Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Information management (IM) is gaining increasing attention in both IT and the business functions these days. While IT is involved with almost every aspect of IM, information is the heart and soul of business, and its management cannot be delegated or abdicated to IT. Thus, IM represents the true nexus of business and IT. Because of this, IM has all the hallmarks of an emerging discipline - the offspring of a committed long-term relationship between business and IT. And, it requires new skills and competencies, new frames of reference, and new processes. IM provides the mechanisms for managing enterprise information and a foundation that can be used by both IT and knowledge management to create business value. The "IM function" is responsible for the complete information life cycle: acquisition or creation; organization; navigation; access; security; administration; storage; and retention. Because it still falls into the gray area between business and IT, many organizations find it is essential to develop an enterprise-wide framework that clarifies the policies, principles, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities, and practices for IM in both groups. This paper reports on the findings of a focus group session of IT managers who looked at IM from the enterprise point of view, addressing the business and IT issues and challenges in managing information effectively. It first examines the scope and nature of IM and how it is being conceptualized in organizations. Then, it presents a framework for the comprehensive management of information and identifies the key issues currently facing organizations in implementing an effective IM program. Finally, it presents some recommendations for getting started in IM.