For information professionals and the business leaders they support, the most critical information management skills that businesses will need over the coming years are the ability to add value to information through insight and analysis, combined with a strategic outlook and awareness of business goals.
However, according to a recent study, both groups agree that these skills are currently the weakest.
The survey of senior business executives and records and information professionals in 900 mid-sized European and North American organisations found that information management is changing fast to embrace shifting business priorities.
Half of the European information managers surveyed said their role and responsibilities have changed significantly over the last five years. The adjustment required to meet these emerging business needs is also exposing some worrying skills gaps.
Both EU records and information managers (28%) and EU business decision makers (30%) identified the ability to add value to information through insight and analysis, rather than just request factual content, as the single most critical skill set for records managers.
The second critical skill highlighted was the need for a strategic outlook and awareness of wider business goals, chosen by 23% of information managers and 29% of business leaders.
However, when it comes to current competence, four in ten business leaders and records and information professionals felt there is room for improvement in strategic outlook and understanding of wider business goals.
The ability to effectively add value to information through strategic insight and analysis is a more contentious area, with business executives having a lower opinion of information managers’ ability (45% have concerns) than the professionals themselves (38% are worried).
The gap between current skills levels and future needs is worrying. According to employers, many responsible for managing the company’s information today simply lack the skills required to manage it tomorrow.
This gap needs to be closed quickly in order to harness the full business value of information. Business leaders need to ensure their information management teams are effectively integrated into all areas of the business and have access to the professional development they need.
However, records and information managers will need to take on the challenge of developing the skills demanded to navigate a shifting information landscape.
Sourced from Phil Greenwood, Iron Mountain