Information Management for CxOs

We used to say, “Knowledge is power.” This may still be true in our ever-changing and dynamic global environment, but within the last decade, the focus has shifted. In today’s world, the real power lies in a company’s ability to produce and interpret information. This information must be accessible, accurate and relevant. Information technology (IT) and the ability to manage it have become critical elements in corporate strategy. If an organization wants to remain competitive, its senior management must continue to improve and accelerate its information management (IM) abilities.

This trend is being driven by the Internet and Cloud revolution as well as the growing sophistication of tools and systems with which to manipulate data and turn it into information. Senior executives are faced with making decisions about information management and information technology every day, but they are usually not IT specialists. More and more, their success depends on knowing how to use information and developing insight on the best ways to acquire and produce it.

Some believe that the IT department, in addition to managing the IT infrastructure, should also be responsible for functions beyond this, which should not be the case. The IT department does not manage the organization and cannot drive corporate strategy-setting. That strategy-setting function, which occurs at the senior management level, enables IT to align its performance with higher organizational objectives.

Certainly large amounts of costs of ignoring the technological landscape are involved, but also the two-way relationship between technology and business. This relationship, as well as its impact on business goals, needs to be understood at the highest levels of an organization. For this reason, setting direction for information management should be viewed as the responsibility of an organization’s leadership. Setting this direction requires an awareness of the added value of IM and an understanding of IT’s proper use. Senior executives, not IT specialists, determine the goals and objectives of the business. Only when these are determined and understood within the context of an organization’s IT capabilities can results from IT support those goals.

For the purposes of this book, it is helpful to understand the difference between information management and information technology. Information management refers to an organization’s ability to deliver accurate and relevant information in a timely manner, to the right targets, in the most appropriate format, via the most effective medium. Information technology refers to technology itself as well as its related infrastructures: the tools, systems, applications and frameworks that make it possible to manipulate data and facilitate information flows.

We invite you to talk to Huising Consultancy in more detail about how information management can best serve your business.

Sometimes Huising Consultancy and co-author make controversial statements and sometimes state the obvious. This work puts forth a collection of best practices, models and theories together with own opinions and long-standing experience. Huising Consultancy offers with this book a guide to putting theory into practice along with a perspective on ways to better manage IT within your organization.

Information Management for CxO’s
Okko Huising MIM
Fred Beenakker