Try this with a friend sometime and watch their reaction:
“I’m going to try to get my arms around the enterprise’s information and organize it in such a way that it is viewable, reviewable, accountable, secure, measureable, searchable, archivable, accessionable, disposable, reusable,…” etc., etc., etc.
The resulting look from your friend will read:
“How in the world do you plan to do that!?”
The reason this likely seems so un-doable to your friend and so much like role-playing to you is because you’re both looking at the massive amounts of information your organization has already created and stored. In most cases, information exists in a variety of . Keep in mind it’s finite…probably huge, but finite! Instead, change your perspective to the infinite amount of information your organization has yet to create and to the transition of the meager amount of active information your organization is currently using. Organize your information structure for the future not for the past. When time permits, past information will be brought forward; then, very soon afterwards, you’ll lock the mess down, and leave it alone…at first for a while and then permanently.
The temptation to completely slam those who’ve allowed the current information knot to become so tangled is strong. The management of information was left from the dawn of the desktop computer age to the determination of the user, though. Users had no guidelines of how or where to store information. Folders were encouraged. Shared drives allowed for extensive folder trees, often containing dangerous personal information commonly with public access. Those in charge, even professional information managers, of whom there are very few, were as responsible for creating folders inside folders inside folders as non-information managers who most often had complete rights to affect information management standards despite their novice information experience.
[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Digital information became a by-product of computer work. The more out of control it became the less incentive there was to tame it.[/perfectpullquote]
Digital information became a by-product of computer work. The more out of control it became the less incentive there was to tame it.
The evolution of the cloud, however, has illuminated a previously unknown value with the information that’s created within it. The cloud-created information can now be tracked. Quantifiable, measurable, auditable output levels can now be measured based on time in the cloud and product type created.
Already on some federal government computers, local hard disks are unavailable as storage devices. Storage is provided to a profile-based storage server. Still again, the information structure and architecture on the storage server are completely left to the users’ skills or lack thereof. Each storage structure is as unique as the person to whom the profile belongs. A clue exists, however, in the profiles to which users never stored created content. No mismanagement occurred because the users didn’t touch it. They could have, but they didn’t. That’s the solution. Don’t let the users affect the information management. Develop it, design it, structure it and lead users into processes automated for simplicity and control.
The time has come.