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Four Innovations in Information Infrastructure

December 16, 2010 – Timeworn approaches to classic information problems aren’t working and require innovation, according to a new report by Ted Friedman, vice president of research at industry analyst firm Gartner.

Data challenges include massive growth in data volumes and diversity of information outside traditional IT systems, such as unstructured data and social media data. IT desires to introduce this information to the enterprise and leverage it, but the problem is that “the velocity of information is changing rapidly, and organizational cultures struggle with not being information-centric,” Friedman says.

 “IT tends to equate innovation with new technology. What we mean in this context is changing the game, innovation in the sense of different approaches,” says Friedman. “For decades we have seen organizations using the same approaches, causing lack of agility, risk issues and other problems.”

Gartner's report, which addresses areas of innovation that work toward solving data challenges, identifies four key innovation forces in infrastructure for IT leaders to mitigate the challenges they face in managing information:

  1. Make the organization information-centric and get both IT and business staff to adopt new behaviors.
  2. Shift value from information systems to the information itself, which will require assessing the value and risk of information assets.
  3. Use adaptive information infrastructure techniques and technologies to achieve a higher degree of agility in adapting where, how and in what form and context information is delivered.
  4. Quickly implement new capabilities for integrating and delivering high quality data with minimal upfront cost as they become available, using alternative delivery models such as appliances and cloud computing.

Innovative approaches can be construed in many ways. Looking at information strategically would be an innovation for many organizations, as well as trying to assess information value, Friedman points out.
Friedman explains that for those who’ve made their organizations as efficient as possible in infrastructure, the next thing that can help them stay competitive is to recognize information as an asset.

"We’re encouraged that more clients are looking at information management as a strategic discipline," says Friedman.

For examples of what it means to innovate, see our 2010 Innovative Solution Award winner stories here.

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