Enterprise information management (EIM) is a hot topic these days. According to Gartner, Inc., EIM is an "organized program to design, catalog and safeguard all of a company's information assets - including content found in databases, transaction systems, data warehouses, documents and rich media - to maximize their value, usefulness, accessibility and security."1 I believe EIM is simply effectively shepherding information resources so that they can deliver maximum value to the company. Most companies have some level of a formal EIM program in effect. However, the EIM efforts often have become stagnant and are inadequate to meet changing or growing informational needs. What's required is a transformation in the culture of EIM - how it's done and how its value is perceived enterprise wide. Four cultural areas span the spectrum of EIM: business processes, IT culture, enterprise data and information infrastructure. The current state of these cultural areas is often in disarray, thus leaving EIM efforts in turmoil as well. Moreover, business processes are often inconsistently applied. Finally, there is often limited alignment of strategic key performance indicators (KPIs) and operational metrics, leading to inconsistent management reporting and some manual processing of key reports.

I have found the IT culture at many companies marked by poor quality data and limited accountability for that data. The atmosphere is usually one of reactive decision-making. The enterprise data culture is typically characterized by inconsistent data enterprise wide, with holes in source data due to input inaccuracies and multiple sources.

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