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Information Functions

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The word Information was derived from a Latin word “informare” which meant to “give form to”. The term information therefore refers to knowledge which is communicated about some particular subject, event or fact. It also refers to news, intelligence and that of which is told or apprised.  According to Eveland, (Eveland, 1997, p.2), information is defined as “part of human understanding which reduces uncertainty concerning relationships of phenomena”.

A medium of exchange is any item which is widely accepted in exchange for the services and goods rendered to clients in a given market i.e. money. An organization, on the other hand, refers to an entity in which two or more people work together with an aim of achieving a common purpose or goal.  In many organizations, information has frequently acted as a medium of exchange and therefore affecting the circulation of information and how the organization depends on it for decision making (Eveland, 1997, p.8).

The consideration, analysis and criticism of the role communication plays in organizational contexts is what is known as organizational communication. Eveland, (Eveland, 1997, p.5), defines communication as “the set of processes through which such information is shared between the units in a system”. Organizational communication is therefore a very vital aspect form making any business enterprise to succeed. Questions have arose as to whether there exists any means through which the aspect of money of organizational communication can be a positive contributor of the IT strategy instead of encouraging sub-optimal behavior (Eveland, 1997, p.8).  

One of the major factors that define the feature of organizations is the degree of their information processing. Information and communication are vital aspects of an organization and that is why communication is organization and organization is communication. The information and communication concepts are therefore inextricably entangled. It is therefore essential to note that when talking of information, emphasis should be placed on the meaning or content that is associated with the term, and while talking of communication, then emphasis should be on the process of sharing. The use of metaphoric language and reality should be given priority in any meaningful business communication. Communication is treated as lubricant, glue and money according to the metaphors.

There are means through which the aspect of money in organizational communication can become an integral part of the Information Technolgy strategy instead of encouraging sub-optimal behavior. This is true in the sense that given the fact that information is a resource, it is vital to explore the role of information as a commodity that can be hoarded, traded and interpreted in market terms. Money can become a positive part of the information technology strategy because most of the information transactions either have implicit or explicit trades. In an environment where competition determines survival, possessing information in the business which other people don’t have is an added advantage. This can be done by acquiring computer systems connected to the internet where information can be easily accessed. The strength of money is in its ability to describe the role which is played by data in a situation where there are scarce resources. To manage information scarcity in an organization, money must be used control the flow of information through the purchase of information technology tools (Eveland, 1997, p.8).

However, the concept of information as money which is subject to external and internal transactions is useful though limited in some ways. The positive contribution of money is that it is a warning for business organizations to set up policies which are aimed at curbing the inherent evils that lead to organizational failure. Money can therefore be used as an aspect to create a positive part of the It strategy through the creation of an information superhighway in which a communication system makes sure that information flows from one point of the business organization to another.

According to Stvillia, (Stvillia, et al, 2004, p.8), information quality is important and interesting because information is a central resource in the contemporary life and that its quality has an impact on the actions and decisions of a business. Information quality therefore refers to the degree to which the information is able to meet the needs of users (Stvillia, et al, 2004, p.7s). Money as an aspect of organizational communication is a vital component of the IT strategy through information documentation systems which can range from spreadsheets made in excel to numerous database management software solutions like Lotus Notes.

Money can be used to buy systems which will develop customer databases that will support all client-facing operations. This IT strategy will have a database application containing all the client information like for instance client contacts, market details, products implemented, licenses sold and business details. Such kind of information will help a business organization to be sstrategically placed above its business competitors. Money can also be used to establish an IT strategy like for instance having a support call center where issues reported by clients are stored using a tracking system. The examination and synthesizing of information from an organization’s corporate resources will allow it to have a deeper understanding of clients and users before conducting usability and field research. Money as an aspect of organizational communication will assist in the development of systems which will aid when assessing internal resources which is normally a continuous process which information is updated on a daily basis (Hnilo, 2005, p.4s).

For management effectiveness, productivity is the key and therefore lack of productivity objectives makes a business entity to lack direction and control (Strassmann, 1996. P.1). Capital, as a primary source of creating wealth, has been replaced by knowledge and information. For an organization to be successful in the 21st century therefore calls for it to cultivate its knowledge and information assets. The management style of a business entity is dictated by not only what it can manage but also by its management style and that whoever has access and owns information is highly political and thus must be managed appropriately control (Strassmann, 1996. P.1).

For a business organization to achieve information superiority, then it has to understand its assets by knowing the true cost of its Information Technology, knowing the value of its information and knowing how well its information is being applied. Money, as an aspect of organizational communication can therefore be used to improve the performance of an organization through optimizing its processes and properly using its resources with a governance framework.  According to Strassmann (1996), information management comprises all information processes and not just those ones that involve IT (Strassmann, 1996. P.1).

The success of any business organization therefore highly depends on the skill and speed with use it acquires useful knowledge and applies it. Information has replaced capital as a real power source and therefore with information governance, structures will be created which will exercise the necessary authority over corporate information with an aim of reducing conflicts and attaining consensus over its use. Organizations therefore need to establish a trusted information framework which relies on the three various sets of processes namely, information controls, information quality and information interpretation.

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