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The Business Case for Information Strategy and Architecture

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Information Management is a meta discipline that combines strategy, architecture, technology, and governance to get the right information to the right people at the right times to do the right things in support of an organization’s mission, vision, and values. Information Management happens at the intersection of people, process, information, and technology.

This presentation provides a simple framework for building a business case for Information Management with a focus on Strategy and Architecture.

I hope this helps other information professionals move the discipline of Information Management forward in their organizations.

I am a member of AIIM, ARMA, the Information Architecture Institute, and Information Coalition.

Published in: Technology

The Business Case for Information Strategy and Architecture

  1. 1. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 1 The Business Case for Information Strategy & Architecture J. Kevin Parker, CIP
  2. 2. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 2 About Me J. Kevin Parker, CIP I am a recognized industry leader in Information Management and Technology with a unique combination of technical expertise and business acumen. My professional mission is to continue advancing Information Management within the industry and within organizations.
  3. 3. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 3 About This Presentation Information Management is a meta discipline that combines strategy, architecture, technology, and governance to get the right information to the right people at the right times to do the right things in support of an organization’s mission, vision, and values. Information Management happens at the intersection of people, process, information, and technology. Information Management is not universally understood the way project management is today. I aim to change that. This presentation provides a simple framework for building a business case for Information Management with a focus on Strategy and Architecture. I hope this helps other information professionals move the discipline of Information Management forward in their organizations. If this helps you, please like, comment, and share!
  4. 4. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 4 Objectives In this presentation, we will discuss how to: • Discover ways information chaos is hindering organizations. • Define the solution for information chaos. • Identify key benefits from developing a unified information strategy and architecture. • Build a business case for information strategy and architecture.
  5. 5. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 5 How Information Chaos is Hindering Organizations The Business Case for Information Strategy & Architecture
  6. 6. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 6 Information Volumes Grow Exponentially 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years. This has been true for the past 30 years. That means every 2 years we create 10x more data than previously existed. For most enterprises, volumes of information typically double at least every 12- 18 months. World’sDataVolume Time Last 2 Years
  7. 7. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 7 Information Comes in Many Forms • Documents • Emails • Databases • Wikis • Videos • Podcasts • Log files • Tasks • Texts • Voicemails • Service tickets • Forms • Reports • Memos • Contracts • And many more… Gone are the days when information only came as documents and databases. There are so many different types and more are added all the time.
  8. 8. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 8 Information is Everywhere • Databases • ERP systems • CRM systems • File servers • CMS solutions • Cloud services • Websites • Social media • Inboxes • Smartphones • Disk drives • Thumb drives • Vendor systems • Directory services • Team sites • And many more… Without a solid strategy and architecture, organizations tend to add new systems for each business challenge, adding to chaos.
  9. 9. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 9 Information Silos Add Chaos Directory Services Accounting Systems Payroll System HR Management Systems Procurement Systems Inventory Systems CRM System Vendor & Contract Management Systems Enterprise Content Management Systems Time Management Systems File Shares Intranet Project Management Systems Database Servers Service Desk Tickets Data Warehouses & Business Intelligence Records Management Systems Knowledge Management Systems Quality Management Systems Email Systems Throwing new servers and applications at every business challenge adds silos and complexity which increases chaos.
  10. 10. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 10 Cloud & Mobile Can Add Chaos Enterprise File Sync & Share SaaS LOB App Cloud Email Enterprise Social Rogue Cloud Drive Rogue SaaS App Rogue Email Rogue Social Channels Personal Cloud Drive Personal SaaS App Personal Email Public Social Networks On-Prem Systems & Apps Official Cloud Apps Shadow Cloud Apps Personal Cloud Apps CorporateFirewall AbilitytoControl VPN Directory Services Accounting Systems Payroll System HR Management Systems Procurement Systems Inventory Systems CRM System Vendor & Contract Management Systems Enterprise Content Management Systems Time Management Systems File Shares Intranet Project Management Systems Database Servers Service Desk Tickets Data Warehouses & Business Intelligence Records Management Systems Knowledge Management Systems Quality Management Systems Email Systems Without solid strategy, architecture, and governance for mobile and cloud, chaos will increase.
  11. 11. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 11 Users Can’t Keep Track “Where did I file those TPS reports?” “Does this document go in the ECM system or the procurement server or the Intranet or the X: drive or the ERP system or the records center?” “I’ll just email it. Again.” Chaos!!
  12. 12. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 12 Point-to-Point Connections Add Chaos Number of potential connections between systems: n(n-1) 2 20(20-1) 2 = 190 Connections for 20 systems: Efforts to integrate systems with point-to- point connections drastically increase complexity, dependencies, maintenance, and chaos.
  13. 13. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 13 Bad Metadata Adds Chaos Bad metadata means: • Lack of standardized terms & meanings across systems, business units & processes • Lack of interaction between information systems • Lack of reusable data services • Lack of understanding of available data • Lack of awareness of available data sets • Inability to log, audit, report & predict accurately • Inability to secure & manage information consistently System System System System System System System System System System System System System System System System System System System System User Interface Metadata Services Enterprise Taxonomies & Managed Vocabularies Organization, Labeling, Navigation & Search Systems Service & Interface Descriptions Security Metadata Logical Data Models APIs & Data Services Logging, Auditing, Reporting, Predicting ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
