What is IT without strategic placement and innovative use? If business can’t get the full return on investment of IT and use to its max capacity what is the point in having it? The rise of the information professional is because the digital economy demands a person who can bridge the gap between business and IT.

An information professional is one that can have one foot in the IT realm and one foot in the business realm. Since IT is constantly changing the information professional does not need to be overly technical in their competence. Instead, the information professional needs to know the technologies that are being used, how they function and the advantages and disadvantages of one over the other.

For example, an information professional does not need to know how to install and deploy SharePoint, but they should be able to manage audit trails, plan the architecture and know how the core capabilities of SharePoint fit into an organization’s business needs.

The state of enterprise IT is in flux because of the consumerization of IT. Unfortunately, not everyone is a good consumer and makes bad decisions. The role of the information professional is to know the business requirements for enterprise IT and be able to ask the proper questions to IT so that good business decisions are made with how IT is used and consumed in an organization. As individual IT users people are empowered and more efficient at using IT then they are in the workplace. An information professional helps IT to be more strategic so that the same empowerment a user feels at home can also be implemented at the workplace.

Think about how effective you are as a consumer and how much you can accomplish from your kitchen table on a Saturday or Sunday. Have a question? Google it or ask your social network. Buying a car? Go to the Web and learn more about the dealer’s price margins than the salesman will know. Kids looking at colleges? No more sending away for brochures like we used to—link right into the admissions department, and let them link right into to your child’s world. Medical worries? Not only is there superb information on the Web, but whatever your illness, there are communities out there who are already sharing their lessons learned about it. Or on happier notes, do you have a passion for cooking, or golf, or drama, or origami, or toy soldiers? You are only a click away from founts of information and a host of willing collaborators. In sum, putting all this in the context of our prior decades living on the planet, one can only say, How cool is that!

OK, so why are we so slow to pick up the ball in business? Why do we still rely on e-mail to communicate with our employees? Why is it so hard to implement new technology? Why are our legacy systems so expensive? How do we get out from underneath all this cost?

Why aren’t the applications that are critical to any organization as easy to implement as an app on an Android device or the iPhone? (excerpted from “Systems of Engagement and the Future of Enterprise IT”)

The information professional will not be the technical guru in your organization, instead they will be the good consumer that ask the right questions about cloud computing, mobile technologies, capture, social content management and records management to put those concepts in business context so that IT can be used most effectively for the organization.

For more information I recommend the following resources from AIIM:
Occupy IT
Systems of Engagement and the Future of Enterprise IT
C-Change: The Impact of Consumerization of IT

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