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Managing information is the most difficult and costly operational challenge facing most businesses. At the root of the problem is a failure to recognize the distinction between information resources and technology resources. To their detriment, businesses treat them as the same thing. My evidence for this claim is that no distinction is ever made in the requirements expressed for either, or in the way each is managed. They are delivered and maintained by the same people and no distinction is recognized at any point in the lifecycle processes of either type of resource. Information resources are mistakenly treated as components of automated systems.
As a result, some of the most important management decisions at every level of enterprise organizations are unwittingly delegated to technical specialists instead of business experts. Efforts to address the resulting problems without addressing the root cause only make the problems worse. It is a vicious circle that creates thick layers of artificial complexity in the form of initiatives, roles and processes which lead to additional costs and complexity. The only way to solve the problem is to recognize that information resources are not the same thing as the technology-based tools used to access and maintain them. Businesses must develop a capacity to determine and express requirements for information resources separately from those of automated systems.