“May you live in interesting times”.

So goes the ancient Chinese curse which may sometimes seem written specifically for the information professional.  Today however,  it’s probably more accurate to say these are exciting times for information professionals — in fact, there has probably never been a more exciting time to be in the information business.

New technology brings new challenges for the information professional…

No doubt there are many challenges.  Every day, information professionals face a host of issues, such as:

  • Managing the sheer volume and velocity of information.
  • Dealing with a plethora of new sources and formats.
  • Helping users search across a vast array of systems and silos.
  • Delivering quality information across a seemingly unending variety of devices.
  • Creating alerts and briefings with time-consuming manual processes.

We could go on and on.

Technology also brings new opportunities

Many of these challenges were brought on by advances in technology.  But changing technology also brings new opportunities and puts exciting capabilities at our fingertips.

For example, with the right technology, the information professional can…

  • Connect all relevant information sources – external and internal — in one place
  • Use automated tools to create high-quality information streams about topics that matter
  • Deliver information anywhere, anytime, to any device.
  • Foster knowledge sharing among and within groups.
  • Get visibility into information use: — where it comes from, what it costs, who is using it.

And this is only the beginning.

The role of the information professional is changing

As a result of these innovations, the role of the information professional is changing to become much more strategic, analytic and tech-savvy.

  • A recent Financial Times SLA study for example, describes the role of the information professional changing from “inward-looking technical expert” to “client-centric decision enabler”.
  • And a recent report from SJSU School of Information reported that in 2014, 51% of information professional job postings require applicants to have significant technological skills (up from 32% in 2013).
  • Yet another report, from AIIM, suggests that “the value-add for information technology in organizations is rapidly shifting from the technology per se to the stewardship, optimization and application of the information assets themselves”.

At Attensa, we say all this a little more concisely: Stop Managing Information. Start Creating Intelligence.

Change is coming…

Change is coming.  Forward-thinking information professionals are helping drive this change today and are leading their organizations in turning information into actionable insight.  Tomorrow, who knows what they will be able to do.

As the FT-SLA report says: “Now is the time for the information profession to reach for new heights”

Exciting, isn’t it?