What is Information Management? Why is it Important?

Photo of author
Written By Haisam Abdel Malak
Spread The Love

Information management (IM) is the key to success for any organization. It can help organizations achieve efficient operation by effectively managing information lifecycle. It also helps them avoid security breaches and data loss which could lead to financial loss or other consequences.

Information management is the systematic process of collecting, organizing, storing, and distributing data and knowledge within an organization. It encompasses strategies, technologies, and policies to ensure data is accessible, secure, and used effectively to support decision-making and business processes.

The role of information management is to ensure that data and information are collected, stored, processed, and disseminated in a way that supports the organization’s objectives. It involves managing data as a valuable asset and applying best practices for data governance, security, and quality to support decision-making processes.

Over the course of 15+ years of experience, I have developed a set of guidelines that can aid organizations in effectively implementing the most suitable IM plan, enabling them to overcome any related challenges and increase the success rate of implementation.

Why It is Important to Effectively Manage Information?

The major activities or functions of IM are records management, document management, document imaging, knowledge management, web content management, digital asset management, collaboration, and data mining.

The goal of information management is to assist employees with organizational roles or functions to make quicker and better-informed decisions to deliver information to the right people at the right time and place. In addition, it should clearly define who is responsible for information management within organizations.

Intelligent Info management deals with the business value, quality, ownership, use and security of information in the context of organizational performance

(T.D. Wilson PhD)

The job of information professionals is to ensure that accurate and up-to-date information is available to those who need it. They may work in a variety of settings, such as libraries, colleges and universities, businesses, and government agencies to control the full information lifecycle.

Data and information require a wide range of activities such as document management, records management, enterprise content management, data management, enterprise search, business process management, digital asset management, and collaboration.

Management of information is the process of acquiring, organizing, and using information. Data management is the process of acquiring, storing, and using data.

Data, records, infrastructure, information management systems, business processes, and most significantly PEOPLE are all part of the business information lifecycle.

Since the management of information is a company’s duty, it should be viewed not only by the highest levels of management but also by employees at all levels. In addition, organization should make sure that these 7 principles of IM are followed by all departments.

Information is not just the lifeblood of companies and the glue that holds human relationships and business processes together; Information assets are also a commodity in today’s and tomorrow’s economies.

What are the 5 Key Areas of Information Management?

The five key areas of information management are collection, storage, distribution, archiving, and destruction. Each of these key areas plays a vital role in the effective management of information throughout its lifecycle and ensures that an organization’s information is collected, stored, and shared in a way that supports its operations.

1- Collection

At this stage, we must examine how the business collects information, whether it is created internally or externally, electronically or as paper documents, verbally, written, audio, or video.

At this point, it is crucial to collect just the necessary information in order to reap the benefits of IM such as saving storage costs, preventing analyzing data that is unnecessary to business governance, and guarantying that the information obtained is of good quality.

Extracting information from digital documents is crucial in today’s world. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using high-quality OCR software. This software can automatically retrieve data from electronic documents, which makes the process of finding information much faster and easier.

In my experience, using the best methods to extract data from digital documents can have a big impact. It can save a lot of time, increase productivity, and reduce errors that might occur when manually entering data.

2- Storage

We must determine where the information collected in the previous phase will be stored. Paper documents should be stored and arranged in physical cabinets with fire-resistance measures in place. Electronic information, on the other hand, might be kept in databases, document management systems, information systems, cloud storage, and so on.

We must also identify and configure user access, version and change control, backups, and audit trails.

3- Distribution

This step entails deciding how different types of information should be distributed, in what format, to whom, how frequently, and through what media, among other things.

Information is only valuable when it is presented to the appropriate person in order for the proper action to be taken. This is a critical phase since it helps the overall success of your program.

4- Archiving

Archiving is the process of securely storing inactive information in any format (both digital and paper) that you no longer use regularly for long-term retention. Such information is still important to organizations and must be retained for future reference or regulatory compliance.

You need to clearly state where the information is going to be archived and for how long.

5- Destruction

According to various rules and regulations, such as GDPR, HIPPA, and others, information should not be maintained or preserved for longer than necessary, necessitating the necessity of a destruction process for information that has outlived its usefulness.

This step is critical because it eliminates fines and penalties for noncompliance with various laws and regulations while also lowering storage costs.

What is the purpose of information management?

Today’s business world is rife with fearless competitors. One of the most significant differences between a successful and a failed business is that the latter is better at comprehending and taking advantage of information.

IM can be a complex process with many stakeholders involved from different departments. It’s important to ensure that there is an accurate understanding of what information needs to be managed and how it will be used by all stakeholders involved in order to avoid confusion and conflict among them.

By linking individuals, processes, and technology, effective companies will unlock the full value of their information. When information is handled effectively and only high-quality information is kept, organizations may turn it into knowledge to get additional insights into their business and redirect their operations to more profitable activities.

Information management diagram

The ability to manage information for big complex organizations requires an understanding of critical metrics for all elements of management, including business planning, tactics, content management, and day-to-day operations.

What Challenges Involved?

There are major challenges that managing information faces inside businesses, including digitization and automation, security, information silos, integration with legacy applications, poor information quality, decreased user acceptance of technology, and legacy application replacement.

IM vs Knowledge Management

IM is the task of collecting, organizing, and storing information. Knowledge management is the process of managing knowledge assets. Managing information deals with information that is already created while knowledge management deals with knowledge that needs to be created.

IM is more about collecting and storing information while KM is more about generating and distributing knowledge.

IM is all about making sure that all the relevant data are stored in a structured way so they can be accessed when needed and used for decision-making purposes. Knowledge management software provide employees with the right level of skills so they can make better decisions in their day-to-day jobs.

The Future of IM

The future of managing information is promising, but it is not without uncertainty.

New data sources are being developed as technology advances. Data can be obtained from almost any piece of hardware that is connected to the internet using the Internet of Things (IoT).

Artificial intelligence also is playing a very important role in capturing information and classifying them without any human intervention. If you are interested, you can check out the latest AI trends that will shape the future of work.

Information assets are extremely valuable for companies, and they must learn how to efficiently handle them.

For all the reasons stated above, it is critical for organizations to keep up with the latest information management trends.

6 thoughts on “What is Information Management? Why is it Important?”

  1. Thank you for the article. All of the above is easier to accomplish if the organization has an up-to-date retention schedule. Unfortunately, many companies do not update their retention schedule very often. Next, would come a file that is understood so everyone knows how long this data will retained based on the retention schedule no matter the format.


Leave a Reply