An Information Management Strategy
Template for Microsoft Office 365 and Beyond

Atle Skjekkeland


Updated:Sep 6, 2020

When companies buy software as a service, then the only lasting asset is the information. Effective customer engagement, business operations, and compliance all rely on one thing: effective information management. Information can be used to add value, minimize risks, reduce costs, and allow the business to identify new opportunities. Let me give you a few examples:

  • Add value – better connect people, information, and knowledge, to create a more effective workforce

  • Identify new opportunities – historic information may be used to predict – and possible change – the future, e.g. what customers will buy, when will there be problems

  • Reduce costs – significantly reduce costs by sunsetting legacy systems, digitizing paper and transition towards more environmentally sustainable methods to manage information

  • Minimize risks – meet regulations like GDPR, e.g. retention and disposition to meet data minimization and storage limitation requirements

Cloud platforms like Microsoft Office 365 is an opportunity to move away from information being stuck in a myriad of content silos. A connected platform will make it easier to manage and protect the information, users will benefit from better information discovery, and the business will benefit from a more effective workplace in addition to possible cost savings from sunsetting legacy systems that the platform can replace. All this requires a new approach for managing information, and below is a template for establishing an information management strategy for Office 365 and beyond.

Step 1: Vision - establish an information management vision which aligns with your business objectives

  • Identify business priorities for the next few years, e.g. improve customer engagement, reduce operational costs

  • Develop an information management vision to support the business objectives, e.g. connecting people, information, and knowledge with transparent and inherent security and compliance

Step 2: Critical Success Factors-determine critical success factorsfor achieving your information management vision

  • Do an information management maturity assessment to document the current situation (as-is situation), but also to identify what the business thinks should be improved (to-be situation)

  • Determine critical success factorsbased on the results, e.g. better information availability, completeness, and trustworthiness

Step 3: Requirements - determine use cases that needs to be supported

  • Identify, prioritize, and group use cases that needs to be supported instead of wasting time on documenting a long list of must-have and should-have requirements that quickly will be out of date

  • Identify legacy systems which no longer align with your business objectives, and hence business processes will benefit from consolidating / replacing with modern technology.

Step 4: Blueprint - determine the foundation for success

  • Determine required frameworks and technologies to meet your requirements and critical success factors, e.g. corporate metadata with master data values, site configuration with default metadata that information inherent, retention labels to automate records management, sensitivity labels to automate information protection, governance roles for continuous improvements.

Step 5: Plan - establish a plan with quick-wins

  • Create an plan for improvement, e.g. get the foundation in place, run proof-of-concepts for different use cases, be fluid to demonstrate value to the business, and fast-track the transition

  • Establish criteria for business units to buy or build business applications on top of the platform, e.g. metadata, in-place retention

Step 6: Business Case - determine the business benefits of change 

Please contact us to discuss the development of an information strategy and blueprint for your organization.

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