Bryn Bowen is currently with leading risk and compliance software company Intapp, working to help develop and proliferate solutions across the professional services market. He is also a member of the InfoGovANZ International Council. Bryn shares his insights from his 30 years of IG experience, including his predictions for the future of IG, his top tips for those starting out in IG.
Tell us about yourself?
I am a seeker of wisdom and experience, and enjoy much of what life has to offer. I find (many) people and their stories interesting, and enjoy the range of arts and sciences, from architecture to Nigerian artists to zoology! I cherish time with my family and friends around the world, which means that I also like to travel, eat and drink. I enjoy sports, particularly West Indies cricket (Guyanese roots) and F1 (Lewis Hamilton is an icon), and these have supplanted my years as a baseball and soccer coaching dad for my sons’ various teams. My love for the FitzGerald translation of the ancient Persian poet Omar Khayyam’s Rubiyat is indicative of my general philosophy of life, as is the Dr. Martin Luther King insistence on employing “the fierce urgency of now”.
What led you into the world of Information Governance (IG)?
After having studied organo-metallic chemistry to the Master’s level, I brought scientific methodology to the area of legal conflicts and compliance. In 1999/2000 my team was responsible for the conflicts and compliance clearance for what was then the largest transatlantic law firm merger, resulting in the magic circle behemoth 3,200 lawyer Clifford Chance LLP. We quickly realized that clean, accurate, available data and information was key to ensuring the success of this merger and we worked with the IT, Marketing and Finance folk to develop the global processes, technology infrastructure and staffing profiles to make this happen. Back then no one used the word "governance”, but that was exactly what we were doing
Tell us about your current role in IG?
I ultimately left Clifford Chance to establish a consulting practice to advise the many firms that were part of the law firm merger craze of the 2000’s, then moved back and forth over the years between law firms and my consulting practice. I’m currently in the third iteration of the consulting role, this time tackling IG on a much larger scale
What pressures are organisations facing to ensure IG best practices?
The biggest impediment to successfully implementing an IG program is the degree of change management that must be baked into the planning, execution and maintenance/evolutionary phases of operations. Most organizational and technical leaders recognize that best practice IG allows their enterprises to better realize and maximize their goals by leveraging and unlocking the value of their data and information assets, but many are unable to creatively navigate the degree of disruption.
Do you have any tips for someone starting out in IG?
Too many to list, however the key ones are, always involve practitioners and stewards along the entire data and information process in developing and implementing an IG program, and never be afraid to say you don’t know the answer to a question in the moment (but then make sure you do in short order!)
With the rapidly evolving technologies and digital disruption, where do you see IG heading in the next few years?
Where it belongs, largely behind the scenes, freeing the frontline business to operate without impediment, but working furiously beneath the surface (algorithmically) to ensure it’s doing so within clear guidelines, much like a duck on the water!
The framework that IG offers is absolutely essential to have any chance of properly managing data and information in this data driven world. The methodology and discipline that a well conceived IG program offers is akin to the blend of music theory, scales and endless practice that a dedicated musician needs to immerse herself in before truly reaping the benefits of a seamless and inspiring performance. In ideal application, IG principles are baked into structures and processes, and allow the level of knowledge and wisdom gleaned from the data and information to be maximized, with lower risk and full compliance.
Why it is important to be a member of InfoGovANZ?
Well I already mentioned that I love to travel and meet people…… but in addition, I think that perspective and exposure to different scenarios and frameworks is crucial to one being a better, more rounded practitioner. Susan’s stewardship of InfoGovANZ makes those situations easy by it being the logical nexus of IG experience in the region, and I’m thrilled to be part of the International Council for that reason.