Information management is indispensable for deploying IT effectively in an organisation. But what is it exactly? What does an information manager do? And how is that different from the role of an IT manager?
What is information management?
Information management revolves around the role of IT within the organisation. Employees need data to do their jobs. There are various means for this such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. These are fed by resources such as e-mail, shared folders, IM messages and so on.
IT provides the resources, the means and the infrastructure needed to connect them. Information management is about the connection between what IT delivers and the rest of the organisation. It brings together the demand for digital support and the supply.
Why is it important?
What solutions does the organisation need? Does the IT department meet this demand? If not, why not? How do you guard the unity of processes? Where can departments turn when they need new digital tooling?
The IT department takes care of the management of all resources. Their first priority is therefore to manage them. This can conflict with the organisation's need to innovate. Innovative tools can be at odds with IT's need to guarantee stability. Information management brings such discrepancies to light and mediates in the search for a solution.
What does an information manager do?
The information manager acts as an intermediary between IT and the other departments in the organisation. Department managers can submit requests to this person to expand or change their digital support.
The information manager consults with the IT manager about the possibilities and liaises with higher management or the board when it comes to budget and the strategic deployment of IT.
What is the difference between an information manager and an IT-manager?
The IT manager's task - loosely speaking - is to ensure that IT systems work. IT purchases resources (hardware, software and SaaS solutions), monitors data security, ensures that new systems fit in with the existing infrastructure and provides support to employees (on-boarding and support).
Information management takes care of the IT needs of the rest of the organisation. The information manager acts as a point of contact if existing IT does not match the work, consults on new possibilities and changes and gives advice on trends and other future developments.
Information management is indispensable
Information management is important for every organisation. Whereas the IT manager has a more conservative role (what is in place must work), the information manager is focused on innovation (does what we have in place work or do we need new support?). This role brings together strategic choices for the organisation, IT and the wishes of the departments. It is - certainly in these times of digital transformation - an indispensable role in any organisation.