To gain value from your unstructured information, rather than just accepting ever-increasing storage costs and risks, you first need to understand what you have. We have helped many organisations do exactly this.
Finding out what information your organisation holds and what are its characteristics are important steps in understanding, managing and then getting value from your information.
The information in systems grows organically, and usually without an overarching information strategy, or information architecture to manage this growth. This results in less oversight as to what information you have. This in turn leads to duplicated, fragmented, redundant, insecure and unmanageable information.
An information inventory can show you what information you have, its characteristics and how its used. It is an essential step towards developing an information architecture, identifying and managing information risk, and supporting information governance.
Conducting an information inventory also has advantages as a standalone exercise:
- Financial: redundant hardware and software can be identified and thus costs reduced
- IT: hardware and software can be rationalised resulting in reduced administration
- Compliance: compliance issues and risks can be discovered
- Procurement: informed decisions can be made about purchases based on what exists
- Sales: poor information can be ignored and good information capitalised on