What does your company do?
IMG is a sports and fashion management agency, representing stars like golfer Tiger Woods, model Stephanie Seymour and the tennis playing Williams sisters. We have 2,200 staff working in 30 countries.
We are heavily committed to protecting the confidentiality of the talent on our books.
Have you changed the way you protect client information?
With the internet becoming ever more pervasive, people are starting to attach more value to the personal data that is increasingly stored about them.
I found, for example, when the UK land registry went online back in April this year, anybody can go online, pay two pounds and find out how much I paid for my house – I find that a bit odd.
I’m sure many of us are now users of online banking, and think it very important that our data should be sacrosanct: people in the public eye feel the same − they want their data protected as best as can be.
Consumers are starting to drive a lot of data protection in many ways and businesses are either going to bend over backwards to deal with that or they will just do the bare minimum.
There is not much in between. This sometimes gets described as ‘compliance’ but that is not a broad enough label.
So you have tackled this as an issue?
We think we have a very effective back-up and storage solution around that. But there is still the problem of integrating stored information, using it and getting it when needed out of the backroom data storage into the actual business at operational level.
Then there is how to work out how best that information should flow through the organisation before it is archived. This is data not just about our customers but our TV sports archive where we have a lot of content that needs to be copy-protected. We have to try and work towards finding a solution.
So you see information management as the next battle?
The data we hold is safe. But is it being used as effectively as it could be? It is hard to get a grasp on all the data we possess − there is so much of it flowing from all different companies in our group. We store it centrally but there is no way that any one individual or group of individuals can understand all of it. We try and associate a value to that data but until we understand it, we can not decide what to do with it. We are looking at getting a closer understanding of what we have so we can decide what to do with it.
Technology has a clear role to play here but I am convinced that there is a cultural and business side to this as well – and those questions are not easy to answer.