Introduction to the Project
The Coalition for Networked Information’s (CNI) Institution-Wide Information Strategies project was conceived as an initiative at the intersection of two powerful forces at work in the education and research enterprise: the rapidly changing network platform, which includes telecommunication networks, network-centric computing, and networked information resources; and the emerging network organization, which is providing a flexible and responsive alternative to hierarchies and bureaucracies.
The project sought to assist the higher education community to understand, describe and promote institution-wide strategies for networked information resource and service development across five major dimensions: a) technology platforms, b) financial resources, c) organizational and human resources, d) policies and practices, and e) strategic alignment.
The initiative was designed to address the questions: how does an institution coordinate its activities and allocate its resources to best manage and support its use of information and information technology? What are the critical issues, and what are the “best practices” with respect to information and information technology?
The project sought to bring together a diverse mix of institutions, each of which was thinking strategically about the management and use of information on an institution-wide scale and was already working on some specific aspect of these issues. The initiative brought these institutions into communication with one another so they could share their experiences while their work was still in progress and, in so doing, learn from one another, gain new perspectives on difficult aspects of their own work, and improve or expand upon efforts at their own institutions.
The participating institutions were:
- California State University System
- Indiana University
- Joint Information Systems Committee
- Lehigh University
- Mount Holyoke College
- Mary Washington College
- University of California – Davis
- University of Memphis
- University of Michigan
- Villanova University
This initiative has also created a vehicle for broadly sharing the experiences and insights of the participants through the analytic case studies of information strategies at participating institutions. These case studies represent a compendium of current best practices in strategies that address a range of institution-wide information management challenges.
Gerry Bernbom, Special Assistant for Digital Libraries and Distance Education, Indiana University, and a CNI Visiting Program Officer, was the project coordinator.
- IWIS Project Participants
- IWIS Case Studies
- IWIS Project Conference: July 21-22, 1997, Washington, DC
- White Paper: Institution-Wide Information Strategies (IWIS) A CNI Initiative (draft version 1.1)
March 9, 1997
This article continues a program of work begun by the late Paul Evan Peters, founding Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information. The text draws on Paul’s thoughts, ideas, and early writings in the area of enterprise wide information strategies, and on the input of an informal group of advisors that Paul had assembled from the archives, library, technology, and information resources professions.
- Gerald Bernbom, “Institution-Wide Information Strategies,” CAUSE/EFFECT volume 20, number 1 (Spring 1997), pp. 8-11.
- Gerald Bernbom, The Information Professions and Enterprise-Wide Information Strategies, CAUSE/EFFECT volume 19, number 3 (Fall 1996), pp. 4-5).