Henry Stiller Implementing New Roles For Information Professionals

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  • 1. Key success factors for implementing new roles and organisation for information professionals Henri Stiller
  • 2. Presentation outline  A paradoxical observation  Methodology and information sources  State of the art in 8 proposals  Key success factors, obstacles  Conclusion 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 2
  • 3. Histen Riller in brief  Set up in 1979, information as a decision making tool  Reports, surveys, competitive intelligence, information monitoring, training, consulting  Customer references: large companies, public administrations and ministries 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 3
  • 4. A paradoxical observation 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 4
  • 5. A paradoxical observation  Information professions are in turmoil  the functions they implement tend to be scattered within organizations  their role and added value is constantly challenged  their positioning is not stable  professional wording is not any more in tune with the evolution of businesses 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 5
  • 6. A paradoxical observation  Production and use of information grows exponentially  How organizations access to information they need for their operation, information that affects or influences their strategy? 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 6
  • 7. Methodology and information sources 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 7
  • 8. Methodology and information sources  Field surveys carried out by Histen Riller in large companies, between 1995 and 2010  Professional literature regarding recent trends of information professions  Benchmarking survey carried out for the Defence ministry by Histen Riller in December 2012 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 8
  • 9. State of the art in 8 proposals 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 9
  • 10. 1 - A significant number of companies choose to run their business without information professionals  Almost 36% of the 200 largest French companies do not have an identified information department (HR survey 2010)  correlated with the sector of business activity (HR survey 2010)  sectors involved in advanced technologies choose rather to have a team of information professionals  sectors like retail, hospitality and restauration make rather the opposite choice 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 10
  • 11. 1 - A significant number of companies choose to run their business without information professionals What solutions for companies without an explicit information department? (HR survey 2010)  A technical system like a massively deployed intranet  fitted with a lot of tools -> information access for users, collaborative practices  external information: access is prepared by the communication department -> downloading on the intranet for provision of staff 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 11
  • 12. 1 - A significant number of companies choose to run their business without information professionals What solutions for companies without an explicit information department? (HR survey 2010)  diffusion of this information:  pull mode – users search for the information they need on the intranet  push mode - newsletters, RSS flows, mail alerts, etc. 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 12
  • 13. 1 - A significant number of companies choose to run their business without information professionals  Trend (HR benchmark 2012)  train engineers in technical watch, rather than recruit dedicated information professionals (even in highly innovative sectors where access to information technology has a strategic value) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 13
  • 14. 1 - A significant number of companies choose to run their business without information professionals  "In terms of human resources, the trend is to train experts in information searching, rather than the recruitment of information professionals" (electronics / communication sector) - (HR benchmark 2012)  “Involvement of experts and internal specialists, trained in information retrieval techniques, as well as in information monitoring & CI -> development of added value related to information management” (chemistry sector) - (HR benchmark 2012) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 14
  • 15. 1 - A significant number of companies choose to run their business without information professionals  “Acquisition of skills, and profile shifting of the same players, without going through the recruitment of new information professionals” (chemistry sector) - (HR benchmark 2012) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 15
  • 16. 2 - Companies favor the development of technical solutions for accessing and sharing information while maintaining their workforce of information professionals at a low level  The volume of information processed by companies explodes  Figures of the employment market for information professionals demonstrate that these professions are on the decline either  development of tools to manage this increase in volume or  processing this increase by other professions, including users themselves 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 16
  • 17. 2 - Companies favor the development of technical solutions for accessing and sharing information while maintaining their workforce of information professionals at a low level  Combination of both solutions -> users autonomy becomes increasingly strong  Sometimes this happens in pain  Testimony of an officer of a company in the sector of electronic and communication: "The Information Centre works with a loyal and active users core, but is ignored by some of the staff. The latter is drowned out by the glut of information available on the intranet " 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 17
  • 18. 2 - Companies favor the development of technical solutions for accessing and sharing information while maintaining their workforce of information professionals at a low level TESTIMONY (HR benchmark 2012)  Defence / Aerospace sector  The «Information monitoring & CI » function is organized around a CI unit attached to the Direction of Strategy  Oriented primarily toward commercial, competitive, and strategic information monitoring, this function will be organized around tools for its network operation and its coordination 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 18
  • 19. 3 - “Information monitoring (IM) and Competitive Intelligence (CI)" is a function that is not always at the strategic level that one might expect, even in high-tech companies;  « IM » is a notion well understood in large companies  Among them a large part (around 50%) implements a kind of « unstructured IM »  without the support of the general management, simply driven by individual initiatives and willingness of managers of the departments concerned  (HR survey 2010) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 19
