Managing information as an organisation asset

When you look at the many surveys on information access the consensus is that 75% of managers regard information as a business-critical asset but only 15% can find the information they need at the time they need it. One of the primary reasons for this is that (according to Gartner) only 10% of companies have an information management strategy. My experience over the last few years is that organisations don’t know where to start with developing a strategy. There are many very elegant schematic models available but little practical guidance about not just how to write a strategy but to build a culture of effective information management.

I have just published a Research Note on Managing Information as an Organisation Asset that is based on the experience gained from a number of major information management projects I have been involved with over the last five years. Part 1 of the 20pp report provides an introduction to the topic, with particular reference to the use of information to gain a competitive advantage. In Part 2 I describe a six-stage process towards the development of an information management strategy that starts with approval by the Board of an information management charter.

Another theme of Part 2 is to take a decision-focused approach to policy and strategy development. An approach that starts with an organisation-wide information audit will quickly lose momentum. In my experience looking at business-critical decisions and then working back to the information needed to support these decisions results in a strategy that has visible short-term benefits. The Research Note also contains a short IM self-assessment checklist and includes the very useful 5-stage IM maturity model developed a decade ago by the Meta Group.

There is a lot squeezed in to 20 pages and the objective is to raise awareness of the importance of taking a corporate view of information management and not to provide a handbook on IM strategy development. The Research Note is listed in the Resources section of this website but unlike other Research Notes it cannot be downloaded from the site. If you would like a copy then send an email to Well over five years of experience have gone into this Research Note and I’d like to know where it is going to so that I can ask for feedback with a view to publishing a 2nd edition in due course.

Martin White