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Information Evolution Model

All companies use information to set strategies and accomplish business objectives. But how many CEOs and CIOs would say they are satisfied that their companies get maximum value from information? Not many. How many have a systematic plan for evolving their information capabilities to the next level? Fewer still.

As the leader in business intelligence, SAS has developed an Information Evolution Model to aid companies in assessing how they use information to drive business. The model outlines how information is managed and utilized as a corporate asset and enables organizations to objectively evaluate their use of information and accurately lay out a roadmap for improvements that optimize business returns.

More specifically, the Information Evolution Model empowers companies to evaluate their information usage and performance against a five-level evolutionary continuum. Organizations need to recognize where they are in the continuum and why, and then understand how to move to the next level. The five steps are best classified as follows:

  • Level 1 – Operate
  • Level 2 – Consolidate
  • Level 3 – Integrate
  • Level 4 – Optimize
  • Level 5 – Innovate

IEM: Five Levels of Evolution
Five Levels of Evolution

The goal of the Information Evolution Model is not to help companies achieve the highest level. Rather, the model simply offers a clear path for companies to follow in working toward incremental improvement based on their specific business needs.

In order to reap the benefits of information evolution, companies must gain insight to better align strategies and identify critical relationships and gaps along four key company dimensions – people, process, culture and infrastructure.

The Information Evolution Model provides a framework for companies to evaluate themselves relative to these dimensions. It also offers action plans that can be tailored to each company's unique characteristics. By understanding and improving alignment within these critical dimensions, companies can maximize the value and impact of information as a strategic corporate asset to gain competitive advantage.

The Road to Evolution: Business Intelligence Competency Centers
Adoption of the Information Evolution Model is the first step toward the kind of coordinated, enterprise business intelligence effort that will ensure long-term success for your company.

Progress can best be made through a cohesive decision-making structure within your organization. Creating a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) is the best way to build that kind of team. A BICC plans and prioritizes broad BI initiatives, manages and supports those initiatives, and promotes broader use of BI throughout the organization.

SAS offers services and support to help customers create and develop their BICCs. The Information Evolution Model serves as the framework for these services and provides a logical structure for selecting the specific services needed to build a BICC.

"By using the Information Evolution Model that SAS is pioneering, enterprises can make more incisive and strategic decisions about their information investments. A structured approach such as IEM allows CIOs and their staffs to come up with an investment strategy that can mobilize the entire organization and improve communication with business stakeholders." 

Doug Busch
CIO, Intel


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