Information dimensions

The Information Realm and IT/CIO

The information realm, which is the responsibility of IT/CIO departments is difficult to grasp, as information is a fluid topic which in most cases are not even properly measurable.

The concept of dividing the Information realm for IT/CIO purposes has proven itself valuable and gives without the magnitude of possible categorizations the possibility to derive "hands on" conclusions what has to be done to improve the situation.


Dimension 1: Information Technology

This is the most probably most recognized dimension of the commercial information realm. But also here we find a hierarchy of subjects which are connected with the maturity in this dimension.

The most basic component at the lower end of the maturity level is: "IT for operational support". Here we find all the typical IT stuff usually associated with IT.

Higher up one will find a distinct the establishment of "IT for business process support" and "IT for innovation support" which entails IT aspects leaving the pure infrastructure basis and providing specialized applications for the respective support areas

At the highest level one will finally find "IT for management support" to facilitate executive decision  making. This includes monitoring and analysis focused applications. 


Dimension 2: Information management

This is what one usually associates loosely with knowledge management.

In fact we are talking here about is what one is doing to convert information into applicable knowledge.

Elements subject to this dimensions are the Collection of information, its structural Organization, processing / accessing these information for useful application and maintenance of the existing information in a useful manner. Derived from it there is one additional area which is the "sensing" of information which needs to be developed in order to efficiently find and recognize the right and pertinent information to be collected.

One also can find these aspects described from a "learning" perspective with the following elements




Dimension 3: Social treatment of information

This dimension is usually not at all associated with the realm of information let alone with IT, but it is the most essential one to have a look at in order to positively influence the maturity and performance of a company.

In essence it is the capability to instil and promote behaviours and values in its people for effective use of information.

Is information passed on correctly or are they manipulated for personal reasons, do members of an organization use and trust formal sources of information, is or is it possible to disclose information about business performance to all employees, are employees openly discussing mistakes in a positive way as "lessons learned", is free exchange of non-sensitive information practiced, are information which are challenging the "established way" proactively sought out as an opportunity to improve?


It is essential to realize that there is a very strong dependency between these 3 dimensions and it is fair to say that the Whole IT success is only as strong as the weakest dimension of it.

It is comparable with a triangular container with 3 sides of different height.

If water is poured in it won't rise higher then the height of the lowest side.

Compared to the IT dimensions the 3 sides represent the maturity of the 3 dimensions. And the height of the Water filled into the container represents the overall maturity of the IT dimensions for the Company as a whole. Hence the maximum IT Maturity for a company corresponds to the lowest maturity of any of the 3 dimensions.

Compared in another way, a company with full maturity in Information technology and Information management, but poor social treatment of information has an overall poor IT maturity.

However a company of moderate but even maturity in all 3 dimensions has also a moderate overall IT maturity and outperforms a company of the type mentioned above.

It should have been become clear that it is essential to have a look at the way one addresses each dimension and the maturity a given company has, as it can clearly point out what needs to be done to improve the over all maturity. Being master at one dimension won't bring the desired effect. It needs to be a harmonized progression.

Assessing the "as-is" situation, determining the "to-be" and establishing a Roadmap to go there is hence essential.

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