Information Strategy for the Digital Parliament
The Internet is changing the way all organisations operate and do business. The conventional Information System and Information Technology Strategies of the past are no longer sufficient or appropriate. Instead, a different approach is needed that takes into account the new convergence of content.
It is proposed that a new kind of content-driven, high-level strategy, the Information Strategy or Information Architecture, is required to provide a strategic framework for low risk systems development and implementation in the new digital organisation. Parliaments of the future, as the ultimate information-based organisations, are no exception to these needs but do have special characteristics and requirements that must to be taken into account when setting the efficiency and effectiveness goals that the Information Strategy must satisfy.
Some conclusions. The Information Strategy, or Information Architecture, is the new, fundamental, strategic document for the digital organisation.
Taking advantage of the new convergence emerging in content, it allows content and process to take centre stage in the definition of the information systems of the organisation.
It is not a magic wand and must still start from the usual sound foundations. It does bring new benefits of flexibility and modularity that allow new, evolutionary ways to implement systems.
Incremental insertion of many, small projects within the content and interoperability framework provided by the Information Strategy will reduce systems development risk and improve the quality of the systems.
Preparing a good Information Strategy is not a quick or easy task; it requires the new skills of the Information Architect and a fundamental understanding of the business, parliamentary, government or commercial, to which it will apply.
Without a good Information Strategy, IT/IS development will not achieve its true potential. Done right, it provides a knowledge resource of immense value to the digital organisation.1
1See also – House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, First Report, Session 1999/2000: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmpubacc/65/6502.htm; Getting IT Right For Government – A Review of Public Sector IT Projects by the Computing Services and Software Association: http://www.cssa.co.uk/home/it%20review/report_1.asp.