Information is the lifeblood of every organisation. No organisation can exist without Information and it requires quite specific care and attention. There is a wide range of elements the Information Keystone includes.
Information does not always get the respect and attention it deserves. Laws regarding personal data has helped shift attention to looking after the Information Keystone in organisations, but that is the tip of the iceberg. Your organisation is generating Information every day, but is it accurate, reliable, up-to-date and legal? It’s far too easy to stockpile historical Information, especially digital data with seemingly bottomless storage in “the cloud”. Information needs thought, care and maintenance – it is also a lot more than invoices, emails and reports.
For the full Keystone picture, take a look at the Gydeline Guardian.
Information includes the following elements:
- Configuration – Parameters and settings of digital components or of other digital solutions
- Collateral – Brochures, leaflets, posters, manuals and other documentation
- Practices – Policies, processes, procedures and checklists
- Research – Statistics, competitors, links
- Records – Evidence of actions, minutes of meetings
- Content – Website articles and pages, copy, standard templates, images
- Data – Bit of a catch all, but any basic facts collected for processing
Information is collected by People and automated Physical systems. Care for personal and confidential Information is of primary concern throughout the Keystone lifecycle. Certain Information can be procured but mostly it is collected and generated by the organisation.
Information is stored in Physical systems. People process Information using Physical systems to undertake any of the organisations functions. Information is used in the maintenance of all other Keystones.
Information is only useful if it is accurate and up-to-date. Automated Physical systems can be established to support maintenance. People are key in maintaining Information and are also the biggest risk to its integrity due to human error. Establishing a tagging and filing system will make utilisation, maintenance and disposal easier
Information should be destroyed or deleted once it has served its purpose. It may be necessary to organise a secure destruction procedures for sensitive information. A retention policy and related process should be applied so that this happens consistently and in a timely way.