Gartner Warns of Information Crisis by 2017

    Mar 25, 2014

    Fortune 100 organizations beware: an information crisis looms. Gartner, IT research and advisory company, predicts that one-third of the Fortune 100 companies will experience an information crisis because of their inability to “effectively value, govern and trust their enterprise information.”

    “There is an overall lack of maturity when it comes to governing information as an enterprise asset," said Andrew White, research vice president at Gartner, in a company press release. "It is likely that a number of organizations, unable to organize themselves effectively for 2020, unwilling to focus on capabilities rather than tools, and not ready to revise their information strategy, will suffer the consequences." 

    Business leaders need to be more proactive and manage information for business advantage, rather than just maintain it, stressed White. IT leaders must design enterprise information management (EIM) initiatives so sharing and reusing information creates business value that contributes to enterprise goals. An EIM program must help an organization identify which information is important to its success — not all information is. 

    Unfortunately, according to Gartner, more than 75% of an organization’s information management initiatives are isolated from each other. Consequently, EIM is not being realized, sustained, or fully exploited. 

    Gartner recommends that “IT leaders identify the crucial business outcomes in need of improvement or that are being hampered by poor information management. Second, they need to determine the business processes and leaders most affected by those outcomes and use their findings to start setting priorities for a new EIM program. Finally, they need to adopt a program management approach for EIM, to identify work efforts, resource commitments, stakeholder expectations and metrics for success.” 

    As EIM focuses on linking projects, using assets, and aligning organizational efforts, there is also demand for information governance, says White. "With effective information governance, business users will understand the impact of poor quality data on the outcome of desired business processes. This understanding leads to a desire, on behalf of the end user, to assure or 'steward' the data so that it supports their day-to-day business activities."

    For more information, see Gartner’s "2013 Strategic Road Map for Enterprise Information Management" at (Registration required.)

    ARMA International also suggests that IT leaders seek to form internal partnerships with the records and information management (RIM) staff members, as they generally have an enterprise-wide perspective on how information is used across the organization. This information is invaluable as decisions about access to information are contemplated and made. (The ARMA International guideline Records and Information Management for Information Technology Professionals can help facilitate that collaboration.) 

    In addition, RIM and other information governance staff have important perspectives that can help the organization address its legal and regulatory requirements for information.  

    © 2016, ARMA International