Simplify for Success - Conversation with Danny Thankachan

Danny Thankachan, who manages Information Governance at Blank Rome was on Simplify for Success, a podcast series presented by Meru Data and hosted by Priya Keshav to discuss IG programs. He shared how he can develop a case for change by highlighting the costs of a reactive approach.

He said this resonates with legal departments in large corporations as they understand the challenges with a reactive approach. He also observed how it is easier to drive change through incremental improvements compared to standing up entirely new processes – the cost to benefits become more obvious to everyone.

Listen to the full podcast below:

*Views and opinions expressed by guests do not necessarily reflect the view of Meru Data.*


Priya Keshav

Hello everyone, welcome to our podcast around simplifying for success. Simplification requires discipline and clarity of thought. This is not often easy in today's rapid paced work environment. We have invited a few colleagues in data and information governance space to share their strategies and approaches for simplification.

Today, we will be talking with Danny Thankachan. Danny is currently the director of Practice Technology at Blank Rome. Danny specializes in advising Fortune 500 Am Law 200 clients at the nexus of law and technology, specialties include consulting with corporations on legal technology operations, e-discovery, cost control, and legal business process improvement. He also is currently teaching the development of blockchain use cases for law and its implementation and daily operations.

Hi Danny, welcome to the podcast.

Danny Thankachan

Thank you for having me, Priya.

Priya Keshav

You have had many years of experience in developing and implementing enterprise-wide IG (Information Governance) programs. How do you build a business case for IG?

Danny Thankachan

The larger corporations have had records management of some form or another for decades, whether it was paper or the transition to electronic, they've understood that they've had records management responsibilities and obligations, regulatory, legal, and just for normal business operations. So, the concept of information governance from a records management point of view has been around. The development, I worked heavily on litigation, so when I come in and get involved with information governance on behalf of a client, what we're really focused on is reactive litigation specific. We need to get this data organized and collective, but inevitably that process is very expensive, and the question comes up- how do we not have to spend this kind of money in the future? And that opens the door to an enterprise information governance conversation. And then the business case, if you will, the costs of not doing this the right way kind of slap you in the face.

So, you know, it becomes a litigation readiness posture, it becomes how do we manage information governance enterprise-wide to promote data hygiene to address issues like privacy? How do we, you know, really talk about data mapping and all the associated tasks for managing the company's information. So yeah, I think maybe I'm a little bit in a unique situation in that being the litigation context, the business case usually becomes pretty clear just as soon as you hire me to get involved.

Priya Keshav

So, how do you set expectations though that sometimes it's hard to see immediate resul