Globalization of Corporate Information Centers

By Strouse, Roger | Online, November-December 2003 | Go to article overview

Globalization of Corporate Information Centers

Strouse, Roger, Online

Corporate information centers in large enterprises are quickly moving toward increased global cooperation, creating a new set of challenges and opportunities. As a stark economy leads large companies to evaluate support units for potential savings, many companies are having to deal with a profusion of libraries, information centers, and other pockets of information that are not structured to meet the needs of the organization with maximum efficiency and cooperation. "Globalization" describes the creation of a unified and coordinated information center from what was previously a loose-knit group of independently operating information functions. For many organizations, this is the ultimate result of a strategic assessment. According to functional managers who have embarked on the globalization process, there are many compelling benefits for doing so, but also some substantial challenges.


Large corporations continue to look for economies of scale, and the key content management and deployment functions are no exception, as shown in Outsell's The Changing Roles of Content Deployment Functions, published in 2002 and updated in 2003. Twice as many information center respondents this year as opposed to last year (40 percent in 2003 versus 20 percent in 2002) report that their operation supports the global or enterprise-wide organization. There is also an increase in those who say they provide support for a major company or operating unit within their larger organization (up to 23 percent this year from 18 percent last year), and more are supporting multiple departments (18 percent vs. 12 percent in 2002). Further evidence for a globalization trend lies in the fact that information center respondents said an additional 7 percent of their vender contracts will become global over the next year, raising that figure to 64 percent.

Intelligence functions (market, business, and competitive intelligence) are experiencing a similar trend. These activities, too, increasingly support the global enterprise (41 percent of this year's respondents over 28 percent last year) or major companies or operating units within their enterprise (23 percent in 2003 vs. 19 percent in 2002).


Many factors drive the globalization of information centers, but a primary goal in nearly every instance is to take advantage of economies of scale while leveraging limited resources. While other worthy ends, such as standardization of service levels across the globe, equity in staff evaluation and expectations, 24/7 service availability, and brand uniformity, are clearly important, it's the issue of resources that is most critical in this urgent push to globalize.

Organizations embarking on globalizing information centers need to leek for highly compelling drivers, since the globalization process is, by all accounts, an energy-intensive and long-term task. The most commonly articulated triggers mentioned by those who are well into globalization are as follows:

* Working in closer concert with other information centers can help mitigate the effects of reduced staffing levels.

* Forming new or broader buying consortia with other content deployment sites can save money for the organization.

* Redundant content purchases and information center tasks can be more easily identified with increased cooperation and networks/systems.

* The user community can be better served through continuity, standardization, pervasive branding/marketing, and ubiquity of information centers services.

What's largely made globalization feasible is the market's increased focus on digital content and electronic deployment. Digital content makes it more practical to serve users who are remote and thus mitigates the need for an on-site information function at an organization's various locations.


With most information centers under pressure to do more with less, gaining the maximum leverage from global resources--staff, technology, content--is the mantra driving many to coordinate their previously independent information centers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Globalization of Corporate Information Centers


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.