Stepping it up a notch: Business Critical Metadata
Surprisingly the disconnect still exists in the understanding of metadata from an IT versus a business point of view. Management and business folks want to see the bottom line, and really don’t care how IT gets there. IT needs to get the job done, but is often unaware of the day-to-day business issues. One of the failures of managing information as a business asset is simply a communication bottleneck.
Unfortunately, this is how organizations have always behaved. Most have not kept pace with the inundation of information from diverse sources, databases and applications still exist that should have been retired years ago, no data standard enforcement, and redundant and often conflicting data. From a metadata maturity level, most organizations management of metadata is fundamental at best.
The result prevents the organization from transforming metadata into business critical metadata. IT puts band aids on metadata challenges, and management won’t take the time to take a step back and work together to develop an enterprise metadata repository that improves applications such as search, records management, security and data privacy, content management, migration, eDiscovery, litigation support, and even social tagging. Without the ability to capture business critical metadata information governance initiatives will fail.
What are the choices? Throw up your hands and give up, or wade into the muddy mess and straighten it out. I have seen a slight change in the tide as many organizations are now realizing it just isn’t enough to use manual tagging, and the resources required to accurately metatag is costly and, honestly, impossible just because we are human. Tools for metadata generation, auto-classification, and taxonomies can be a huge boon to organizations who are serious about reaping the results of managed metadata. As far as I am concerned, they have no where else to go.