoradum here.
At present, agencies are not required to turn over records until 30 years after the fact. WashingtonExec asked Mathur his thoughts on the new initiative and where IMC capabilities fit into the President’s mandate.
Mathur also discussed with WashingtonExec the cybersecurity issues that come with bringing mobile technology into the enterprise.
“The directive focuses on maintaining accountability to the American public; immediately helping taxpayers save money, increasing accuracy and efficiency, reducing costs and switching from paper-based records to electronic records where feasible, all the while contributing to the knowledge transfer to future generations,” said Mathur.
Atul Mathur: Mobile devices are making inroads everywhere – for personal and business usage. We’re constantly being asked by our customers and prospects to provision enterprise applications on mobile devices. But, one of the most crucial considerations in moving towards a mobile environment is that unlike enterprise applications which are bound by firewall and can be controlled on premises, mobile devices can be taken outside the physical boundaries of a business. On one hand, going mobile makes individuals more productive but on the other hand, we have to deal with Personally Identifiable Information (PII) which can easily be compromised through loss, theft, or interception. We are working with technologies that can help erase applications and data from mobile devices remotely in the event of a breach.
WashingtonExec: Why do you think this White House directive was so urgent?…May 2012 is quickly approaching.
Atul Mathur: The federal government’s framework for records management has primarily been based on paper and filing cabinets and it hasn’t really met the requirements for today’s needs – when so many records are created and maintained in electronic formincluding wikis, blogs, voice and social networking sites. This White House memo calls for large-scale transformation in how agencies maintain their records, working towards a government-wide effort to reform records management policies and practices.
And, Congress makes demands on federal agencies via paper communications and email messages and all communication needs to be stored as federal records. To this regard, if enough care isn’t exercised, we’re really risking a high cost of eDiscovery which can range from $30 to $300 per document.
It’s an imperative initiative because it helps enforce the backbone of Obama’s promise of Open Government, simultaneously paving the way towards sound, cost-effective records management. The directive focuses on maintaining accountability to the American public; immediately helping taxpayers save money, increasing accuracy and efficiency, reducing costs and switching from paper-based records to electronic records where feasible, all the while contributing to the knowledge transfer to future generations.
An added bonus, the agencies will be more prepared for the adoption of new technologies, including Mobile, Cloud and Social.
WashingtonExec: What does your company offer that no one else has? What does IMC offer that could contribute to this directive?
Atul Mathur: Over the last 30 years, we’ve seen the transformation of government records, and have built unique methodologies and guide the agency decision makers and C-level executives with key recommendations, including a technology roadmap for development of enterprise-wide archive for unstructured data.
We’ve had successes within the federal government and the commercial space where we’ve helped implement effective electronic Records Management, Archiving and eDiscovery.
Remember, we started building solutions in document-imaging centric days and we can relate to business decisions e.g. whether to capture & scan the documents: in the mail room or to scan them after an officer has read through it and marked for scanning. Similarly, in modern systems, what is the best point to capture email – when it arrives on the server or after someone has read it? What are best practices for de-duplication? We have gone through these exercises multiple times and were well positioned to make informed recommendations.
WashingtonExec: What do you think of copying the White House protocol of storing every personnel email? How do your offerings/plan compare to that?
Atul Mathur: Storing everything one receives is the easiest solution but it is most expensive. Based on empirical studies we’ve done, to manage 1 terabyte of data, it costs an enterprise approximately $30K per year. In addition, during the eDiscovery process, cost of sifting through large corpus of data is very high. We’ve helped in removing redundant, obsolete and trivial information before archiving a certain piece of content. For example, if an email is sent around to 6 officers at an agency, de-duplication of email and saving only one copy of the email in archive is most cost effective.