Why the CEO, CIO and boardroom must care about information management

The information explosion has affected nearly every organization on the planet.  Companies are looking for ways to simplify and improve how they manage the burdens of ever-growing data. 


June Manley.jpgI recently sat down with June Manley, worldwide product marketing director responsible for our Information Management (IM) portfolio of software and services that help organizations manage their information governance needs.  In this interview, June discusses the trends and challenges around Information Management for today’s IT executives.


Q:    June, you have been a senior executive in Information Management for quite some time now.  What shifts in Information Management have you observed lately?   


June:     One thing that really struck me is the things that have and have not changed.  Ten years ago, the challenge was similar:  “you can’t find the info.”  But the complexity and the impact of that challenge has increased 10- to 20-fold.  You have the complexity of managing information across virtual, physical, cloud and hybrid infrastructures.  It’s not just in data centers, backup tapes or desktops and laptops anymore; it’s in the Cloud, going to mobile devices, on thumb drives.  You have people and infrastructures constantly changing because of mergers and acquisitions and globalization; along with escalating regulatory and legal requirements. 

And the information, which is growing and accelerating endlessly, is being managed in silos, while the policies governing it still are organized around infrastructure.  This approach makes no sense nowadays because the infrastructure is so fluid.  It’s just a recipe for disaster unless you get out in front of it.  Companies today need a holistic approach that addresses all the stages of an Information Management lifecycle. 



Q.  What is the biggest misconception that people have about Information Management? 


June:     It would be the notion that “Information Management is the responsibility of IT.”  While it may be true that IT infrastructure management is the responsibility of IT, having Information Management still reside solely in IT just doesn’t make sense.  Every line of business, every corporate functional area has a key stakeholder in the handling of the company’s two most important internal assets:  its people and its information.  And they all have business imperatives that need to be met.  So with no clear owner of IM, by default it drifts over to IT because historically they were taking care of it. This is a problem.  Because with no clear owner, when things go wrong it becomes the CEO’s problem.



Q.  You say that Information Management has to become the responsibility of the entire organization and should be a top priority of the CEO, CIO and the boardroom.  Can you elaborate? 


June:     IM direction needs to come from the very top and all stakeholders need to be involved.  There needs to be a holistic approach to capturing, monitoring, protecting, retaining and FINDING the right information, for the right persons, at the right time.  Companies should take the same company-wide, stakeholders-involved approach to their information that they do with their people-talent.  Every organization should have a VP of Information Management with his or her core responsibility being to bring the key stakeholders to the table and define a singular information management strategy that gets executed enterprise-wide.  This is the only way the C-level can be 100 percent confident that the right information can be delivered when needed.


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About the Author
Judy Redman has been writing about all areas of technology for more than 20 years.

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