Companies need to examine and update their policies and technologies for managing rising volumes of hitherto secret information that can be retrieved without authorisation by insiders and outsiders alike.
In an interview published by market analyst Gartner, Don Tapscott, CEO of the New Paradigm Learning Corporation, argued that effective management of secrecy-versus-transparency issues could help companies build more trusting relationships with key stakeholder groups, ranging from customers, employees and investors to public policy.
Tapscott added, "Every company needs a transparency strategy to adjust to advances in IT. If you just nonchalantly fumble into this new age, punishment can be very swift. Most companies are just winging it. There can be all kinds of unintended consequences of being too closed or inappropriately open."
According to Tapscott, IT imperatives for an effective transparency strategy include:
- Creating an IT architecture and suite of applications and data structure for more "open" enterprises
- Understanding the interests of other parties by utilising forecasting tools and models, data mining and integrated communications across a variety of channels
- Monitoring performance against goals
- Applying customer relationship management software that gathers information about stakeholders and also builds relationships with them
- Developing IT systems to create transparency in the supply chain.