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[Video] When is the Best Time to Invest in Information Architecture



So the question about making an investment in IA, it always has to happen. And whether you're doing it intentionally or not, you are making those investments anyway. So anytime you stand up a new website, a new document management or content management system, or a new bot, or a new ERP system, or new product data system or a new E commerce application, a new marketing application, you are working on IA, there's a part of it - it is baked into the process.

However, is it abiding by best practices that will have an enterprise scope? Is it extensible? Is it going to, you know, architect yourself into a corner? What you need to think about is making intentional investment in information architecture as a practice as a core competency, that can be applied consistently across the organization.

One organization, we worked with, an insurance company, we had to organize 200 million documents. And it was an enormous win for the IT organization. And what we put in place was the fact that you had to onboard any new project, applying the taxonomies, and the information architecture that were already created, you don't want people reinventing stuff every time, that's what happens. We have a new system, we want to build it from scratch, or we want to have a clean sheet approach. And we end up building these architectures that are not necessarily congruent with other applications.  Because people don't think about other applications and think they don't think holistically about the information flows across the organization. And when that happens, we end up with, you know, silos of information or information flows, that that have a lot of friction to them, because maybe there'll be processes for doing doing manual integration, or manipulation or conversion, or, you know, any type of ETL - extraction, translation load - meaning we have to manipulate the data, or we have to clean it up. And we have to architect it differently for ingestion into a new system.

So all of those things slow the process down, they slow down the information flows. And really what we're trying to do is we're trying to speed up the information metabolism of the organization, we're trying to get information in the right people's hands more quickly throughout the entire enterprise. And so making those intentional investments in Information Architecture means taking that holistic approach, taking a larger enterprise point of view.

And it's not a matter of scope creep, that where you're trying to do everything, but you're trying to build a structure that is extensible. That is that is agile, that can be evolved as your needs evolve, and then putting into place the practices that allow you to apply that whenever you have new systems, new processes, new applications, new technologies, new initiatives.

Digital transformations are data transformations. And so we have to be cognizant of the fact that those did those data transformations need to support an enterprise information flow enterprise information flows in an enterprise perspective. Again, there are different ways of doing this so that you're not you're still keeping your scope narrow enough, but you're not boxing yourself into a corner you're not architecting yourself into a corner and limiting your future options.


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Earley Information Science Team
Earley Information Science Team
We're passionate about enterprise data and love discussing industry knowledge, best practices, and insights. We look forward to hearing from you! Comment below to join the conversation.

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