Strategies for the Near Term

Strategies for the Near Term

Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8410-0.ch006

Abstract

This chapter focuses on developing a practical and accurate assessment of the current information management situation. The chapter explains how to formulate and conduct an information audit that is business-relevant, credible, and trustworthy. The chapter also considers how to document and communicate the audit results to the business.
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The Current Situation

Most organizations do not have a single coherent information strategy. Most organizations regard information as a by-product of a process or as a non-capital resource. As a result, there is not a consistent inventory of information capital assets. Nor is there a good practice that can be adapted and adopted across the organization. Additionally, information assets are likely to be treated differently across a life cycle stages and across business processes. It is important to have an honest and accurate accounting of how information assets are currently managed across their life cycle and across the organization.

This book makes the case for treating information assets as capital assets. The starting point for managing any capital asset is an understanding of the organization’s stock of those assets, periodic audits that describe the health of those assets and knowledge of how they are managed across their life spans. This chapter considers how to design, conduct and report on the results of an information capital asset audit. Before launching into an audit process, though, we recommend that you gain a basic understanding of the current information management landscape. You can develop an understanding by asking a few simple questions...

  • Is there a single or are there multiple information related strategies?

  • What is the scope and coverage of those documents?

  • Is there overlap across strategies?

  • Who owns these strategies? Who is responsible for them?

  • Is anyone using them for decision making?

  • Has any one of these strategies been used for planning or investment?

  • Are there information governance models and processes across the organization?

  • Who currently owns or is responsible for managing the organization’s information?

The answers to these questions will give you a general sense of the current situation. The knowledge you gain from asking these questions is not sufficient to develop a near term strategy. This knowledge will help you understand how your organization treats information capital differently than physical or financial capital. This knowledge will guide you as you design, conduct and report on a more formal audit.

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Information Capital Asset Audits

What is an information asset audit? An audit is a systematic examination of the resources, consumption, production and management of these resources over the course of their life span. Bright describes an audit as the collation of an inventory of information resources or assets used in a given working environment. There are no standard auditing methods devoted to information capital assets. This means that we will need to translate those auditing methods applied to physical and financial resources before we can apply them to information capital. Regardless of the variations, the purpose of all capital audits is the same -- to identify, assign value to assets, and to be sure that you’re managing those assets appropriately. Audits are diagnostic tools – they help us to discover, check, verify and control the use and production of resources by an organization (Botha & Boon, 2003).

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