Information is at the core of government business, and is a core asset.
Information management is the discipline which allows information assets to be governed, protected, and prioritised. It builds an organisation’s capability to realise strategic value from its digital information.
Good information management enables good business practices now, and also must prepare the organisation for the future. It helps organisations to have meaningful, reliable and usable information available when their business needs it and provides mechanisms for ensuring accountability and managing risk.
Good information management is also complex. The volume of information generated is challenging: attempting to manage all of an organisation’s information with the same tools and processes is not usually an effective approach. Information managers rely on collaboration with business groups and ICT staff to define how business information should be created, managed, used and reused.
Defining good information management
Information management needs to be:
|Designed||Information management strategies need to be considered before a system or solution is deployed, they need to complement the business process and they need to be framed to the specific issues and risks your business faces.|
Focussed on strategic objectives
Information management must enable good business. However, good information management also provides value for the broader public sector and the community. Implementing good information management practices provides the opportunity to consider benefits more strategically, rather than a narrow focus of meeting the needs of a single process or pressing demand.
State Records is working in alignment with the Department of Finance and Services’ NSW Information Management Framework. The IM Framework will:
ensure that data and information can be appropriately shared or re-used by agencies, individual public sector staff, the community or industry for better services, improved performance management and a more productive public sector.
|Integrated with relevant systems||In organisations, all systems create and manage information and management strategies should be designed and deployed for all system environments where high value and high risk business information is located.|
|Focussed on short and long term needs||Information management strategies provide organisations with information that enhances the effectiveness of its current operations. They also need to articulate what the organisation is going to need from its business information in 5, 10, 20, 50 years.|
Specific responsibilities of information managers
Information management impacts on all areas of business, and so there are multiple risk and transitions points at which information and records managers should be involved, including:
System and process design
- Facilitate the specification of processes for creating, structuring and managing information according to business needs.
- Assist with the development, integration, upgrading and decommissioning of systems, and with the transition to new systems and outsourced or cloud services.
- Implement training and support for users to understand, leverage and utilise business information.
Information sharing and risk
- Identify and address barriers to information sharing and reuse, within and between government agencies, and with the public.
- Support information security staff with the identification and implementation of information security requirements.
- Identify information risks, and contribute to enterprise risk assessments.
Managing information for accountability and value
- Facilitate the identification of core information required to support business processes, and identify strategies for change management, legacy data management and long-term digital continuity.
- Identify the necessary attributes of information integrity to support the organisation’s accountability requirements.
What is the difference between information and records?
We are often asked what is the difference between information management and records management. While there can be differences (see definitions below) increasingly in the digital operating environment the line between digital information and records is blurred. This means that in order to have reliable and accountable records of digital business processes that all of the organisation’s information management requirements and processes must be considered and managed.
Agencies need to take an integrated approach to their digital information assets and manage information in an appropriate, risk-managed way regardless if how it is produced and what form it takes. Enhancing information management is a core part of public offices' responsibilities under the State Records Act 1998.
Information management is, in general terms, the discipline of managing information in its many forms. Information is a broader concept than records. It may include published or unpublished material, records, or raw data.
Records management is the practice or discipline of controlling and managing the records of an organisation, from creation, capture, maintenance, use through to eventual disposal. This work includes a range of managerial activities (planning, directing, organising, training) to ensure appropriate and trustworthy records, in any format and generated by any process, are available to the organisation.
Published April 2014