Information is your biggest asset
If you’ve ever read any of our previous blogs or surfed the web for information-related content, you’ve probably bumped into the phrase ‘information is your biggest asset’ or its variations. Information is like gold for companies, cherished just like Gollum treasures the Precious. As we have seen in many of our big and not-so-big clients, it is not an easy task to accomplish. It is even more difficult when you don’t exactly know what kind of information you have. Business information inventory (BII) will help you solve this exact issue.
What's a BII?
So, what exactly is a BII? In simple terms, BII serves as a framework for your information. Since we’re all fans of frameworks, aren’t we? At this point, you’re free to move on, or stick around to explore how BII can bring value to your company.
Still here? Great! Let’s dive in.
This framework categorizes all your information into information types. Its main purpose is to help you manage your information effectively and provide a structured overview of your information assets. BII helps you to understand your data, have an easier time working with it, and know exactly what to use when.
Not sure what information types belong to your myriad of processes? Create a BII.
Stuck on which information type to use in different project phases? BII’s got your back.
Want to have a clear overview of all the different aspects of an information type like security classification, retention policies, owner, application within which it should be stored? Bingo, BII again.
You like huge excel sheets? You’ve guessed it – a BII.
That last one was a bit of a joke, or was it?
How to create a BII?
Now, let’s talk about creating a BII. There are several approaches. We, at Infotechtion, recommend one or a combination of these three ways:
- Process-Centric Approach
- Identify information types associated with various company processes.
- Business Capability-Centric Approach
- Here, it’s about information types tied to different business capabilities.
- Data-Centric Approach
- This approach lists information types in a hierarchy, without bothering about processes or business capabilities.
The difference lies in how often certain information types appear. Approaches 1 and 2 might have multiple listings of information types such as reports, meeting minutes, or contracts. However, approach 3 lists each information type only once, starting with a top-level category like ‘Agreement,’ followed by specific “sub-categories” of agreements like NDAs or amendments.
What's the value of a BII?
The work needed to create a comprehensive BII can be a bit daunting, but the value it provides is immense. First let’s start with the staff – it just makes their work-life so much easier, how? By giving them a structured overview of how to manage and secure their information.
Risk assessment processes (ITRA and ISRA) will significantly improve their ability to swiftly identify the types of information intended for storage or processing across various systems.
Improved confidentiality, integrity, and availability since you know exactly what information types you have.
Finally, did we mention automation? Automating classification, protection, and retention of your information within your IT systems will be a breeze with a BII in hand.
In essence, the Business Information Inventory (BII) serves as a key tool, streamlining information management by organizing, simplifying, and securing data. It’s a true game-changer for everyone who doesn’t have one yet, offering clarity, efficiency, and improved processes, transforming how organizations handle their valuable information assets.