Strategic Information Management: Understanding a New Reality

By Myburgh, Sue | Information Management, January/February 2002 | Go to article overview

Strategic Information Management: Understanding a New Reality


Myburgh, Sue, Information Management


"We sit on the edge of a cliff, where radical new technology is rinsing up to us with a force so powerful that it will transform our landscape. The rules of commerce are shifting rapidly, with explosive new business models taking shape by the minute. Almost every day we are astounded by the latest innovations in communications, computers, and biotech. Technology is behind key transitions in the very foundations of our society.

Change is a constant within our contemporary environment, and the forces for change are many. The rapid development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has been the most prominent among the many agents for change that are forcing a re-evaluation of the role of the records and information management (RIM) professional.

Futurist James Canton's analysis suggests what some have called the "new reality." It is into this new reality that we can place the emergent strategic information management (SIM) professional.

Characteristics of this new world of corporate information management include competitive advantage and competitive intelligence, intellectual property, litigation, information economics, the information ecology, enterprise portals, security and privacy, globalization, groupware, and tacit knowledge. While ICTs may have encouraged the development of SIM, they have also had many expected and unexpected outcomes in the socio-technical systems we know as organizations. Additionally, technology cannot be considered as acting alone. It is a product of society; it is also part of a larger environment in which other forces are at work.

Organizations today face more competition than was the case even a decade ago. A successful business relies on the right combination of organizational resources working together in a dedicated effort to penetrate and achieve leadership in the marketplace, and information is such a resource. The identification and use of information play a large role in an organization's achievement of competitive advantage. Organizations most efficient in gathering, processing, and distributing information - as well as using it to make better business decisions - will enjoy an edge in achieving success.

Because of the development of ICTs, records and information managers have had to become more technologically literate. But this is the tip of the iceberg. As intellectual capital expert and Fortune columnist Thomas Stewart advises, they also need to review their overall potential contribution to the success of the organizations in which they are located - in addition to protecting social and intellectual capital. ICT development has meant that RIM professionals are now free of many tedious physical tasks and can more fully explore the more intellectual and value-added side of their profession.

Where records and information managers have traditionally concentrated on the evidential qualities of records, they are now realizing a greater interest in the informational content of records that can be used for decision making and action. The framework in which such records are created also contributes information that goes beyond what might be used in a court of law or audit. There is no doubt that the newly focused work of RIM professionals has, in many ways, become more central to the core business of organizations as they seek to preserve intellectual property and gain competitive advantage in an increasingly volatile environment.

The downside of this phenomenon is that many records managers have found themselves unprepared to accommodate this new bearing. Records and information managers and their supervisors face many problems in redefining their work, their position, and their expanded responsibilities. The older model of managing static information resources is being driven out by that of information in motion. It is increasingly difficult to distinguish a "record" among "documents" in their multitude of forms.

Issues of preservation and access have also become more problematic with the use of ICT. …

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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
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, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Strategic Information Management: Understanding a New Reality
Settings

Settings

Typeface
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?

Help
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

    Style
    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, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    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

    Oops!

    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.