Everteam CRO JD Sillion

JD Sillion on Creating Value, Promoting Trust, and Building Loyalty through Information Governance Investments

Photo of Everteam CRO JD Sillion
Everteam CRO JD Sillion

JD Sillion is an executive with more than fifteen years of experience leading organizational change through a commitment to customer success and employee satisfaction. He has been a key player in the growth, strategy, and product development of several fast-growing multinational companies. As Everteam’s Chief Revenue Officer, JD promotes integrity, accountability, and open communication within his teams – a culture that is reflected in Everteam’s work with customers and partners.

We asked JD how organizations can adapt and thrive in a business environment where information privacy, security, and compliance are increasingly critical to success. Below are insights he provided on a few often- overlooked aspects of information governance strategies, including:

  • Creating a healthy information governance culture within an organization
  • Supporting organizations in their quest for efficiency, flexibility, and compliance
  • Understanding the benefits that come from an organizational culture that values customer privacy and promotes trust

The interview took place on Thursday, September 26, 2019.


What steps can leaders take to promote a healthy information governance culture within their organizations?

It’s all about putting the right people in the right position with the right support.

If you make sure you put teams in an environment that makes sense for them, they can express who they are and be happy in what they do. This creates value for customers, partners, and teammates on a day to day basis.

You also need to enable employees with the right processes while employing applications and tools that are very nimble and very easy to use. You don’t want to bog them down with the worry of compliance. Compliance is not at the forefront of their minds, it should be the natural result of the processes, tools, and training that you’ve put in place.

That’s when it could become difficult.

Do you want to spend a lot of time teaching and training your employees that are in the field on how to manage information? Or do you want to be able to give them tools that enable them to be successful at what they do best while making sure there is a privacy safety net in place, making sure you can track information and protect it?

For example, if you’re asking a salesperson to fill out an excessive number of CRM fields, he or she is only going to do that when an opportunity is nearing fruition. The other opportunities in the pipeline will be managed outside the CRM because the tool has become too cumbersome, not useful. You want to be able to give users flexibility so that a tool is an aid, not an impediment.

Of course, making the tool amenable to the job at hand doesn’t mean giving end-users too much latitude in terms of what they can access, or how. That’s where Everteam’s can help manage the information. If a user is not supposed to access or see, for instance, a social security number, we can redact it. Not only that, we allow administrators to assign specific roles to tailor information access exactly to the needs of the user and the job.

With this kind of process, training, and tool support, an employee has the assurance that whatever they’re doing, they’re not going to put the company in jeopardy because of unintentional mishandling of personal, private customer information – that information will be handled properly while they focus on being the most efficient they can be.

How does Everteam support this information governance culture for our customers, prospective customers?

It’s a question of “How do we create the most value for your environment?”

And that means giving our customers the right tools to be able to protect that information and to make sure they have security in their systems, and they have enough flexibility in the system so that they can make the right decisions.

Everteam allows organizations to promote an agile culture, but not an incautious. We add a compliance layer without imposing the overt burden of compliance on end-users. Our customer’s employees can keep using the tools that they’re already using while managing their information in-place. We just help businesses be more efficient, more flexible, and more compliant.

We come to our customers and we say: “All of the things that you’re doing today? You’re going to be able to keep doing that. But let’s add a layer of compliance and automate it so that we don’t burden your business. Let’s start embedding Best Practices. Let’s start automating information governance to help identify what you’ve created, add relevant metadata, add the workflow to automate content categorization and information lifecycle management. Let’s put products in place that make flagging, identifying, and classifying sensitive or valuable data easy – so that you understand where that data lives, and how it can help your teams do their jobs better.”

How do think information governance is changing the business environment, and how will it continue to change in the next 5 to 10 years?

Business is going to keep accelerating, technology is going to keep accelerating. Organizations want their employees and their customers to be able to act tactically. Compliance and good information governance are not tactical, they are strategic. Remember that the volume of data created doubles every year. Information Governance investments are for the long-term and promote your organization’s ability to build customer trust and increase the awareness and competence of your teams.

But information governance is just one part of a growth strategy. It’s a critical tool to promote customer trust and to build customer loyalty. As an organization, you must show that you are a good steward of that trust.

Unfortunately, as consumers, we’re too often taught that we’re giving away that trust, giving away our privacy rights, to organizations that are not in a position to manage it properly. In the US, there has been this new wave of innovation, cloud-based applications, and social media – tools with which people have been extremely open. But in the wake of information misuse and data breaches, that’s starting to backfire.

There’s a new requirement for organizations that want to be successful in the long-run, and that requirement is trust.

Today, consumers are growing more cautious. As a result, organizations are just starting to understand what privacy means. But as is often the case, there is a reluctance to make the necessary changes. Consumers and the organizations that serve them often want to be able to just have the accessibility, efficiency, the fun of our mobile and the cloud-based world without the protection of privacy and trust that are required. But information governance tools like those pioneered by Everteam – powered by AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing) – make it possible to manage the information lifecycle and ensure diligent information governance without an undue cost to organizational agility, flexibility, or fun.

As for what the future brings for information governance when we look out ten years or more, I think there is a growing awakening that guardrails must be put in place to be able to help us manage innovation safely and responsibly. As AI services grow more prevalent in all aspects of our lives, I think this sense of responsibility will become more pervasive in all aspects of information lifecycle management.

Find out more about JD, Everteam Leadership, and how Everteam is helping the world’s leading brands earn the loyalty of their customers: