It’s the first point in the Boy Scout Law. (A Scout is Trustworthy.)
It’s an old Russian proverb made famous by a U.S. President. (Trust but Verify.)
It’s printed on U.S. banknotes and coins. (In God We Trust.)
And it’s foundational to success in information management / information governance.
Trust is defined as the “firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.” In the context of infogov, the focus is on three elements:
- Your people, on whom you must count to comply with your policies, processes, and procedures. This is why organizational behavior / change management / maturity modeling has got to be part of any information management initiative.
- Your information, on which you must rely to be accurate, authoritative, and current. This is why the principles of data cleansing must be applied to content of all kinds.
- Your technology, about which you must be certain is reliable, secure, and directly supportive of your business needs. This is why it is critical to view information as an asset lest value-diminishing short-cuts be taken to its findability, protection, and sharing.
These thoughts occurred in the aftermath of a last-minute trip to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia this past weekend, during which we made heavy, necessary, and I daresay unthinking use of Google Maps to get ourselves into and out of the City of Brotherly Road-Closures. Here’s why:
- Because we trusted Google’s people to have properly mapped the area.
- Because we trusted the mashed-up traffic information to be up to date.
- Because we trusted both the smartphone battery and mobile connection to endure.
If any of that faith had been misplaced, we would have missed the festivities and subjected ourselves to a 10-hour roundtrip drive for no reason. Fortunately, everything worked as intended, but you can see how we easily might have been foiled.
Just as organizations are so often foiled in their infogov efforts by failing to consider trust as a critical success factor.