Business Software

Gartner: Businesses Must Prioritize Information Management

Analysts at Gartner have said businesses need to take information management seriosuly and not just rely on technology to solve their challenges.

They have identified four key "innovation forces" that can be exploited by IT leaders to mitigate the huge hurdles they face in managing information.

Gartner analyst Ted Friedman said the forces "provide significant changes in the way that information management technologies and competencies will be focused and delivered, with the goal of radically improving the cost-effectiveness, agility and transparency with which information assets are managed and leveraged".

Friedman said organisations that focus only on tools and technology, without increasing their information management competency or changing their culture, "are unable to fully achieve the benefits of information infrastructure".

Gartner's four innovation forces in information infrastructure are:

-The information-centric organisation. Innovations with information infrastructure depend on making the organisation itself information-centric, not just information management leaders. Both IT and business staff need to adopt new behaviours, and Gartner said CIOs, information management leaders and HR professionals need to understand what kinds of "people changes" must be made to create the next generation of information infrastructure.

-Information as an asset or liability. Business and IT leaders know that a huge amount of value remains locked inside their masses of information, but they cannot capture this value simply by implementing more technology. Gartner said information management leaders must set aside their traditional "engineering mind-set" and focus on the value of the information itself, rather than the value of information systems. This requires strategies and techniques for assessing the value and risk of information assets.

-Adaptive information infrastructure. This involves the discovery of meaning and relationships across all content , both highly structured and loosely structured data. Techniques of dynamic optimisation will limit the need for hard-coded and static data delivery mechanisms. Gartner said such approaches enabled a substantially higher degree of agility in adapting where, how, and in what form and context information can be delivered.

-Alternative delivery models for information infrastructure. Appliances and cloud computing allow IT organisations to implement new capabilities quickly, with minimal upfront cost. Gartner says these benefits are beginning to be seen in the information infrastructure domain, as more capabilities for persisting, integrating and delivering data and assuring its quality become available via alternative delivery models.

The Gartner report "Gartner Analysts Explore Innovation Forces in Information Infrastructure" goes into more detail on these innovation forces.

In other information management news, Bank of America is claiming in a lawsuit that ex-employees took confidential databases, which is denied by the ex-employees and their new firm. Serious issues are being raised around database policies for new and ex-employees at large companies with sensitive data.

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