Aims for Peak Performance
AS IT TRANSITIONS TO A DIGITAL BUSINESS, IRON MOUNTAIN IS
REINVENTING TECHNOLOGY AND CREATING A CULTURE OF CHANGE.
BY SAMUEL GREENGARD
THESE DAYS, MORE THAN A FEW
IT departments—and even entire companies—stumble en route to a viable
strategy. CIOs and other executives
often find themselves facing a tangle of
headaches, problems and breakdowns.
That’s why breaking free of conventional thinking is paramount. At
Boston-based Iron Mountain, a company with
20,000-plus employees and
2008 revenues of $3.1 billion, that’s
more than a lofty ideal.
BASELINE APRIL 2009
“Reinventing IT is all about creating
a culture of change in order to meet
customer demands as our company
transitions from a physical business
to a digital business,” says Bill Brown,
the firm’s CIO. Consequently, Iron
Mountain’s core business—managing
records and archival data—is undergoing a profound change. “We have
had to create new solutions and a culture of change,” he adds.
For an organization like Iron
Mountain—which operates in
39 countries on five continents, and has more
than 1,000 facilities and 120,000 cus-
with challenges and potential problems. Companies trust Iron Mountain
to protect paper and digital assets,
provide state-of-the-art data protection and recovery services, and handle
information destruction. “A sense of
urgency about change is important,
and a vision of what we want to look
like is essential,” Brown explains.
The ongoing transition from bits
of paper to bytes of data has forced
most organizations to re-examine
the way they handle records. As
security considerations have gained
prominence—and governance, risk
and compliance (GRC) issues have
floated to the forefront—the need for
seamless and streamlined storage and
archiving solutions has grown.
To meet those challenges, Iron
Mountain has positioned itself as a
leader and innovator. But there’s more
to that than simply installing new IT
systems and reaping the rewards.
“It’s about narrowing the focus on
the most important initiatives in order
to support our transformation into
the digital world and defining our IT
vision for the future as we evolve from
a storage company into an information
management provider,” Brown explains.
“As the transformation takes place, it’s
essential to have IT aligned with the
most important business initiatives.”
Iron Mountain has focused heavily on
IT portfolio management. In 2007, it
brought together 70 of the company’s
IT leaders from around the world in
order to identify specific measurements,
tools, systems and processes needed
to manage change effectively. Management took a close look at project management, project portfolio management
and overall communications issues with
the goal of embedding change management into the basic organizational
model, according to Brown.
For example, Iron Mountain wanted
to identify specific governance processes
related to how it prioritizes initiatives. As
a result, it created an office designed to
deal specifically with IT-related resource
and demand management issues.