Three recent reports highlight the growing awareness that information needs to be managed as a business-critical asset. Gartner recently published a report on the top technology trends that would have an impact on information infrastructure in 2013. One of the conclusions in the report was that enterprise information management requires dedicated roles and specific organizational structures. Specific roles, such as chief data officer, information manager, information architect and data steward, will be critical for meeting the goals of an EIM program. The fundamental objectives of the roles remain constant: to structure and manage information throughout its life cycle, and to better exploit it for risk reduction, efficiency and competitive advantage. The enterprises that are moving first to create these roles, and to train for them, will be the first to benefit from information exploitation.

Gartner also commented on the use of information valuation models to assess information risk. This is the subject of a report entitled Maximising the Business Value of Information from the Corporate Executive Board. During the past three years, CEB conducted multiple studies on how companies and employees are driving for growth and improved productivity, finding new ways to use information, and organizing their response to information risk. This research shows that the best companies are shifting to a more business-led approach to managing information risk with two key steps:

  • Manage risk to maximize the business value of information
  • Redefine roles and responsibilities in information risk management

The report contains a wealth of survey information that could find a place in any business plan for investment in information management applications.

Finally from the Aberdeen Group comes Big Data Trends in 2013 – Can You Handle Your Unstructured Data?  This is a very important question. In 2011 21% of respondents indicated that they were unable to make effective use of unstructured information but in the 2012 survey this had risen to 46%. The report emphasises that there is now a significant competitive advantage to be gained from the effective information.

Late last year I published a column in CMSWire headed Search in 2013 Will Become a Business Critical Application, and I see increasing evidence that this is the case as companies behind to realise that Big Data applications are not the total solution to better decision making. This will be the theme of my keynote presentation to a Comperio conference in London on 18 April.

Martin White