INFORMATION MANAGEMENT KEY LEARNING POINTS

The picture one tends to get is of information present in huge quantities, but not subject to effective information management disciplines, or effective information life-cycle processes. In the absence of those two things, surely the mass accumulation of personal data amounts to one thing above all: risk.
  • Information and Knowledge is a key strategic resource in every organisation and needs to be acknowledged, harnessed and channelled to bolster business performance
  • Developing knowledge and information management capability is often overlooked or under-resourced, however it can make a significant contribution to both the efficiency and effectiveness of your business operations
  • Many organisations are coming to recognise the importance of specialist knowledge held by their key staff and working out innovative ways to ‘capture’ and share this expertise
  • Good management treats information and knowledge as a critical resource along with Human, Physical and Financial assets
  • ‘Info-glut’ is overwhelming many organisations – the problem is growing exponentially and the solutions often end up in the ‘too hard’ category
  • Information as a strategic resource demands it be protected – can we be sure who has access to what and who they are sharing it with?
  • What is ‘better practice identity management’ and how can it help protect information as a critical strategic asset?
  • Approaches should be soundly based on common sense – simple, practical activities can make a big difference
  • Tough economic times can be a key driver for focusing in on creative thinking and real opportunities for change, derived from knowledge of the ‘system in use’
  • Downsizing and outsourcing pose significant risks to future capability due to unrecognised knowledge-loss
  • IM/KM has been often been seen as technology driven – it needs to be reframed as a multifaceted long term sustainable and opportunistic strategy to deliver business results
  • Many records are now 'born' digital.  E-mail is a prime example. According to a report by Forrester Research, 60 to 70% of all corporate data now resides in, or is attached to e-mail. An organisation with a 'paper based' records policy (or none at all) is at risk of losing these important digital assets. 
  • There are significant penalties for non-compliance with statutory obligations to preserve records, including criminal penalties
  • Records retention policies and compliance programs must be pragmatic and achievable to be effective.  They must be closely aligned to the broader IM/KM strategy and to a constantly re-evaluated risk profiling appropriate to the core business of the organisation so as to achieve the most benefits for the available resource input.
  • Reflections on the evolution of IM/KM and links into other waves of change, such as IT, OD, now aging workforce issues and intergenerational issues.
  • IM/KM in the global and ‘network centric’ context
  • Some reflections on simple, practical,  sustainable, ethical approaches
  • KM and Innovation (inextricably linked) are now globally recognised as fundamental to the future sustainability of organisations
At a time of financial recession where information is still growing at an exponential rate, where organisations have an ever greater need for reliable information in order to make timely decisions; where organisations need to meet their regulatory requirements; where agencies are showing constraint; and where we need to get what we need with less. Strategies are needed to manage now and beyond.

Points compiled by:               
Fiona Stewart - international knowledge and information management practitioner;
John Lalor consultant with over 20 years experience in public sector policy, program and operations management;
Margaret CoaldrakeChief Executive, Minter Ellison Consulting and strategic governance, risk and compliance expert;
Steve Clarke - consultant in the management, design and implementation of systems requiring an identity management focus ;

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