In the hype of generative AI tools, one thing is certain: this is going to produce awesome mountains of extra information. Information that needs to be managed. You can prepare for that right now.
Information created in an organisation is called 'enterprise information'. Information created in the 'cloud' or with AI also falls into that category.
It makes sense to manage all that information well because otherwise information will become untraceable or make it impossible to find information at all. It is also wise to manage information properly because laws and regulations impose strict requirements for protecting, preserving for long periods and destroying information in a timely manner.
Where is AI information kept?
Information in the form of documents, worksheets, presentations, images and videos already takes up about 80 per cent of the total information in organisations. That pile of information is increasing by 200 per cent every year. With the explosion of AI tools, I suspect that growth will be even more explosive.
We are now at the beginning of the hype so there is a lot of experimentation going on. This leads to a lot of information that soon becomes worthless. Is that information being actively deleted? Or is it just stored somewhere and forgotten? I fear the latter. And that's a problem.
What AI information has value?
Once we've all found our way around AI tools, a handful of tools remain that produce all kinds of information. These are mainly text, images, video and data.
The idea of good information management is that information with value is readily available to the people who need to use it. Information that is out of date but still has value is kept in a special way. And information that is no longer current and also has no value is deleted. This is how you keep the information mess to a certain limit.
How are we going to manage AI information?
With the tsunami of AI tools producing information in no time at all, we will probably very soon find ourselves with information that no longer has any value and is also out of date.
But a lot of AI-generated information will actually have value and be current. Can you make that distinction in your organisation? It is useful to think about the information lifecycle for AI information as well.
Information is managed throughout its lifecycle: from planning through development and management to distribution, evaluation and finally archiving and even destruction of the information.
At present, the focus in AI information is mainly on the development and distribution of information. As we are still in the experimental stage, there is little strategy yet.
There is also little or no measurement of whether the AI-generated information is actually used and has value. And because we are still at the beginning of production, archiving AI information is not being addressed at all.
Déjà vu: we got this wrong before
In the early days of digitisation, exactly the same thing was going on. As soon as employees got their hands on the tools, they started producing huge amounts of digital information. Everyone just did whatever, information management - still fully alive in the paper world - lagged behind and had no answer.
Twenty years ago, we still had excuses for not taking information management seriously. But we really can't get away with that anymore. The development cannot be stopped and banning it makes no sense. The management organisation must be ready for the explosive growth of AI information.
It's not too late
Let's all prevent organisations from being inundated with so much information that there is no beginning. Now is really 'un momento dado'. So grab that lifecycle and plan the information management of AI-generated information.
By looking at AI-generated information in lifecycle terms from the outset, you create overview and peace of mind in the organisation. It also provides a framework for the strategy, architecture and, above all, governance of this AI-generated information.
What will we use to manage the information?
The tech organisations behind AI tools find it very exciting and sexy to create tools that produce information. Traditionally, they don't find managing that information very interesting.
In other words, there will be a hoopla of AI tools coming that will dwarf the set of Office applications. Indeed, AI functionalities are also coming in MS and Google Office that will only make the pile of digital information bigger.
With such large amounts of information, an information management system can be a godsend. On the one hand, there are then 'editors' who produce -AI-generated‖ information and, on the other hand, there are then 'managers' who manage that information.
Integration is essential
For managing AI-generated text and documents, there are several document management, records management and collaboration tools. MS SharePoint is a tool with excellent integration with Office documents. But there are also similar tools like OpenText Content Server, Alfresco and Decos. The ease of integration of AI information with that management information is very important here.
For managing images and videos, you quickly get into Digital Asset Management (DAM) tools like Bynder, Acquia DAM and Canto. These DAM tools help you optimally manage, enrich and distribute images and videos. But again, easy integration with AI tools is key.
The AI hype is not blowing over
Many vendors in the EIM market are completely surprised by the AI hype. Will they reach for APIs or will they buy into the AI tools? I will regularly post about developments in the integration of 'classic' EIM systems with AI tools. On paper, Microsoft seems to have the best chances, but we are only at the beginning, so I am very curious.
In any case, don't think, "Oh, this will blow over" or "This doesn't apply to us anyway". I don't know where this AI hype will lead, but one thing I do know is that much, much more information will be produced. Now is the time to prepare for that.