How to choose an information management partner for your agency
1. Information is recognised as a valuable asset
Information assets are a crucial part of government decision-making and service delivery. To maximise the value of these assets, staff need to be able to exploit them to the fullest. This starts with good information management. Your information management partner should be able to deliver your assets on demand so that you can make use of them whenever and wherever necessary to meet the needs of your agency.
2. Significant information assets are managed by an accountable custodian
Information that is managed poorly or not at all can cause agencies to breach their legal or statutory obligations. Good custodianship helps prevent this situation, so staff should be clear on their roles and responsibilities. When evaluating potential third-party information management partners, you should ensure they are able to manage information assets throughout their entire lifecycle – and that they can meet the security, privacy, confidentiality and other statutory requirements of different types of information.
3. Information meets business needs
Information should be developed and managed in accordance with its strategic importance. This means that information assets should be assessed to see if they are fit for purpose, which is heavily contingent upon data quality. Your information management partner should be able to audit your data, digitising and aggregating key information assets to help you more easily create a “single point of truth”.
4. Information is easy to discover
Government is a largely knowledge-based industry, which means it’s critical that necessary information be easy to find for the public, agency staff, and contracted organisations. While it is important that agencies work towards developing a cross-government information directory, information management companies can help by providing strong cataloguing and indexing systems, and by making these accessible through fast, intuitive interfaces.
5. Information is easy to use
The best way to ensure that information is easy to use is to maintain agreed standards. These standards help determine how information is collected, described, defined, stored and shared. A good information management partner will help to unify your processes and information in a system and format that maximises the ease with which assets can be accessed and interpreted.
6. Information is shared to the maximum extent possible
An excellent way to maximise the value of an information asset is to maximise how often it is used. This reduces the burden on any one agency and limits the overall cost of information management. When choosing an information management company, it can help to align with other agencies – limiting costs, creating a more connected government, and achieving the interoperability recommendations of the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy.
Find out more in Grace’s FREE in-depth information management report for government agencies – available exclusively at www.grace.com.au/information/government