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Intelligence agencies can boost information-sharing security, expediency, productivity and cost-efficiency

Scott Ryser

Consider the statistics: There were 20 government system breaches by May 3, 2011, according to idtheftcenter.org. 80 percent of experience is never captured or reused, said clarabridge.com. 42 percent of professionals use inaccurate information, according to Accenture. And an IDC study in kmworld.com observed that 25 percent of our work already exists.

Intelligence agencies are increasing their efforts to combat terrorism, counterfeiting and other threats. Information-sharing across all organizational levels (including federal, state and local government agencies) is critical to ensuring the success of these programs. In an ideal world, all parties would openly share information. In reality, front line managers are caught in a quagmire between finding the best solutions and implementing them securely, cost-effectively and expediently. Easier said than done, right?

So, how do you get users to fully adopt a secure, knowledge-sharing platform that allows for collaboration, social networking, content management and search functions that can scale, while fulfilling daily operations and producing results quickly? The latter two features are particularly essential to the public safety and justice systems.

The key to success is to ensure healthy adoption rates of the workgroup sharing application across the enterprise. Surprisingly, 80 percent of such implementations fail, due to lack of use. How can you improve adoption rates for a better return on investment and enhanced, expedient information-sharing? These strategies can help:


  • Know the difference between enterprise- and workgroup-sharing. Workgroup sharing, though beneficial to the specific group using it, has accessibility and security limitations that impede collaboration beyond the workgroup. It is where information-sharing breaks down. Enterprise goes beyond one workgroup or information silo, connecting knowledge from known and previously unknown networks, to create a more complete picture -- an essential tool to fighting terrorism and assisting law enforcement.
  • Reinforce secure, open collaboration capabilities, while maintaining important access restrictions. Red tape has impeded quick resolution of time-sensitive issues.
  • Focus on an application’s business growth benefits versus the social or entertainment aspects.
  • Connect already-existing assets into an overall information flow. Socialize users so that valuable material currently stored in their heads can be captured and put into existing systems or processes.
  • Ensure that critical information sharing is secure but also executed in the most efficient manner possible, across all agencies within the federal government. Greater collaboration reduces information gaps and delays.

Most enterprises are structured around a site, folder or workspace, usually benefiting a particular workgroup. However, it doesn’t encourage people to obtain information beyond it. Awareness and further discovery of information is a vital key to resolving cases and thwarting potential terrorists or local criminals. A solution that provides data access through a single activity stream enables relevant information to come to you rather than having to seek it out, thus slowing the investigation.

As wonderful as these features are, it really boils down to use. Unlike a team, individuals don’t join forces for collaboration’s sake. Moreover, an application needs to be usable within the context of daily tasks. Do so and you’ll be able to connect information rather than storing it in an obscure file maintained by your administrative person or in the memory bank of a longtime co-worker.

Instead, the tool must capture all of this misplaced information, get it into a secure platform and then make it accessible for daily use. It will impel users to collaborate regularly and expand efforts into other areas more fruitful areas.

Scott Ryser is CEO of Yakabod. He can be reached at:

[email protected]


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