  • 20. 3 - “IM and CI" is a function that is not always at the strategic level that one might expect, even in high-tech companies; TESTIMONIES (HR benchmark 2012)  Aerospace sector:  « IM and CI » is not enough acknowledged in the company  staff in charge of this function devotes 10 to 40% of its time, except at the commercial department where a person is fully dedicated to it 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 20
  • 21. 3 - « IM & CI » : its implementation combines actions of information professionals and of topic specialists TESTIMONIES (HR benchmark 2012)  Chemistry sector:  Information monitoring has a scattered organization: units located within branches, without many relations between them  Some units may have a dedicated information professional, but rather engineers trained in information processing perform this function 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 21
  • 22. 3 - « IM & CI » : its implementation combines actions of information professionals and of topic specialists TESTIMONIES (HR benchmark 2012)  Oil chemistry sector:  Technological watch is provided partly at the Information centre by information professionals with usually a double training: a scientific core education, reinforced by ongoing training for Information Science  Researchers receive from the Information Centre information related to their topics of interest, and perform a complementary watch on very specialized subjects 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 22
  • 23. 3 - « IM & CI » : its implementation combines actions of information professionals and of topic specialists TESTIMONIES (HR benchmark 2012) Electronics / communication sector:  The « IM & CI » function is deployed on several levels  In this frame, expert integration to ongoing studies is being carried out by the mean of tools, implemented by the Information centre staff  Rather than to recruit information professionals, the trend in this company is to train experts in information retrieval 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 23
  • 24. 3 - « IM & CI » : its implementation combines actions of information professionals and of topic specialists  Information professionals largely take part in the « IM & CI » function: 68% among them are involved in information monitoring activities (« Professions & salaries » ADBS survey 2010)  In large French companies, Information Centres are involved in the information monitoring process, sometimes they manage it totally (HR survey 2010) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 24
  • 25. 4 - Staff which is not information professional is increasingly involved in the “IM & CI” process TESTIMONIES (HR benchmark 2012)  IM tasks are performed by users themselves through web searches, or through their personal network (aerospace sector)  Technological watch is also performed by scientists (engineers, PhD students). They have been trained in use of information tools (chemistry sector)  The acquisition of new skills allowing analysis of collected information is done through interviews with domain experts in the group (chemistry sector) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 25
  • 26. 4 - Staff which is not information professional is increasingly involved in the “IM & CI” process TESTIMONIES  (HR benchmark 2012) Also involved in the « IM & CI » process are strategy analysts, upstream studies engineers, vendors (defense / aerospace sector) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 26
  • 27. 4 - Staff which is not information professional is increasingly involved in the “IM & CI” process In large companies, IM systems involve: information professionals AND  experts in the company fields   Experts -> trained in information retrieval  Information professionals: needs and challenges of experts for whom they work Observation: a relatively small number of information professionals acts as resource persons (in information technology), the largest part of information monitoring is carried out by the recipients themselves 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 27
  • 28. 4 - Staff which is not information professional is increasingly involved in the “IM & CI” process Trends  hybridization  tasks distribution according to skills  Information professionals are involved until a certain level of specialization in the field  Tasks are then taken over by experts  Conversely, domain experts develop search queries until they reach a level of complexity that requires the intervention of an information professional 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 28
  • 29. 5 - The functions performed by information professionals are moving towards the production of more added value  Basic activities of Information centres show a clear tendency to get reduced in favor of more diverse and complex missions  The needs of companies are turning to the production of analysis, synthesis, to the enhancement of relevant information 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 29
  • 30. 5 - The functions performed by information professionals are moving towards the production of more added value  In parallel to the development of their autonomy, a need for user training and consulting tends to increase  In most cases, users perform simple searches for their need for access to information, and then turn to information professionals for more complex searches (eg in the field of patents) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 30
  • 31. 5 - The functions performed by information professionals are moving towards the production of more added value  This increase in added-value activities of information management does not necessarily result in job creation for information professionals  The implemented solutions are based on the involvement of experts and internal specialists, trained in information management, “IM & CI” 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 31
  • 32. 6 - A new positioning of information professionals on cross-functional and intermediation functions emerges, resulting in the creation of new jobs  Information professionals are more and more requested for cross-functional projects  Tasks regarding support for project management are increasing  methodology, skills regarding information sources and tools 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 32
  • 33. 6 - A new positioning of information professionals on cross-functional and intermediation functions emerges, resulting in the creation of new jobs  Logistics intermediation: foster access of staff to internal as well as external information by tagging the information landscape  The position of information professionals is changing  they are more likely not to work within a centralized information unit  but they tend to get near to their users being attached to their department 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 33
  • 34. 6 - A new positioning of information professionals on cross-functional and intermediation functions emerges, resulting in the creation of new jobs  The vocabulary of information professions continues to enrich  community manager  curator  document controller  records manager, etc. 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 34
