Volume 2, Issue 6 – March 31st, 2014
The global high tech research firm Gartner Inc. predicts that, by 2017, nearly one third of top corporations will experience an information crisis due to their inability to effectively value, govern and trust their enterprise information.
Gartner pointed to the rise of big data, social networking and mobile interactions, coupled with an accelerating increase in the amountof structured and unstructured information enabled by cloud-based technologies flooding onto firms.
These developments are forcing organizations to focus on the enterprise information that is most relevant, value- generating and risk-related.
“There is an overall lack of maturity when it comes to governing information as an enterprise asset,” said Andrew White, Gartner research vice president.
“It is likely that a number of organizations, unable to organize themselves effectively for 2020, unwilling to focus on capabilities rather than tools, and not ready to revise their information strategy, will suffer the consequences,” he added.
Managing Data for Business Advantage
Business leaders need to manage information, rather than just maintain it, White stressed. “When we say ‘manage,’ we mean ‘manage information for business advantage,’ as opposed to just maintaining data and its physical or virtual storage needs.”
White added, “In a digital economy, information is becoming the competitive asset to drive business advantage, and it is the critical connection that links the value chain of organizations.”
The discipline of exploiting the various types of information created and managed inside and outside organizations is called Enterprise Information Management (EIM).
EIM is designed to enable people across an organization to share, manage and reuse information created in different applications and stored in different databases and repositories.
But these abilities do not, by themselves, help an organization, Gartner said. “IT leaders must design EIM initiatives so that sharing and reusing information creates business value, and the value created must contribute to enterprise goals.”
Ultimately, an EIM program must help an organization identify which information is important to its success — not all information is, Gartner said. It must evaluate a great deal of information and determine what qualifies as enterprise information.
At present more than three- quarters of individual information management initiatives are isolated from each other within the same organization, Gartner analysts said. This leads to EIM not being realized, sustained or fully exploited, they asserted.
Gartner recommends IT leaders identify the crucial business outcomes that need improvement or that are being held up by poor information management.
Secondly, they need to determine the business processes and leaders who are most impacted by those outcomes, and use their findings to start setting priorities for a new EIM program.
Finally, Gartner said that IT leaders need to adopt a program management approach for EIM, to identify work efforts, resource commitments, stakeholder expectations and metrics for success.
When EIM begins focusing on linking projects, using assets and aligning organizational efforts, there also will arise demand for information governance, the researchers contend.
“With effective information governance, business users will understand the impact of poor quality data on the outcome of desired business processes,” White said.
“This understanding leads to a desire, on behalf of the end user, to assure or ‘steward’ the data so that it supports their day-to-day business activities.”