Friday, October 31, 2014

The Minister for Information Affairs

Governments have wisely coined the term "minister of communication". Whether or not the mandate covers all aspects related to information management - is a separate issue, which relates to politics, semantics and priorities. None the less, in my opinion, with that term in place - information management should  certainly  be part of this minster's portfolio.

But seeing that companies share a lot of similarities with governments in terms of having to control a large pool of resources, products and services  - it does beg the question: where is the minister of communication, or a "CCO" for companies?

Yes, we all know that the CIO, by definition should cover the responsibilities of Information Management, but we also know that this role is often executed as a pure CTO role with the Information Management piece disappearing in good intention.

Even in governments, the Information Management responsibilities are scattered across  health and safety, security, internal affairs, finance and so forth. This is natural and should actually not be restricted. Every area in an entity needs to have freedom to manage information.

While the role of the minster of communication might extend to information management,the focus there needs to be on governance rather than implementation. The role of the CIO in terms of the same portfolio needs to be executed in the same manner. The problem is that information is increasingly embedded in technology and as the power of the CTO grows in terms of being able to influence how information is practically managed, the segregation of duties in terms of information governance needs to grow. This does not only help the CTO focus on their domain and on servicing the business, but also nurtures a healthier and better trusted framework to manage information.

To put it bluntly - Information Management should not be the responsibility of the same person who is in charge of the tools used to control the information. An additional benefits to this is improving the focus on resources within the data management  domain on the collaboration and information exchange needs, rather than on the economy of information handling.

Ask your self: who is looking after information management in your organization? by definition, and in reality?

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