In 2005, the read-writable web, software as a service (SaaS), blogs, wikis and RSS feeds were fairly new. I started a blog on Information Management which tied neatly with my lifelong interests. The blog was titled Information Management Now. Fast forward to 2017. I am resuming an online presence after more than ten years of absence. In doing so, I thought it would be fitting to bridge the old with the new so I curated my old blog and imported the few following posts from the old blog.
Once upon a time, the mainframe was. The mainframe hosted complex corporate applications that required a very disciplined and sequential approach to requirements definition. In particular, it required requirements to be fully flushed out before coding began. Changing requirements en route was a big no-no and (mostly) constituted a too expensive proposition. That era is gone (...) The generally accepted approach in software development now calls for iterative (or evolutive) development.
Drupal, a free and open source web content management system, represents a very attrative option for managing content online. Here follows a list of reasons why I find it attractive in a federal government context.
Last week, the planning committee of the Fall 2006 Government of Canada "Information Management Day" (GC IM Day) met, and we flushed out some ideas on what topics to put on the schedule. In our current planning, one track will have the "Leading" flavour, in the sense of leading change, and that one or two sessions under that track will specifically deal with Web 2.0 implementations in the Government of Canada - existing, proposed and suggested.
The distinction is important. G2TT does not seek to substitute itself to policy makers and elected officials, it rather attempts to offer insights on how to improve the way government does business, internally and externally, by focusing on specific problems and challenges, one project at a time.
I suggest that their paper points to a missing piece in the organizational picture: an intermediary function, or person or Department, providing the necessary interface between IT and the business. Such people know the language of the business and of IT. In a law firm, for example, this person might be a lawyer with a strong IT background, knowledge and interest. This allows business users to remain focused on their business and IT staff to remain committed and engaged in IT problem solving without the unfair added responsibility to tackle the whole IM Problem Space.
I often get asked what do I mean by "Integrated Information Management (IM)". Here follows a brief answer. Integrated IM turns on three concepts: Integrated, Information and Management.
Whereas Information Management (IM) is concerned with information activities (find, create, receive, acquire, monitor, classify, index - ... - information); Knowledge Management (KM) is concerned with knowledge behaviours: teach, share, learn, act, decide, etc.
Until quite recently, Information Management (IM) practitioners have practiced their craft in isolation. Typical stereotypes and perceptions often portrayed records managers belonging to the basement, IT specialists in high paced I can do anything settings, Librarians in I go on managing my collections and serials mindsets and business users in why does IT not solve my problems as expected exasperations. This era is coming to an end. Why? The commoditization of IT, the increasing pressure to achieve better cost-efficiency and higher management expectations are forcing IM to reorganize itself into a coherent field of practice. IM is becoming more “unified” or “integrated”.
Honorable Reg Alcock, President of the Treasury Board, has been quoted saying that the way we define requirements in the federal government dates back from mainframe times. I agree. All too often, public servants will dutifully attempt to come up with a frozen list of requirements, unwittingly ignoring emerging trends & technologies.
For saavy Internet users, comfortable with using technologies such as wikis, RSS, news aggregators and blogs; it might be difficult to understand why governmental intranets seem fixated on using what is fast becoming old stuff. The nature of the web is changing. The nature of government is not.
As defined in wikipedia, a wiki is a group of Web pages that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also permits others (often completely unrestricted) to edit the content. Wikipedia is the most famous example of a successful wiki. Using a wiki (or many wikis) in a corporate environment represents a fundamental cultural change.
In 2005, when blogs were still relatively new, I started a blog on Information Management. This inspiration for that blog was summarized in this head note:
So much stuff on information management, content management, information technology, data management, records management, library management... But how does it all come together? Where to find an "Information Management Body of Knowledge"? (IMBOK)
For the sake of continuity, I am importing here a few posts from that old blog to give my readers a sense of continuity from the old Information Management paradigm to the new Digital Transformation paradigm.
Here follows the inaugural "Information Management Now" post.