While I am preparing to publish my next article on Information Management and taking the opportunity of a email discussion with Jean Evelette – the author of the very interesting website MARS – Metadata And Repository System – I realized that a clarification regarding information ownership was needed. Here is the famous question:
Who is owning the information?
I will not go into the philosophical debate whether or not the information should be owned…. Let’s say that for a practical matter, information needs, at least, to have a responsible at each point in its lifecycle (note that the responsibility may change overtime).
Such question deserves me to answer in 2 steps:
First, refering to my previous post: #INFOARCH – POST 2. THE STARTING POINT, the enterprise CIO is the owner of the Information Framework. The enterprise CIO is the Responsible (see RASCI model) to make the “implementation of the Information Governance accordingly to the defined Framework.” happen. e.g.: the CIO is the one responsible to have core information owners appointed (so called Master Data in our context – see the following post: MASTER DATA – SHORT DEFINITION ).
Then, this “owner” term is really sensitive especially since with the ownership comes the responsibilities… Most of the time, should I say always? ;), when we mention ownership, the discussion between who is owning what is coming right away…
The answer is quite simple to me:
Of course, the content (that we could also call “value” from a coder perspective ;) ) is to be owned by the “Business people” (such as R&D engineers, buyers…)
But, in the other hand, the structure of the information (cf. its metadata and the way each information objects are connected to each others – so called information models) is to be owned by the CIO’s organization.
So, yes, at the end of the day, it is a shared responsibility that we are talking about. Shared, but not blurred responsibility, each party has a very clear and defined responsibility mission (see above). As always, one of the key is that each party stick to is own responsibility, without trying to fool his/her partner by either trying to overtake his/her counterpart responsibility or on the opposite way: trying to push his/her partner his own part of the work (without formal agreement/delegation first).
Having this in mind, you’ll be ready for my next post… coming soon :)
General Note: I use Information instead of “Data”, this semantic difference is important since I am distinguishing between several levels of Information, the classical: Conceptual, logical and physical levels, where the Data is at the Physical level only.