Karen Dexter and Jo Hanisch

 

Information management capabilities and IT specialists

Karen Dexter and Jo Hanisch, National Archives of Australia

In today's tight fiscal environment, budgets and resources need to stretch further. There is the expectation to 'do more with less', 'work smarter, not harder', and develop new technologies as well as use current technologies to achieve strategic outcomes. IT, like other areas in the organisation, needs to demonstrate its relevance and importance. In the era of big data and the knowledge economy IT remains an essential service, but to meet the above expectations, IT specialists need the skills to communicate broadly, integrate with new areas, build key and productive relationships and proactively articulate their value to senior management. This needs a strategic approach and demonstration of a whole 'world of information' perspective, rather than just the black boxes we are all so fond of. Whilst maintaining core technical capabilities is essential for effective business, IT specialists also need to possess a broader set of skills. This is recognised in the range of recent academic IT qualifications and recruitment figures showing that IT employees come from a diverse range of backgrounds.

A key way for staff in IT to demonstrate their value, and expand their influence and participation, is to consider the broader aspects of roles and responsibilities in information management.

The National Archives of Australia has developed a Capability Matrix that can be used to either guide the development and up-skilling of current staff or assist the engagement of new staff to effectively and efficiently manage the organisation's information assets. The matrix is designed to recognise the importance of information to the organisation and the role of skills development in meeting future requirements. This presentation covers one part of the matrix focusing on IT professionals. It is essential moving forward to build new skills and knowledge across the organisation, and break down the silos around information responsibilities.

Such new roles that involve both information and IT specialists include, the digital archivist; information governance manager; metadata specialist; enterprise information architect; enterprise content management; interoperability specialist; information security trouble shooter (specialists in information held in or moving through the cloud, BYOD, and social media); and business intelligence analyst. This presentation includes discussion of the ways in which the matrix may be applied so that professional development or recruitment of IT staff can consider these new roles and responsibilities for organisational information management.

Karen Dexter: Hailing from the peanut fields of Kingaroy in Queensland, Karen holds Masters Degrees in both information management and professional development and training. After various incarnations as an English teacher, librarian, and university tutor, she joined the APS and has been active in the fields of applied digital information management, metadata and business process reform. She maintains a passion for building organisational capability through formal and informal training and skills development. Currently employed as Assistant Director, Agency Capability Development, Government Information Accountability and Policy Branch of the National Archives of Australia, Karen has developed and delivered training to support Information and Records Management capability development in Commonwealth agencies.

Dr Jo Hanisch: to Hanisch holds undergraduate degrees in science and business, a Master of Business (Professional Accounting) and PhD in information systems. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and international conferences, and her research interests include digital information management and communities of practice. Since leaving her career in academia, .lo has been employed in the Government Information Assurance and Policy branch of the National Archives of Australia and is Director of Digital Strategy and Solutions