The rise of big data, social networking and mobile interactions, coupled with an accelerating increase in the amount of structured and unstructured information enabled by cloud-based technologies, is forcing organizations to focus on the enterprise information that is most relevant, value-generating and risk-related. Gartner predicts that, by 2017, 33 percent of Fortune 100 organizations will experience an information crisis, due to their inability to effectively value, govern and trust their enterprise information.
“There is an overall lack of maturity when it comes to governing information as an enterprise asset,” said Andrew White, research vice president at Gartner. “It is likely that a number of organizations, unable to organize themselves effectively for 2020, unwilling to focus on capabilities rather than tools, and not ready to revise their information strategy, will suffer the consequences.”
Business leaders need to manage information, rather than just maintain it. “When we say ‘manage,’ we mean ‘manage information for business advantage,’ as opposed to just maintaining data and its physical or virtual storage needs,” said Mr. White. “In a digital economy, information is becoming the competitive asset to drive business advantage, and it is the critical connection that links the value chain of organizations.”
The discipline of exploiting the various types of information created and managed inside and outside organizations is called enterprise information management (EIM). It enables people across an organization to share, manage and reuse information that was created in different applications and stored in different databases and repositories. But these abilities do not, by themselves, help an organization. IT leaders must design EIM initiatives so that sharing and reusing information creates business value, and the value created must contribute to enterprise goals.
Ultimately, an EIM program must help an organization identify which information is important to its success — not all information is. It must evaluate a great deal of information and determine what qualifies as enterprise information.
Gartner analysts said that, at present, over three-quarters of individual information management initiatives are isolated from each other within the same organization. This leads to EIM not being realized, sustained or fully exploited.
We recommend that IT leaders identify the crucial business outcomes that need improvement or that are being held by poor information management. Second, they need to determine the business processes and leaders most impacted by those outcomes, and use their findings to start setting priorities for a new EIM program. Finally, they need to adopt a program management approach for EIM, to identify work efforts, resource commitments, stakeholder expectations and metrics for success.
As EIM focuses on linking projects, using assets and aligning organizational efforts, there is also demand for information governance. “With effective information governance, business users will understand the impact of poor quality data on the outcome of desired business processes. This understanding leads to a desire, on behalf of the end user, to assure or ‘steward’ the data so that it supports their day-to-day business activities,” said Mr. White.
Additional information is available in the report “2013 Strategic Road Map for Enterprise Information Management”. The report can be found on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/document/2625816.
This subject will be discussed in more detail at the Gartner Enterprise Information & Master Data Management Summits 2014, March 12-13 in London and April 2-4 in Las Vegas. For further information about the London Summit, please visit www.gartner.com/eu/mdm. For further information about the Las Vegas Summit, please visit www.gartner.com/us/mdm.
Information from the Summits will be shared on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_inc using #GartnerMDM.
About the Gartner Enterprise Information & Master Data Management Summit 2014
In a global economy, information is becoming a huge competitive asset — a weapon with which to create business advantage — and one that it is very important that organizations know how to manage. At the Summit, delegates will learn how to modernize their information management infrastructure, increase the value of the information management programmes they already have running, and find out what is new in the technology landscape for information management.