The future for organisations is less predictable than ever with markets, customer demands, competition, technology and regulation changing ever faster.
Successful modern businesses and organisations need to have the ability to react swiftly and effectively to opportunities and threats in internal and external environments.
Information about External Environments
Businesses need to react to their external environment by:
- Rapidly adapting to changes in the market or sudden shifts in overall market conditions
- Responding rapidly and flexibly to customer demands
- Continuously being at a competitive advantage through continuous improvement of goods and services
- Reacting successfully to the emergence of new competitors
- Developing new industry-changing technologies
- Complying with new and more stringent statutory obligations
Information can be a crucial asset to an organisation providing an understanding of the external environment and enabling well informed decisions about what action to take. The nature of this information may be commercial (e.g. customers, market conditions, competitors), legal (statutory requirements), technological, social, moral or political.
Information about Internal Environments
Organisations having decided to effect business transformation, need to fundamentally change how their business is conducted in order to achieve significant improvements in efficiency, effectiveness, quality and customer satisfaction. This requires them to understand their internal environment and to effect change to the following operational elements whether across the whole business or within a business unit:
- People and culture
- Information assets
A business transformation programme is likely to include any number of change management projects which will require cohesive and comprehensive change in most if not all of the above interrelated operational elements.
Organisations when preparing for transformation need to understand the business processes to be re-engineered which are inextricable linked to their information assets. They will therefore need to understand specifically the following about the information assets that they hold:
- What information assets are currently held, where are they held and why are they held – is an information audit required to elicit this data?
- Where does the organisation need to get to regarding information assets to support the transformation (e.g. what additional information assets are needed)?
- How does the organisation get to where it needs to be regarding information assets (e.g. how does the organisation find or acquire the missing information assets, or amend the ones it has)?
So we can see how an organisation needs:
- Information about its external environment to make well-informed decisions about transformation
- Information about its internal environment to understand how to make cohesive changes to its operational elements
- Understanding about its information assets, which are one operational elements which will need to be changed cohesively with the business processes