The Enterprise Information Management (EIM) conference 2008 took place in Toronto, Canada from June 18th through June 20th. With tracks ranging from business focused to technical savvy, and a focus on bringing the business value of EIM to the organization, there was benefit to both business and IT.
Class topics included Data Governance, Data Mashups, risk management, the intersection between EIM and Content Management as well as Business Intelligence, best practices, etc. By sharing experiences that included how to achieve management buy-in, how to sell an EIM initiative, and the steps required to implement EIM successfully, general consensus seemed to be to focus on the business value and benefits of EIM in order to make it work within the organization.
What this means for IT is that an EIM framework should be woven into the business and the initiatives that business units are working towards and not vice versa. For instance, whether to achieve compliance, improve customer service initiatives, or maintain competitive advantage in a global market, selling the value of data for data sake is not enough. According to experts in the field, achieving buy-in requires first identifying what the business initiatives are within the organization and aligning the EIM strategy to the overall business. In essence, the goal becomes to provide an EIM initiative as a supporting function of the business as opposed to trying to sell it on its own merits. This way, IT initiatives in general become supporting functions of the business, increasing process efficiencies and helping to increase profits without removing importance from day to day business practices.
Implementing data governance
In addition to a business focus, an overarching theme to achieving a successful EIM initiative is creating accountability for data. Data ownership, common data definitions (i.e. what a customer is versus a supplier, etc.), and an organization wide data governance body enable the continued success of an organization’s information management program.
Link with data quality
One of the reasons why data ownership becomes important is the continued link between project outcome and strong data quality. The adage garbage in, garbage out is nowhere more obvious than in the realm of data management. To create a continued successful strategy that links the management of an organization’s information to business success, having the right data at the right time is as important as making sure the information is valid
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