In a June 11 press release Gartner reported that research it has undertaken indicates that less than 10% of today’s enterprises have a true information strategy and that management thinking at an “information as strategy” level is still evolving. In my opinion that is a significant understatement. A show-of-hands poll in my session at the Enterprise Search Summit in New York in May showed that perhaps 3 people out of 60 had an information management strategy.

In the press release Gartner identified four key focal points for organizational development:

  • How will new kinds of information drive value? Who will be creative with that? How will they explore their ideas? What support is in place for information led innovation?
  • As information improves in its granularity, precision or resolution, who will notice when key thresholds have passed and new things become possible that were not realistic before?
  • How will the organization search, discover, conjoin and secure the new datasets and information streams that are becoming available?
  • How will they engineer the social and legal permissions needed to use information without it seeming like spying, privacy invasion or unfairness?

That’s a good set of questions in the light of an earlier Gartner report that I commented on in March this year. One topic missing is where are organizations going to find the people with the skills to support and implement an information management strategy? Writing an information management strategy is not difficult if there is a strong business sponsor and the organisation has employees with a background in information science or information management. Which is probably why only 10% have made the journey so far. A recent survey commissioned by Wipro showed that business performance is linked to effective information management, but the truth is that Donald Marchand demonstrated that thirteen years ago. I think it’s time I wrote a guide to developing an information management strategy. Watch this space!

Martin White