While many of us readily follow world affairs from a political point of view, there is a fascinating case management undercurrent if we look closely at the current situation in Syria. It illustrates exactly how critical a role technology plays, and why certain technical requirements are essential.
In this case, teams of United Nations (UN) inspectors are going into Syria to investigate evidence of purported chemical weapon use. These multi-national individuals, led by a Swedish scientist, are out in the field taking photos and recording interviews. Some notes might be on paper, others digital. Findings reportedly must be sent to laboratory facilities dispersed across the UK, China, the U.S. and France.
Most dramatically in this case, the UN inspectors needed to protect their sources and fully secure all gathered information — otherwise the consequences could be dire. Revealed sources could be killed, or war orders could be inadvertently launched.
There needed to be no information leakage or conclusions drawn from this content before the formal announcement was made earlier this week. And with such a high profile case, which much of the world is scrutinizing, every step of the process must be closely followed.
For those in the content management space, the case also raises important questions. Where can they keep the information and under which jurisdiction does it fall? How can they ensure that information is accessed only by the correct parties, across multiple countries, and across many competing (and possibly antagonistic) parties? How long should they keep the content?
These same challenges and requirements arise in practically any content management customer situation. Here in the UK, we’re already working with organizations at the leading edge of making safety decisions for our nation (see video). These British investigators need to protect sources, document and store evidence, and safely collaborate – just like the UN inspections team, albeit on a smaller scale.
Let’s hope that the UN team used a solution which enabled them to meet these challenges and has carefully considered key technical and business requirements needed every step of the way. Regardless of political opinions, the way they manage their Information would have been crucial to the decision making process and to the aftermath.