What is Information Management? The Complete Guide

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Written By Haissam Abdul Malak

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Information management is the key to success for any organization. It can help organizations achieve their goals by efficiently managing information. It also helps them avoid security breaches and data loss which could lead to financial loss or other consequences.

Information management is the process of acquiring, organizing, storing, and using information. The goal is to ensure that information is delivered to the right audience at the right time, to the right place, and in the right format in an efficient and effective manner.

We live in a highly competitive business environment where the efficient use of knowledge management and information may be one of the most important aspects of an organization’s success. In a nutshell, information is the “organizational currency” for decision-making.

Managing information is a key component of any organization’s success. This includes ensuring that the right people have access to the right data at the right time. It also includes making sure that data is not lost, exposed to unauthorized users, or information silos are managed properly. IM can be difficult for organizations with high volumes of data and for those that are constantly changing their business models or operations.

In this article, we will go through the definition of information management, discuss its role among businesses, and explain why it is vital.

What is information management and why is it important?

By definition, Information management is the process of managing the complete lifecycle of information, from its identification and collection to its disposal through archiving or deletion. it encompasses all physical and electronic data collected by a business from its customers, employees, and vendors.

The major functions of IM include records management, document imaging, knowledge management, and data mining.

The role 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.

You can find plenty of definitions for the management of information but we believe what we provided at the beginning of the article is the most appropriate definition.

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 role 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 management requires 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 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 strategic management but also by employees at all levels.

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.

Information Management
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What Are The 5 Key Areas of Information Management?

The five key areas of information management are information collection, storage, distribution, archiving, and destruction. Each of these key areas plays a vital role in the effective management of information throughout its lifecycle.

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 save storage costs, prevent analyzing data that is unnecessary to business governance, and guarantee that the information obtained is of good quality.

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, 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.

I strongly advise you to read the article linked below for further information.

What is Archiving: Why is it Important? (theecmconsultant.com)

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.

Why Is It Important?

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.

Information management ensures that businesses can overcome challenges, improve business operations, fulfill employee and client needs, improve business productivity and efficiency, improve decision-making, and enhance employee collaboration.

Information management 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.

We all need easy access to the right information at the right time. Achieving this transformation has an enormous impact on both the culture and the outcomes of the organization.

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

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

What Challenges are Involved in Information Management?

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.

One of the most important challenge is the ability to secure information via enterprise wide policy.

Information Management vs Knowledge Management

Information management 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.

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

The main goal of information management is to make 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. The goal of Knowledge Management is to 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 challenges.

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.

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

FAQ

What is the purpose of information management?

The goal of information management is to have an organized system that allows for easy access to any specific piece of information when needed. This includes having the ability to search for specific files based on keywords or phrases that are relevant to the topic being researched.

What is meant by information management?

Information management deals with the storage, retrieval, and analysis of data. Information management is about making sure that the data is available to those who need it when they need it. It’s also about deciding which data to keep for later use and which data to delete.

5 thoughts on “What is Information Management? The Complete Guide”

  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 plan that is understood so everyone knows how long this data will retained based on the retention schedule no matter the format.

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