Conflict over asset controls

The latest buzz in management circles is information and knowledge management. But according to research from Interactive Information Services, UK finance, IT and marketing managers are at loggerheads as to who should control companies’ information assets.

The survey of 250 managers showed that respondents from the different departments each believed they played the biggest role in managing information resources.

All of the senior finance personnel interviewed said their departments had the most clearly defined role in managing information, while 92% of IT managers and 65% of marketing managers believed they had the dominant role. In contrast, the finance managers conceded a major role to IT managers (56%) but just 6% to marketing managers.

The survey revealed 66% of companies regarded information management as a business-critical issue, but only 39% of them claimed to have a formal strategy in place.

Medium-size firms, with turnovers between #26m and #100m, were the least likely to treat information management as a defined role, compared to almost two-thirds of large organisations and more than half of small businesses.

Robert Gordon, business development executive for application developer Navision, said the survey reflected how information systems departments were changing.

‘When you used to ask them for a report, there would be a sharp intake of breath.

But modern software passes the information into other areas. Now they’re more like the oil that lubricates the engine,’ he said. But he questioned whether information management was the top priority of systems managers.

‘Why should we be arguing internally and doing surveys when we have so much on our plates with EMU and the year 2000?’ he asked.

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