Why an Information Strategy?
An information strategy integrates your operational and strategic data into your business processes. It incorporates your data, metadata, business process, tools, education and change management into an integrated and comprehensive solution. For the business users, a successfully implemented information strategy provides a seamless stream of information that delivers answers and helps drive change. For the IT organization it provides a set of solutions that can be adapted and enhanced to meet the business’s needs. A key objective of the strategy is to get actionable information into the users’ hands as quickly as possible.
Often we are asked, “Didn’t we get all of this integration when we put in our ERP system?” Generally, ERP systems are implemented with a focus on integrating specific process streams and making them very efficient. This focus, on process efficiency only, can lead to inconsistent enforcement of the data standards. Ultimately, any lack of attention paid to data standards and governance can create silos of data that are actually detrimental to getting a strategic view of the business from the ERP Solution.
The ERP is really the engine of the organization. It doesn’t know if you are headed in the right direction. It just keeps chugging along doing its job. An information strategy helps you decide if you should go left, right or straight ahead. An information strategy can also tell you when to speed up, slow down or even go in reverse.
An information strategy is comprehensive, in that it provides context for ALL types and sources of data that may be needed by the business. Many companies have numerous sources of data that may include: one or multiple ERP systems, non-ERP data, Internet Of Things (IOT), Big Data, customers’ data, supply chain and vendors’ data, third party or regulatory information. Each of these sources of data can have a significant impact on your strategic and operational decisions. Having a comprehensive and integrated view of the data allows you to make better decisions faster.
When utilized as the foundation for an organization’s strategic and operational decision-making process, an information strategy will provide context for interpreting the market conditions and technology changes. Ultimately, an information strategy will change how you look at driving the business. It will give better insights into the “true” profitability for products and customers. It will give business leaders the information they need to ensure they are driving the business in the right direction and at the right speed.