Benefits of effective information management
By proactively managing digital information and information assets throughout the information spectrum, the following should occur:
- information assets are managed and valued as a government (corporate) resource
- transparency and accountability is maintained
- government is protected when faced with legal action.
Benefits of effective digital information and information asset management are difficult to quantify precisely.
There is emerging consensus, both within Australia and internationally, that organisations with good information governance, processes and practices are more effective in:
- conducting business in an orderly, efficient and accountable manner so that activities and decisions are transparent to stakeholders, particularly citizens and taxpayers
- improving efficiency and productivity
- leveraging information and making better decisions
- facilitating easier and more timely access to required information
- delivering services consistently and equitably
- meeting obligations (legislative, regulatory, litigation and contractual)
- protecting the integrity and availability of business critical information thereby providing continuity of operations in an emergency or disaster
- preserving corporate history and memory
- reducing the use and dependency on paper leading to environmental savings.
Risks of inadequate information management
The consequences of inadequate management of digital information and information asset include:
- loss of productivity due to the inability to discover / retrieve and productively use business critical information on a daily or ad-hoc basis
- loss of strategic opportunities due to the inability to recognise or leverage valuable information. - an organisation might inadvertently destroy technical engineering documents that are costly to recreate
- increased costs of doing business due to inefficiencies related to disparate or inaccessible data - the inability of an organisation to provide drawings, documents, wiring diagrams, plant dossiers etc
- inability to comply with:
- court orders - unable to produce a document later found elsewhere might be viewed as non-disclosure by the court
- requests by investigative authorities (Auditor-General, Police) for access to information
- government inquiries - a number of South Australian agencies spent significant time and money to discover documents for the South Australian Government Children in State Care Inquiry
These risks can be mitigated by implementing an information governance model, as prescribed by the Information Management Standard.