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Data management software firm with public sector clients warns of 'governing in fog'

Tuesday 12th September 2017

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Information Leadership, which sells information management tools on Microsoft's SharePoint and Office 365 and has had most success in the public sector, warns organisations need to avoid "governing in fog".

About 70 percent of the company's client base is in the public sector, which has strict rules overseeing record management, and 30 percent commercial entities, who typically want to improve their risk management or integrate new acquisitions. 

Co-founders Grant Margison and Sarah Heal told an audience in Wellington that information management tools won't live up to their potential if they're simply used as a way to cut costs. Instead, Information Leadership encourages its clients to develop a plan on how it will use those systems in a way that empowers staff to do their job more easily. 

Staff should become more productive with well-structured and user-friendly information systems, providing easy access to policies and procedures and helping mitigate a growing number of risks organisations face, such as the greater demands of health and safety regulations, and the administrative needs for higher staff turnover, Heal told BusinessDesk after the presentation. 

"You can't have good governance and transparency unless you've got good information to back up the business," she said. "If you're governing without data and process, you're governing in fog." 

Heal said Information Leadership has "zero ambition to go offshore" with enough domestic opportunities for the company as a groundswell of data has to be accounted for and accessible.  Microsoft's decision to allow third-party apps on its platforms "is a huge shift" for the global software company, which Heal puts down to chief executive Satya Nadella, who took over the reins in 2014. 

Information Leadership has grown from a two-person small consultancy they set up in 2004 to employing more than 30 people with offices in Wellington and Christchurch. It switched its focus to the Microsoft platforms in 2007 after several customers said they wanted to try the SharePoint application. 

Heal said the company differs from the major players such as Datacom and Intergen due to its focus on information management and the SharePoint tools. 

"What we've always done well is information management," she said. "We've got that very targeted approach." 


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