Most end users equate information management with the tools they are using. They create information through these tools, they save this information to a place on a network or hard drive and they can search for this information using tools. They may never physically touch this information, except through tapping on a keyboard.
One of the biggest challenges for an IM person working with end-users is to get them to think outside the tool set, but often end users don’t have the language to describe what it is they are trying to do with their information. And it’s not limited to ‘end users’. Technical resources are bombarded with new tools to better manage networks, access, content management systems, reporting, systems development, etc. Most technical resources don’t equate these types of applications with information management, and yet that’s what they are all about – organizing or providing the ability to re-use information to reduce errors and redundancy.
The following diagram from Mike 2.0, presents IM applications (tools) according to categories: Business Intelligence, Information Asset Management, Access, Search and Delivery, Enterprise Data Management, Enterprise Content Management. Mike2.0 refers to these categories as solution offerings.
For most IM people, we tend to be pigeon-holed into the areas of Information Asset Management and Enterprise Content Management. However what this diagram represents to me is the importance of ensuring that practitioners in the areas of Business Intelligence; Search, Access and Delivery; and Enterprise Data Management receive training in information management theory. In the end, it is these resources that make better information practices tangible to end users.