There are several reasons for establishing a information strategy for any organization. First and foremost, information is an asset and should be treated as such. As with any other asset, it has value. The value of information is in it accessibility and accuracy. Information that is not accessible on demand, and/or is not accurate is not an asset.
Like most assets, information depreciates overtime, needs to be governed, and must be maintained. An information strategy allows an organization to manage, govern, and provide access to this asset.
The second reason for having an information strategy in the organization is the fact that, today, there is just way too much information in an organization to manage it loosely. We truly need a plan, a blueprint, a strategy on how to capture, store, govern, and deliver all information to internal and external users of this information.
The next major reason for having such a strategy is the business mandate for it. Business groups have become very savvy in accessing, manipulating, and utilizing this information and they demand it to be available, complete, and accurate.
In fact, with the new Web 2.0 technologies, they not only demand internal information, but also external information available in various websites such as myspace.com. Information available in such community sites could be used to analyze and gauge customer views, likes, and dislikes, in order to improve an organization’s products, services, image, and/or marketing campaigns and, as such, is very important to an organization.
For example, one of our client organizations, right before going public, monitored the chatter on blogs, chat-rooms, and other community sites as well as other conventional channels to gauge the right IPO price for their stock.
In addition, organizations have been forced to provide accurate information due to governmental compliance laws. Failure to provide accurate and timely information could cost organizations millions of dollars.
In the next article, I will focus on the pillars and components of a sound information strategy.
Majid Abai is president and CEO of Seena Technologies, an enterprise information management and architecture consulting firm. Majid co-authored Data Strategy (Addison-Wesley, 2005) and teaches classes in Business Intelligence and Enterprise Data Architecture at UCLA.