In my research and practical experience, I have found the following to be true about the oft-ignored, but the major impact of information management, and would be interested in other pragmatic, results-based prospects.
For an enterprise to manage its information in an appropriate manner involves three foundations:
(1) A common information structure with parent-child relationships, not unlike those in structured databases but of a slightly different nature, and these need to be in a common structure for each uniquely functional area of the enterprise. The functional unit is less susceptible to organizational change and it is impractical from a governance and access control management perspective to have one structure across the entire enterprise
(2) An industrial-strength content management tool because these common structures are not how individuals think about their work or their path to their information on a daily basis. So the content management tool provides each person with their own unique way of viewing the common information, but one person’s preference does not affect the other’s views and does not affect the common structure.
(3) Access control based on roles, where roles are managed in the central directory and each role points to a folder or set of folders to which that role has access depending on what it does in the organization and each business unit manages who is in their own roles and roles can be shared across business areas if that business area chooses to allow another role to access their folder or set of folders. This becomes a much simplified but more secure approach to Governance of information, whose concept is greatly complicated by disorganized information in a non-functional structure.
These three foundational pieces will provide an enterprise with appropriate organization of its information so that it is collaborative, productive and digitally competitive. In fact it could be argued that an organization cannot make a digital transformation until it makes an information transformation.
Recall that Google and the other search engines only have access to less than 1% of the world’s information. The rest of it, more than 99%, is behind enterprise firewalls and it is a random mess of disorganized silos whose methods and approaches to managing information across the enterprise has not changed since the advent of computers and the users were permitted to right-mouse-click create a new folder at any level and thereby introduce entropy into the enterprise information management structure to the point where today in over 90% of the worlds enterprises, a disorganized approach to enterprise information management introduces a 25% waste in productivity across the board.