  14. 14. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 14 Fragmented Information Management Breeds Chaos Data Management Records Management Knowledge Management Document Management Enterprise Content Management Business Intelligence & Analytics Master Data Management Web Content Management Customer Relationship Management Email Management Mobile Device Management Organizations that do not have all of the different information management capabilities under a unified strategy and architecture have chaos. Cybersecurity
  15. 15. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 15 Summary: Factors Leading to Chaos • Increasing information volume, velocity, and variety • Disparate information silos and systems • Lack of clear understanding of which information lives in which SPOT (Single Point Of Truth) • Poor or immature metadata management • Fragmented information management practices • Lack of unified information strategy, architecture, and governance
  16. 16. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 16 Problem Statement For your business case, create a clear statement of the problem you are trying to solve. Make it specific to your organization. For example: ACME Corp has 20 enterprise systems, many with overlapping functionality and workloads. There are numerous fragile data connections between systems, yet the organization has no real master data management in place. Usability of several systems is poor, and user adoption of systems has been challenging. ACME is struggling with information chaos.
  17. 17. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 17 The Solution for Information Chaos: Strategy & Architecture The Business Case for Information Strategy & Architecture
  18. 18. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 18 Information Management Mission • Get the right information to the right people at the right times to take the right actions in support of the mission. • Protect information assets and mitigate information risks. Information Management is a combination of components: • Information Strategy • Information Architecture • Information Technology • Information Governance You need all of these working in concert to be successful.
  19. 19. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 19 Information Strategy… • Defines what you plan to do with information and why • Begins with an honest information maturity assessment • Includes a blueprint of what information management should look like in the organization • Includes a roadmap of how to get to that future-state blueprint • Includes critical success factors for showing progressive improvements
  20. 20. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 20 Information Strategy Asks: • What does our business do, and what internal and external information types and processes support our work? • What information management pain points do we experience, and what must we excel at to do our work better? • What is the vision for how our organization uses information to best support our strategic corporate initiatives, and what steps must we take to achieve that vision? • How do we measure our information management successes (and failures) and practice continuous improvement?
  21. 21. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 21 Information Architecture… • Defines the structures and channels for data, content, knowledge, records, and analytics in support of the strategy • Includes designing schemes for organizing, labeling, navigating, and searching information • Takes into account business processes, organizational goals, regulatory requirements, and other information management needs
  22. 22. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 22 Information Architecture Asks: • What is our information model with the terms and relationships that accurately describe our business? • What categories and labels make sense for organizing our information for better findability, usability, reporting, and discovery? • What logical systems will contain our information, and how do we ensure each type of important information lives in its SPOT (single point of truth)? • How will our staff and customers navigate around our systems and the information and processes within and between them?
  23. 23. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 23 Architecture is what connects everything together, while Governance and Technology work as supports. Always start with Strategy. Then do Architecture. Governance and Technology support the Strategy and Architecture. Information Management Components Architecture Governance Technology Strategy
  24. 24. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 24 Assess Information Maturity Develop Strategy Blueprint Develop Strategy Roadmap Develop Architecture Begin Continuous Implementation High-Level Process Performed initially, then repeated periodically to measure improvement Primary effort done initially to create the foundation for future improvements, then improved incrementally Continuous implementation iterations for systems, services, and solutions Start with an initial assessment and follow with the primary effort of the strategy blueprint, roadmap, and architecture. Then repeat with continuous solution implementation to iteratively improve and measure (i.e., after the foundation is built, use agile project management).
  25. 25. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 25 Key Benefits of a Unified Information Strategy & Architecture The Business Case for Information Strategy & Architecture
  26. 26. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 26 Optimize Business Processes • Automate workflows • Eliminate bottlenecks • Increase efficiency • Reduce waste
  27. 27. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 27 Increase Productivity • Improve findability • Improve usability • Improve accessibility • Improve portability • Improve collaboration • Enable mobile and telework
  28. 28. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 28 Increase Quality • Manage information consistently • Manage cases cohesively • Improve information reliability • Increase information availability • Leverage automation tools
  29. 29. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 29 Improve Customer Service • Improve response times • Improve communication • Improve customer engagement
  30. 30. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 30 Reduce Costs • Reduce complexity and cost of IT systems • Reduce storage and maintenance costs • Reduce errors • Reduce eDiscovery costs • Reduce dependency on products and vendors