  • 35. 6 - A new positioning of information professionals on cross-functional and intermediation functions emerges, resulting in the creation of new jobs 2 tracks for the development of information professions    1) changes arising from the development of Internet technologies 2) requirements in terms of safety, environmental, quality, health, more generally regulatory compliance Two strong trends: deeply rooted in the evolution of our society 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 35
  • 36. 7 - A reciprocal impregnation of expertise in information science versus company's business is being tested in some companies  Tendency to complement the skills of information professionals and field experts reciprocally  Experimental  Solution for access to strategic information: hybridization -> gain in added value 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 36
  • 37. 7 - A reciprocal impregnation of expertise in information science versus company's business is being tested in some companies TESTIMONIES  (HR benchmark 2012) Chemistry sector  The acquisition of new skills allowing analysis of collected information -> interviews with domain experts within the company  Mutual enrichment experts-information professionals being tested -> detachment of experts in the information centre for a period of six months to a year 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 37
  • 38. 8 - Users deploy autonomy in terms of access and use of information, sometimes to the point where they don’t need anymore the intervention of information professionals  Companies make a decision between:  expert training in information management  recruitment of information professionals who will implement their information skills in the company fields or  Both solutions coexist in general, with a predominance for the first one  NB: The fact that teaching of information monitoring techniques (STI) is now integrated in the curriculum of engineering education will further strengthen this trend 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 38
  • 39. 8 - Users deploy autonomy in terms of access and use of information, sometimes to the point where they don’t need anymore the intervention of information professionals  Autonomy gained by users     progress made in terms of human-machine interface in computer technology (graphical interfaces, intuitive, usable by everyone) search engine performances communication and collaboration tools Large companies: users proceed themselves to relatively simple searches, and trust information professionals for more complex searches 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 39
  • 40. 8 - Users deploy autonomy in terms of access and use of information, sometimes to the point where they don’t need anymore the intervention of information professionals  Some information professionals are not scared to disappear because of the autonomy taken by their users  Oil chemistry sector  "The Information centre continues to receive requests for complex searches involving the use of databases that users do not have access to, or specialized functions such as bibliometrics [...] or in the field of patents " 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 40
  • 41. 8 - Users deploy autonomy in terms of access and use of information, sometimes to the point where they don’t need anymore the intervention of information professionals  The whole company is progressing in terms of added value in its access to information  along with the assimilation of skills in information retrieval by users-recipients (which allow them to make their own simple research), new needs emerge, corresponding to an addition in added-value  to meet these new needs, the most advanced skills of information are implemented 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 41
  • 42. Key success factors, obstacles 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 42
  • 43. Key success factors Added Value  "The main factor for the successful development of the information management function in large companies is acknowledgment of its added value by executive officers" 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 43
  • 44. Key success factors  1) proficiency regarding tools, methods and organisation required by their implementation:  IT tools for :      access to information Information processing (including mapping, visualisation tools) communication sharing Collaboration    Knowledge of information sources tailored to the needs of the company web and web 2.0 technologies; etc. 2) understanding of the unique needs of the company’s business 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 44
  • 45. Key success factors Added value  taking the role of consultant, trainer, and support to ICT implementation (including wikis, collaborative platforms)  proactivity: experimental projects with motivated users to implement new technologies  always ahead of their users on technological advances  constant need for training and information monitoring regarding ICT 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 45
  • 46. Key success factors Understanding of the specific business needs of the company: several solutions  Information professionals with a double education  Interpenetration of skills 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 46
  • 47. Key success factors Communication on Added Value The added value of the information management function is effective for its development if and only if it is known and recognized  Users positive feedback -> intranet  Proselytism: show the utility of information management tasks (information monitoring ensures good image, then follow on other aspects)  Pilot projects, model implementation (“flash” training on topics or tools) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 47
  • 48. Obstacles  Acknowledgment of added value by decision makers: if granted, heads of the information management function get resources -> virtuous circle  Ignorance of resources provided by the information management function: information centres typically operate with a core of active users, but which does not extend  large population of potential users of the information management function -> large companies (main success of an information centre manager of a big aerospace company = "conquest of new territories") 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 48
  • 49. Obstacles  Difficulties in designing a good organization and good processes for managing libraries and document repositories, and information monitoring  New expectations of users - including very short processing time => adaptation of organizations and methods  Groping of heads of the information management function  No stereotype of organization, specificity of each business 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 49
