If it’s Sunday, 9 AM and Orlando, it’s another keynote…. I just wrapped up attending and keynoting at this year’s ARMA Live conference. It’s been nearly 20 years of attendance for me, being part of the journey from a pure records management focus, when electronic records (#ERM) was the “new” thing, to temporary peaks of #eDiscovery, through the transition to information governance (#infogov) and now, something further towards unified governance. We’re moving towards not just bringing together the practices, benefits and mandates of security, privacy and information governance, but also seeing the benefits and opportunities of business results of ever more personalized and trusted relationships with and partners, and developing whole new business opportunities. 

The event kicked off Saturday evening with the opening reception across the expo floor. I made it just in after three previous back-to-back conference speaking engagements. I’d traveled all the way from Stockholm, Sweden; London, England; San Francisco; and, finally, to Orlando. Attendance was on the lighter side, sadly, but the tunes were classic and activities and discussions really kept everyone there engaged and on-site until we were eventually kicked off the expo floor at closing .   

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Sunday began bright and early with the opening keynote by our new ARMA CEO, Jocelyn Gunter. I was able to introduce and catch up with her and Ilona Koti at Ilona’s board presidents’ luncheon later that day. It was great to network across a range of attendees and leaders of ARMA. I want to congratulate the new directors, Jason Stearns and John J. Jablonski, Esq. Congrats also to new ARMA fellow and colleague, Peter Kurilecz, and for the Standing Ovation Award given to my ARMA , the Northern Virginia Chapter. 

GDPR insights at ARMA

On Monday, I was honored to deliver the opening keynote with a rapid summary and practical pathways tour of the new EU GDPR regulation. was humbling through the rest of the conference, being stopped and grabbed through corridors and other sessions hearing, “Thanks for a great keynote,” “Thanks for a very focused, short and sweet and very clear GDPR intro” and “Thanks, I now can say I understand GDPR a bit more.” These discussions continued each day around and on our scribble-able expo table surface. GDPR is certainly the latest regulation du-jour, especially with the potentially large financial penalties and business impacts if not met.

As I summarized in my keynote, so much of GDPR is not new; it’s just formalizing and bringing together core information governance, minimization (records management and disposal) and protection (security, encryption etc.). But, even with all that overhead and just about six months left to go, there are opportunities. It’s a new era where, finally, the board and C-level can not only sponsor and fund information governance to meet GDPR, but then also use the ever more trusted, validated and relationships with clients to extend, expand and in some cases, re-invent the business. ReThink, OutThink.

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ARMA session highlights

I was able to attend a range of sessions and discuss and brainstorm with networks old and new. What piqued my interest was the blockchain session, which included practical applications and team table exercises. Will blockchain be your future certificates of destruction service, or even your certified records declaration service in the cloud?  

What sessions did you attend and find useful? What gaps exist and where do you have a need you’d want and expect ARMA to fill? Do let us know and share. I look forward to learning some new practical topics as well as use cases, and hearing examples at different chapters and other meetings through the forthcoming program year.

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Happy, secure

With the year ahead, #GDPR going live in six months and new ARMA special powers unveiled (our new president-elect, Ryan Zilm and the Superman shirt…), I wish you a secure, private and fruitful time to come! 

Learn more about how IBM can help you on your GDPR readiness journey.

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