Iron Mountain Aims for Peak Performance

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print

As it transitions to a digital business, Iron Mountain is reinventing technology and creating a culture of change.

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.

“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 customer accounts—it’s a journey fraught 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.”

This article was originally published on 2009-03-20
Samuel Greengard is a freelance writer for Baseline.
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