banner image for William G. Smith & Associates

CONCEPTS OF INFORMATION RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (IRM)

The term "Information Resources" incorporates three broad categories of "information stuff" essential to the modern business enterprise: the large mass of stored data (DATA); the huge volume of application system program code (APPLICATION SOFTWARE); and the numerous networked hardware components, along with the operating programming that makes it all work (TECHNOLOGY). These three components, working together, allow the enterprise to produce and use the information required to effectively operate, compete, and manage on a daily basis. The information resources of most large enterprises represent a significant cost factor, yet interestingly, most enterprises do not manage these critical and expensive resources like they do all other resources. All of the "Big Five" resources (human, financial, equipment, material, and facilities) have very effective management discipline, based on several universal resource management principles:

These principles are so familiar, and so universally applied, they seem self-evident; but virtually none of them are practiced by the average IS/IT organization within most large US enterprises. So, the term "Information Resource Management" simply means changing the way typical IS/IT is implemented within the enterprise, so that it manages the information resources (DATA, APPLICATION SOFTWARE, and TECHNOLOGY) like any other enterprise resource - the principles of how to properly and effectively manage it are exactly the same.

The enterprise must establish effective management control of the data resource, or it will never fully achieve the payoff: faster, cheaper, better business operations, and significantly greater business flexibility, innovation, and change. Data Resource Management (DRM) is a critical part of the IRM environment.

Most enterprises today are critically dependent upon automated information for both daily operation and management control. Today, information is the most important and highest-leveraged resource the enterprise controls -- the means by which all other resources are managed. Yet, few businesses have begun to exploit the enormous strategic potential of a well-integrated information environment. Most enterprises function at a small fraction of their potential productivity with a set of terribly dis-integrated, inconsistent, and often redundant application systems, operating on an underlying redundant, inconsistent, and untimely data mess. The main obstacles to exploiting the information resource are internal to the enterprise, and can be easily overcome - it is truly a common sense proposition.

This informational (not skill-building) seminar targets senior management of the enterprise, and strikingly contrasts the way we currently manage enterprise resources (human, financial, material, equipment, and facilities), and the vastly different way we currently (mis)manage information resources of the enterprise. The seminar also contrasts the IRM environment with the traditional "dis-integrated application systems" environment embraced by most enterprises today, and shows exactly how and why the IRM approach solves the problems inherent in the "dis-integrated systems" approach. It shows how simple application of well-recognized, time-proven, routinely-practiced management discipline to this stuff called "information" will remedy the massive information messes so prominent today. An integrated information environment is a strategic necessity today, and is not the result of accident nor random motion. The react-mode IS/IT Organization within the enterprise today must be empowered to carefully plan, model, build/acquire, and maintain this integrated information environment, not to just react to immediate need of the moment. The need for the enterprise to change rapidly and affordably, and the accelerating rate of change in computer technology makes IRM not only a proactive, but a defensive necessity in today's economy. Ironically, any business or government agency today would function significantly faster, cheaper, better, and more flexibly using less than 10% of the stored data that they currently attempt to manage, less than 10% of the existing program code they've bought/built, and a fraction of the computer technology (hardware and operating software) they currently manage. Integration means shaking it all down, pressing it together.

The seminar clearly describes the six critical success factors for an effective IRM environment (what management of the enterprise must do and change in order to succeed with IRM), and describes a detailed, step-by-step plan to transition (aggressively, or gradually) from today's react-mode IS/IT to true IRM. The seminar is 100% jargon-free and easily understood by any audience, without over-simplifying the issues.

WGS&A has presented this seminar to hundreds of senior management teams, and we are usually asked "This is such common sense! Why didn't we do this ten years ago, before we made such a mess?" The simple answer is that the enterprise has simply given the IS/IT organization the wrong mission, and measures it on the wrong grade card: IS/IT is usually doing exactly what senior and middle management have asked it to do - buy or build more and more applications as quickly as possible. The resulting DATA and TECHNOLOGY messes are not something anyone is paying attention to, until they become such a visible and costly problem that the enterprise can no longer ignore them. has been so preoccupied with its senior-management-defined role of reacting quickly to the next requirement, and senior management with steering the ship, that no one has stepped back and asked "What's going wrong here?" It is very easy to become rooted in "the way we've always done it". The sooner the enterprise begins transition to IRM, the sooner it will experience the almost unbelievable benefits. The scenery only changes for the lead dog....

TOPICAL OUTLINE:


DURATION: 1 DAY (includes time for Q&A of audience concerns, problems, misunderstandings, etc.)

TARGETED AUDIENCES: (no recommended maximum number of attendees)

PREREQUISITE: none



RETURN TO SEMINARS PAGE

RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE

© 2013 WILLIAM G. SMITH