Information Services Organizational Benefits and Performance

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As organizations move from information provision and interactive services to more high-value transformational outcomes through the exploitation of knowledge and information and information and communications technology (ICT) the span and level of sophistication of benefits evaluation and realization increases .
These benefits arise:
• For the organization in increased organizational performance through efficiencies
and productivity gains, more reliable knowledge and information for better decision-
making, increased global competitiveness, increased revenue, growth in intellectual
capital and renewed investor interest;
• For the customer in quality customer service, convenience and choice through
multiple delivery channels, direct cost savings, efficiencies in interactions, more
accessible information for better decision making, and personalized, customized and
integrated services available anywhere at any time;
• As political benefits which include increased trust and citizen engagement, increased
transparency and accountability in elected governments; as well as,
• For society in terms of enhanced quality of life, increased knowledge and skills,
greater community cohesiveness and enhanced community development, increased
social capital and sustainability.

The linkages between adding value through the delivery of quality and innovative
information products and services and a return on investment are similar to the linkages
between corporate governance and decision making. Adding value through knowledge,
processes and innovation can lead to an increased return on the investment; whilst at the
same time, the need to add value is a fundamental requirement in ensuring that practices
and procedures deliver a return on investment as part of good corporate governance.
There are many different ways of valuing and measuring this. The following provides
insight into different mechanisms that can be used within information services to
determine whether value is being added and if there is a return on the investment.

Information services contribute to organizational performance and transformation,
sustainability, and different forms of capital through the following activities:
•  Assisting the parent organization increase or sustain its financial capital, competitiveness
and market share by adding value to the amount and quality of knowledge and
innovation within the organization. For example, in acquiring, organizing and
disseminating accurate and timely information to retain its client capital, assist new
product development and to make it successful against its competitors;
• Contributing to social capital, democracy and the quality of life. In the virtual world,
individual access to and the sharing of ideas, information, skills and knowledge is
an important component of lifelong learning, day-to-day living and democracy.
Public libraries add value to the quality of life of individuals through the provision of
educational, informational, recreational and cultural services;
• Adding value to information as a commodity or resource and subsequently increasing
the intellectual capital of the organization. Information utilities and value-added
information providers increase the value and create new information products and
services by manipulating, merging and redistributing information in a value-added
form to meet stakeholder needs. They also create new markets for information to
meet prospective customer needs. An example is how spatial information has been
incorporated into in-vehicle navigation devices and mobile phones;
•  Recognizing that information has different values to different people in different
situations and at different times which can affect financial capital. Information has
unique economic properties that can affect its value at any one time. It can be stored
and used at the same time. It can be reused without diminishing in value, or, in the
case of competitive information, its value lies in no one else having access, and more  than one client can use it at the same time;
• Assisting the organization to meet its sustainability and natural capital obligations  through research and advice on best practice regimes; and
• Developing ICT as a tool for enabling anywhere anytime support and service delivery  to mobile devices as well as assisting information services to participate in global  information-centric collaboration to deliver 24×365 services.
Within these activities return on investment can be measured by assessing:
• Relative delivered cost – how the information service is increasing its productivity  and lowering its costs across all outlays in the value chain;
• Relative performance – how the information service is adding strategic value to the organization and its clients through its ability to offer innovative and valued products and services; and
• Financial savings – how the information service is delivering savings to the organization.
The return on investment for information products and services is also enhanced by:
• Adding other information to the original information;
• Reprocessing and repackaging the information to meet market or customer  demands;
• Making information more accessible to customers; and
•  Refining the information to meet individual needs.
The above points are regarded as enhancements to the value chain. However, information
by itself is not necessarily useful. If it is not used, for example it sits unused within an
information system because people do not know of its existence, or it is not useful to
clients or the business because it does not meet their needs, then it has no value to the organization.

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