Information management : best practices in broad base industries
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Many organisations recognise the importance of Information Management (IM) and are implementing it into the structure and culture of their organisation and the roles of their managers and employees. More and more, organisations are thinking and operating strategically - their very survival depends on information. Information is the lifeblood of an organisation. An essential part of any business strategy is consideration of how information systems strategy supports change. Experts agree that information management has become a competitive necessity for all types of companies. The organisations that will succeed in the global information environment are those that can identify the value of information. One of the biggest problems facing managers today at all levels is the problem of investing in and using technology efficiently, especially Information Technology (IT). Business intelligence enables organisations to make well informed business decisions and thus can be the source of competitive advantages. This is especially true when companies are able to extrapolate information from indicators in the external environment and make accurate forecasts about future trends or economic conditions. Business intelligence becomes a top initiative and investment priority for Chief lnformation Officers (CIOs) and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). This dissertation addressed the need to identify the most important information management components as a foundation for the more in-depth discussion on information management principles and best practices in broad base industries. The elements of information management that appear the most frequent in the literature study indicate that authors place high priority on the following components: • Information security • Information management governance • IT standardisation • Regulatory requirements for information management • Business intelligence • Virtual collaboration • Management of service outsourcing • Selection of service providers • Project management • Change management • Risk management • Asset management • Knowledge management • Business processes • Balanced scorecard • Benchmarking • Competitive Intelligence • Business partnering. The empirical study was conducted in six phases. The first phase consisted of establishing a framework of information management best practices in broad base industries and the second phase was to develop a preliminary measuring instrument to investigate the perceptions of the sampling population on information management best practices. Phase three consisted of a pilot study in the development of a questionnaire. Phase four was to investigate perceptions of information management best practices in broad base industries. The analysis model was developed based on the criteria evaluated using advanced statistical procedures. The five most important components of information management that were identified were Business processes, Information security, Business intelligence, Risk management, and Information management governance. The best practices for these five most important components of information management were also identified. The five highest ranking best practices were: Virus control implemented; Information management strategy aligned with business goals; Documented business processes; Risk management framework implemented; and Support and training in place. Phase five was to describe the results of the empirical study for information management best practices in broad base industries, Phase six was to compare the perception what the information management best practices are as perceived by companies from broad base industries. The most uniform perception was identified for the information management component 'Business Intelligence'. On average, it was rated almost equally by all participants. On the other hand, there is a significant difference in perception from all industry segments and the whole industry for 'Risk Management'.
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