To unlock the true value of metadata, organizations must first define how they will organize and use it. In simple terms, they need to decide on the types of information they need to manage and track, such as document types and business processes, along with the metadata that will enable them to accurately classify, organize and process such information.
According to the September 2011 Gartner research report, Defining the Scope of Metadata Management for the Information Capabilities Framework (ICF), “a key objective of metadata management is to drive a consistent approach to the management of information assets, in contrast to the fragmented approaches adopted by many organizations.”
Semantics must be taken into account at this stage in the process. Groups within an organisation may use terminology in their own unique way, and the same metadata item may be called different things by different departments. And while names and descriptors are deeply ingrained into a corporate culture, standardised vocabulary surrounding organisational metadata is essential to optimal classification and management of content across the enterprise.
Also important is the need to determine the degree to which – or how – metadata will be integrated across the enterprise. After all, metadata not only describes and classifies information, but also indicates how different information assets are related to each other. IT needs to carefully consider how aspects of the business, including associated applications and platforms, will leverage and benefit from metadata in order to add the most value to information assets.
With all of the above in mind, developing a strategy for managing metadata should embrace the notion that things change over time, especially when it comes to ECM. The strategy should focus on creating a highly adaptable and configurable framework for the way in which an organisation produces and manages information across its lifecycle. In this regard, the goal is to provide a simple yet effective structure for employees to follow that can be easily and flexibly modified as new types of content emerge and as the business evolves and grows over time.
Next time we look at how Metadata-Driven Access Control Protects Confidential Information. Be sure to subscribe to the blog or email newsletter to get regular updates.
Laminin Solutions is all about optimising information management and connecting different solutions within a business. Through consolidating information and document flow with powerful easy to use and configurable software tools, Laminin Solutions sets the information in the business free from the boundaries of individual systems. Our focus is to improve the productivity of your business whilst reducing the cost to produce and use information.