A Common Information Infrastructure (CII) is a set of interoperable information management technologies along with common enterprise-wide standards, associated business processes, support and governance models, and enterprise-wide technical architectures. Phew! That is a mouthful!
The resulting environment provides the common framework required to ensure that system use aligns with organizational priorities and streamlines document and records management and collaboration efforts across the organization. This is not an application that is installed on some giant server in the the sky. Moving to a CII becomes a strategy and involves the journey to migrate from current reality to the future CII realization along with defining and providing services and support to the consumers and customers of the CII.
The primary characteristic of the CII is the ability to effectively manage electronic documents, electronic records, and other electronic information commonly referred to as unstructured data through their entire lifecycle. That lifecycle begins at creation or receipt and extends to the appropriate destruction at the end of that information asset’s life, based on business and compliance requirements.
The CII is not just technology but includes the necessary common processes and support models to effectively translate business requirements into information solutions by leveraging a consistent, predictable, and centrally managed set of technologies.
Typically the technical foundation of the CII will emerge based on the predominate technology deployed and in use within an enterprise. For many enterprises that technology will be Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, which is an integrated solution for managing the entire life cycle of different types of content, including documents, forms, images, email messages, instant messages, and more. Thanks to an intuitive user interface that integrates with common Microsoft applications such as Microsoft Office and Outlook, user acceptance and adoption should be high. This integration with familiar tools allows users to effectively manage information as an extension of their normal workload without having to significantly change the way they work.
In my next post I will discuss some of the dependencies and critical enablers for realizing the promise of moving to a Common Information Infrastructure.
With this post I wish all my readers a happy New Year and look forward to increasing the conversation about Better ECM in 2009.