Info Pros are to Info what Accountants are to Money

note-376397_1280Information Management is a profession[1], not an industry. Steve Weissman of the Holly Group wrote a pretty good post about IM/IG being a profession rather than an industry last year. Like HR, Accounting, IT, legal, etc., Information Management is here to support the core business; this does not imply subservience. And like the other support functions, there are several types of professionals practicing Information Management.

Don Lueders wrote a post comparing Accountants and Records Managers (one type of IM/IG professional) a couple weeks ago, so I’m going to take what Don and Steve wrote a couple of steps further. I’m also doing it because like money, information is a corporate asset.

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I believe that IM/IG Professionals are to information what Accountants are to money. And just like there are different types of Accountants, there are different types of IM/IG Professionals.

Accountants, at least in Canada, fall into three broad categories: 1) Strategic; 2) Tactical; 3) Governance/Risk/Compliance. Hmm … IM/IG professionals can be lumped into three broad categories: 1) Strategic; 2) Tactical; 3) Governance/Risk/Compliance.

Need I go on?

[1] I know this because I am a Certified Information PROFESSIONAL.

4 Comments on “Info Pros are to Info what Accountants are to Money

  1. It’s different. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is or why it is, but it is. HR may or may not entail a business degree, accounting entails some bookkeeping background or training or the full blown CPA, legal may be clerical, paralegal, JD or the full-blown monty.

    Information Management and IT on the other hand is maybe, kind’a, sort’a like a CIS versus CS degree in college, but on the ground the latter implies some real skillset – a database, an operating system, an IDE or programming language, etc. The former is more of a “generalist;” the “practice” or “discipline” discussions we see on social media. Plus, as opposed to the specific(s) of some given skillset, IM is a pretty big umbrella.

    I’ll hafta think about it some more, but it’s not the same. On the other hand, could just be me and I’m missing it.

    Cheers, P

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re not missing it, you’re over thinking it. I kept it intentionally simple because I didn’t want to get into a long winded post. I also used the accountant comparison because of the whole concept of information being an asset.

      The points you made are absolutely valid. However, I think they are better discussed over pops. Perhaps we need a session in some dive bar in New Orleans sometime during the week of April 24th.


  2. I would say that Information Management is an industry, a profession, a discipline and a business function – as are HR, Legal, IT, Finance, Property…. Each professional responsible for that discipline within their organisation is ultimately an accountant for that business function – ref: definition of and synonym for accountability is responsibility – . That accountability is delegated by the CEO down through the organisation – hence the need for a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to the delivery of each for the “good” of the organisation. As with the others, when poorly managed, information is a liability, and when well managed it is an asset.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Heather

      I might be able to be convinced about the industry/profession thing, depending on the context. If you’re practising the profession as a professional service firm, then maybe it could be considered an industry. However, if you’re an accountant, a lawyer, or an IM professional practising in support of an organization’s core business, then I’m going to stick with profession. Totally agree that all of them are disciplines and business functions.

      Regarding the asset vs liability thing – from an accounting perspective, information would always be an asset, However, the risk associated with the asset could certainly outweigh the value and expose the organization to harm. When that happens a contingent liability would be created to account for it. It’s a totally accounting geek thing.

      If you’re going to be at the IRMS conference I’d be happy to discuss further over libations. 🙂


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