  • 50. Obstacles  Free access to information on the Internet -> educational actions, compromise between free and paid sources  Documentary digitalization: complex to implement in terms of tools and organization, perception of time waste, misunderstood issues, volunteering, and often a small part of internal documents is recorded  Development of e-books: publishers implement various processes for dealing with copyright   Solution (eg Thales Communications): service provider that brings this consistency but at the expense of the precise choice of content collections Multinational groups: differences in culture, ways of understanding the issues related to information  Defense industry: a contradiction between national interests and harmonization of practices at transnational level 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 50
  • 51. Conclusion 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 51
  • 52. Hybrid solutions, complementary skills  In terms of access to strategic information – information that influences companies strategy, globally and locally (teams, departments, projects) – companies are developing hybrid solutions, combining the skills from information professionals with their experts ones  Therefore inherently systems are fragmented, with sometimes a coordination at different levels: :  CI unit attached to the Direction of Strategy or the General Direction  information monitoring units attached to a department, more specifically a users department  Information Centre acting as information monitoring coordinator 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 52
  • 53. Lack of governance  Even in very large companies, there is no real governance of strategic information  Personal initiatives taken by managers at a department level, with the support of their management of attachment, in a budgetary framework drawn by the General Direction  Gropings and hesitations  Move without visibility in the information world -> single landmark: reducing or at least controlling costs 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 53
  • 54. Lack of governance  Observation of the under-utilization of information assets and internal expertise  Commentary frequently repeated by managers we interviewed was that “IM & CI" was not sufficiently valued in the company (not to mention knowledge management ...) 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 54
  • 55. Lack of governance  Company difficulties:    complexity of the information landscape growing permanently chronic gap between ICT use and implementation Solutions mostly chosen in large companies:   deployment of systems and tools without necessarily having projected the implications in terms of organization, changes in processes and uses 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 55
  • 56. Landmarks  Search of invariants or heavy trends      ICT and especially technologies related to the Internet Evolution towards a society increasingly standardized and regulated Mobility Big data Information world  Reference information   Information / documents with legal or regulatory value, that can be provided as evidence in case of dispute in front of the authorities, or constituting the technological capital of the company Information regarding the current environment  for decision making and actions guidelines, with a more or less short life cycle 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 56
  • 57. Reference information  Reference information: field of archivists, records managers, information specialists in intellectual property…  Functions well defined, with clear tasks, implementing mature practices and procedures  Usually well controlled by companies 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 57
  • 58. Reference informations, project documentation Any new project => consumption and production of a large amount of information, some of which is destined to become reference information  For large projects, the function of "document controller" was created, and plays its role perfectly  Multitude of smaller projects: tracing operations 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 58
  • 59. Reference information, project documentation  « Multi-project document controller »   cross-cutting interventions as "document controller" on several projects simultaneously Comparing to:  quality approach  tendancy to extend project management  the « document controller » is a full member of the project team 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 59
  • 60. New professions related to ICT and the Internet  Development of information professions related to Internet technologies  webmasters, content managers, community managers, social networks watchers, curators…  These businesses will evolve in parallel with technologies => jobs will disappear, other will be created  Constant adaptation 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 60
  • 61. Intermediary, facilitator, prescriber, mapping technician, coach, trainer… Role of mediator, information sources and tools prescriber, setting landmarks to guide users in an informational world increasingly opaque  => sufficient technical training to master the tools and access to information assets of any kind  Role could be crucial for companies (information overload, poor ICT and company social networks skills)  Information professionals added value 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 61
  • 62. Intermediary, facilitator, prescriber, mapping technician, coach, trainer…  Parallel with quality -> supporting role and advising their users    Training, « best practices » processes for simple information search Expertise implementation for more complex search Scheme implemented in some companies => generalize 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 62
  • 63. Intermediary, facilitator, prescriber, mapping technician, coach, trainer…  Companies: added-value increase  Demanding in terms of skills => effort in information professionals training and education  technical (tools, information monitoring, collaborative platforms, etc.)  consulting  coaching  project management 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 63
  • 64. Survey limits and frame  Sources: field survey of large French companies; recent literature dealing with the question; benchmarking study about a small number of companies, processed as a series of case studies  Heuristic approach, not comprehensive  Conclusions apply mainly to large companies in the industrial world   strong trends for all information professions Putting it into perspective: development of mobility, of the cloud, of the big data…  profound transformation of the companies organization 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 64
  • 65. Proposals to shape governance  Proposals to shape governance for access to strategic information, its processing and its integration into the business processes  Huge field of possibilities -> community of professions under questioning  Implementation   => challenge of training courses and education for these professions => reconsider the positionning of these professions by business leaders  cross-cutting fields such as quality or management controlling 19 November 2013 h-stiller@histen-riller.fr 65