Duct Tape or Glue?
According to the IDC Digital Universe Study – 2010, “The metadata infrastructure provides the critical glue that binds the information infrastructure to the underlying IT infrastructure. Sound information governance practices would take advantage of the metadata infrastructure to ensure that content and data are managed consistently and adhere to written policies, across on-premise and cloud based environments.”
The role of metadata has been transformed from being an afterthought to a fundamental requirement for organizational growth, profitability, and risk reduction. The term itself is abstract and not widely understood by business users. Yet metadata has played a critical role in IT investments for many years including Knowledge Management, Data Warehousing, Data Mining, Business Intelligence, and Customer Relationship Management. Despite the heightened awareness of metadata, the inability to harvest rich concepts from information and then use them in corporate taxonomies still remains elusive to most organizations. Creating metadata repositories and taxonomies that are optimized for the organization is challenging, as each participant in the process, and every end user may have a different way of expressing the same or similar descriptors (metadata). The goal is to not only give people the right information, but distilled from a variety of distinct content making available useable knowledge.
What is the best approach? It all depends on the desired outcome. An enterprise metadata repository is the primary building block in our Smart Content Framework™ that enables the proactive management of content. This first building block is an enterprise infrastructure component tightly integrated with the management of the lifecycle of content. From this, enterprise search, compliance, records management, and data privacy issues can be addressed and managed. This framework provides the technologies to build a consistent information infrastructure that can be shared across different applications and business divisions. This is the key factor that extends the usability of the metadata framework for improving search outcomes, records management, compliance, governance, migration, and protection of content security assets.
One of our clients, Parsons Brinckerhoff recognized the importance of developing an enterprise taxonomy as the starting point for their internal Knowledge Portal. The solution included the implementation of SharePoint and FAST to an initial twelve thousand employees. The challenges they were facing included information overload and business complexity. The solution provided them with competitive advantages, capturing corporate memory, acquire new clients, and better managing project risk.
Typical of many clients, the solution was to improve search outcomes. But they realized that to achieve that objective it needed more than a robust search engine. The taxonomy provided the framework and now is a jumping off point to address other issues they may be facing. Looking at the big picture and not one issue saves time and money.
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