Ten secrets for managing your information capital
According to the popular saying, you can tell a good worker by his tools. What if a good company is recognized by the way its information and data flows are stored, distributed and interconnected? In just a few years, we have moved from a static data management organization, in which information systems and CIO managed data, to a dynamic organization where the data is co-constructed in a cross-cutting and protean way. A shift that also changes the perception of information systems: formerly cost centres, they are transformed into intangible assets that potentially create value. And it is precisely the word “potentially” that is important here. Because to become an actual creator of value, it is fundamental to control one’s information capital. As a growth vector, a strategic priority and a lever for collective intelligence, an organization’s informational capital can speed up, slow down or derail a business. And because we are more Shinkansen than TER, here are our 10 secrets to managing your informational capital.
Secret No. 1: quality
All the data used by your organization must be sorted, optimized and aggregated to be usable, without duplication and without doubts or questions. Most companies use different tools that do not always talk to each other. Between an ERP, a CRM, Facebook Ad Manager, MailChimp, billing software or a WMS, the task can be complex. A Master Data Management oriented approached is therefore a guarantor of the quality of your data.
Secret No. 2: availability
Not everyone works in an office, behind a computer, from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. Some teams work remotely, at home or from abroad, while managers work weekends or late at night and sales people are constantly on the move. So your computer system and data must be accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the same user experience and access speed, regardless of the device being used.
Secret No. 3: security
Piracy, digital attacks and data theft are some of the common risks in business today. Mastering your information capital also means being able to work safely without fear of data loss, malicious intrusion or a major bug that could jeopardize business operations. Your system and infrastructure must be like a double-walled digital safe that can prevent attacks, hacks, leaks and data corruption. This requires bespoke training, relevant security systems, multi-redundant backups and rigorous internal procedures.
Secret No. 4: accessibility
Data lost in an Excel table at the bottom of a Windows Explorer in local mode is of no use. Your data must be accessible from any device in an environment where cross-device work has become the norm. The cloud has revolutionized data mobility and accessibility. The more your data is accessible and shared, the more it can be used wisely and at the right time.
Secret No. 5: updating
Data lives only because it is constantly updated. Whether it’s a change of delivery address, product reference, certification or an order return, every interaction must be duly completed and every action must be documented. Today, data management is as indispensable as good business or financial management. It feeds the company’s strategy and must be up-to-date and interoperable to be used with confidence.
Secret No. 6: relevance
Having up-to-date data is one thing, but it must be useful. Pre-selection and management work that can take a long time, especially if performed manually. Hence the growing interest of CIOs in creating and using algorithms that can work on extracting and selecting truly relevant data to make the right decisions at the right time. Relevant data that can also participate in the modernization and optimization of your internal processes.
Secret No. 7: cost optimisation
Whether it is technical infrastructure or data management, the CIO must constantly find the right balance between cost optimization and delivery of uncompromising quality of service and use. In this approach, the data must be stored in a rational way: why invest in a private cloud if a hybrid or external solution is more efficient and less expensive? Do you need a large server room which is permanently secured and cooled? What would be your options for outsourcing all or part of the hosting and management of your data? So many questions that must be carefully studied.
Secret No. 8: training
Without skilled users, information is useless. It is important to train all employees in good practices and relevant practices for effective work with the right information. Whether for reasons of security, quality control or uniformity and relevance, the better your employees are trained – ideally continuously – the more involved they will be and the more success your information capital will yield.
Secret No.9: uniqueness
Duplicates in an information system are like viruses in a human body: they cause fatigue, they attack and they interfere with efficient operations. How much time is lost tracking information? How many people must be involved in a client file to share one and the same information item? Uniqueness is the keystone of your IT strategy. A data item represents one place and a multitude of uses.
Secret No.10: the container at the service of the content
Information capital supports innovation processes. The container is your infrastructure that must be secure and quickly accessible from anywhere, all for an optimal cost / benefit ratio. Content is the data you store, host and centralize within your information system. Both must work together. Your container must be sufficiently large, fast, and available to view, retrieve, and respond to user queries on the content. Information capital is one of the key issues in the digitalization of companies. It supports innovation, underpins new work habits and makes information digestible, understandable and accessible to all users. If the CIO is at the forefront of the optimization of information capital, it is a lever that is above all cross-cutting and multidisciplinary, and which plays a direct role in fulfilling the mission of the company.