  31. 31. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 31 Integrate Enterprise Information • Eliminate duplication of information and systems • Ensure information reliability • Facilitate enterprise search
  32. 32. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 32 Mitigate Risks & Achieve Compliance • Ensure stronger information security • Ensure disaster recovery and business continuity • Manage records efficiently and consistently • Retain corporate knowledge
  33. 33. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 33 Improve Information Leadership • Consolidate information strategy and governance • Improve information quality • Create actionable business intelligence
  34. 34. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 34 Building a Business Case for Information Strategy & Architecture The Business Case for Information Strategy & Architecture
  35. 35. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 35 The Business Case For… This is both an initial project and an ongoing program. Your business case should make this explicit to get approval, funding, and authority to proceed and succeed. A Project: Establish Strategic Blueprint, Roadmap, and Infrastructure A Program: Continue Improving Information Management and Supporting Technology
  36. 36. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 36 Should the Business Case Include a Technology Solution? It depends! If you need a technology solution to implement the strategy and architecture, then go ahead and propose it along with some alternatives (including the “status quo” option) for comparison. However, if your strategy and architecture can become reality by realigning existing investments, don’t propose new ones. Also, don’t build a business case for a technology without doing strategy and architecture! The technology isn’t connected to the organization’s strategy without these (yet so many business cases and projects focus solely on disconnected technologies—how very un-strategic!).
  37. 37. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 37 Major Sections of the Business Case • Executive summary • Business drivers, benefits & impacts • Business risks • Strategic blueprint • Implementation roadmap & timeline • Budget, costs & TCO • Governance • Return on investment (ROI) • Value on investment (VOI) • Glossary These are some of the major sections you can have in your winning business case. Follow your organization’s standards (if they exist) and supplement with these sections as needed.
  38. 38. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 38 Executive Summary • Problem statement • Recommended solution summary • How this solution supports the organization’s mission, vision, and strategy • Business benefits summary • Next steps This section is completed last. It is a very focused summary of your business case that should grab executives’ attention. This is all some will read.
  39. 39. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 39 Business Drivers, Benefits, Impacts • Optimized business processes • Increased productivity • Increased quality • Improved customer experience • Reduced cost • Enterprise information integration • Risk mitigation & compliance • Improved information leadership These are the business benefits described earlier. Highlight the ones that are most closely aligned to your business strategy and mission. Align language and goals with initiatives that are important and likely to be funded.
  40. 40. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 40 Risks • Scope creep • Change and disruption • Skill limitations of users • Resource limitations • User adoption These are some common types of identified risks in a business case. A lack of user adoption is always a risk for information systems, but you can turn this into an opportunity to succeed.
  41. 41. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 41 Strategic Blueprint • High-level information strategy – Critical success factors (CSFs) – Information management standards • High-level information architecture model Strategic blueprints are a combination of an information strategy and a conceptual enterprise information architecture map.
  42. 42. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 42 Implementation Roadmap & Timeline • High-level solution implementation plan • High-level schedule • High-level timeline This is not a detailed project plan, but should be a higher-level estimation of major milestones.
  43. 43. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 43 Budget, Costs & TCO • Direct & indirect costs • Fixed & variable costs • Costs vs. savings • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) vs. status quo These are some typical ways of looking at costs in a business case. Use what is relevant to your organization and business case.
  44. 44. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 44 Governance • Implementation project governance • Information governance • Technology governance Address how governance will work. Every part of this needs governance, which should include change management, communication, and quality management.
  45. 45. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 45 Return On Investment (ROI) • Revenue impact • Cost reduction • Regulatory compliance ROI can be hard to quantify for information management, but it can work for things like paper reductions, space savings, system consolidations, error reductions, and time reductions. Estimate conservatively!
  46. 46. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 46 Value On Investment (VOI) • Defined key performance indicators (KPIs) • Process efficiency gains • Staff productivity gains • Product & service quality gains • New or improved capabilities • Corporate reputation impact • Knowledge management impact • Business continuity & disaster recovery impact VOI shows how IM value is far beyond ROI measurements. It fundamentally transforms other aspects of the organization to add real value that cannot always be discretely quantified.
  47. 47. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 47 Glossary • “Information management is…” • “Information architecture is…” • “Knowledge management is…” • “Records management is…” • “eDiscovery is…” • “Business process management is…” • “Collaboration is…” • SOA, EII, EAI, ECM, Cloud, etc. A glossary helps everyone involved have the same definitions for the same words. It also models the value of clarity in strategy and architecture.
  48. 48. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 48 Summary In this presentation, we discussed how to: • Discover ways information chaos is hindering organizations. • Define the solution for information chaos. • Identify key benefits from developing a unified information strategy and architecture. • Build a business case for information strategy and architecture.
  49. 49. 9/22/16 www.JKevinParker.com 49 Thank you! The Business Case for Information Strategy & Architecture J. Kevin Parker, CIP twitter.com/JKevinParker www.linkedin.com/in/jkevinparker www.JKevinParker.com

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