Monday, December 11, 2017

CIOs as “Chief Information Officer” The Philosophical Understanding of Information vs. Knowledge Management

Mismanaged information or siloed/ outdated knowledge is what leads to a decrease in true understanding. 

The aim of modern Information Management has often been described as getting the right information to the right person in the right format at the right time in order to make right decisions. Digital Knowledge Management is the management system that enables knowledge flow, connect ideas but also people, and crucially management; coach them and many others in organizing their personal knowledge mastery and collectively engaging with others and making decisions. Here are three philosophical understanding of information vs. knowledge.

Information is machine product; knowledge is the product of human mind: Information is situated between data and knowledge. At today’s digital dynamic, information is abundant and even explosive. If processed well, information can unleash the business’s full potential and maximize its multi-dimensional values. The value of information is qualitative, measurable, and defined uniquely by each organization. Information needs to be available for consumption. Information is used to educate, inform and provide decision making for people who use it. Raw information from machine needs to be processed into knowledge assimilated by people to make right decisions or improve productivity. Knowledge is the product of human mind, the power of knowledge can be released only when it is used to create value. From the information-knowledge management perspective, the problems most organizations have are (a) They do not understand what raw material (data or information) they have to play, with poor or lack of information management skills. (b) They do not apply worthwhile Information Management maturity evaluation to reveal the inherent information value. (c) They do not have an integrated approach to manage information and knowledge holistically. (d) They haven’t reached the next level of learning stage for creating the new knowledge or transforming knowledge to insight for creating the invaluable business soft asset. You need to not only assimilate the existing knowledge, more importantly, you have to create the new knowledge, more frequently to replace the out of dated knowledge and manage information-knowledge-insight life cycle effectively.

Information can't be always knowledge; knowledge doesn’t always inform you with true understanding: Information drives awareness, which can include all of these characteristics such as, uncertainty, surprise, difficulty, and entropy, although it can also trigger a sense of confidence, confirmation, validation, and verification. Therefore, information only can make you confusing sometimes, and information has to be processed into updated knowledge. Knowledge lifecycle is significantly shortened nowadays. Thus, knowledge doesn’t always inform you with true understanding. Everything exists in a constant state of change and knowledge of an evolving thing must evolve with the thing. Understanding is key to all doors. To say that you understand a thing is to state you know it in its totality. Knowledge is personal as well. One person’s knowledge is the other one’s information only; that means what information is for one person, it is knowledge for another. People filter the information that comes their way so that they can build their own knowledge foundation on topics that interest them. So, the knowledge you select becomes "part" of you, and shapes the lenses you perceive the world.

While information is the ingredient of knowledge; but in order to interpret information, you need knowledge: There is no hard asset that you can buy today that will guarantee the success of your organization. Data, information, knowledge, and insight are the different stages of information lifecycle that organizations need to manage more effectively and improve its business capability and maturity. Information and knowledge are the most invaluable assets to every organization and its integrity, availability, and confidentiality can be crucial to how the organization functions or maintains its competency. While information is the ingredient of knowledge, knowledge needs to be used to interpret information or to develop new knowledge. Knowledge informs us as to what choices are available. Thus, they need to be managed coherently. Perhaps in many organizations, there seems to be the "expectation" that if you have a great business in one place and it's working ok, and then knowledge, ideas, solutions, and advice will easily transfer and that piece of the jigsaw will fit snugly into somewhere else. In reality, it is not simply in today’s silo-based organizations. In practice, knowledge needs to be managed more systematically, Knowledge Management is a lot about diplomacy, engaging and persuading people to take part so it can be delicate and it takes a long-term negotiation and cross-functional collaboration to keep information flow, knowledge flow, and therefore the business flow, to achieve digital fluency.

Mismanaged information or siloed/ outdated knowledge is what leads to a decrease in true understanding. As companies around the world transform themselves into the digital business that is based on ‎information, their ability to explore intangible assets such as information and knowledge has become far more decisive to build competitive business advantages and make a seamless digital paradigm shift.


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