AIIM is looking for training providers for new Information Certification

By Atle Skjekkeland posted 05-16-2011 10:43


AIIM is now taking the bold step of introducing a new information management certification for IT and information professionals, and I have below tried to describe the objectives of this new certification. 

Market Trends

A number of trends are converging to dramatically change Enterprise IT:

  • Social – The spread of consumer-based social technologies is creating pressure within the enterprise to adopt similar social tools to connect employees, partners, and customers.
  • Local – The spread of location-aware devices is creating new product and service opportunities that are targeted based on location and proximity.
  • Mobile – Perhaps the most important of the three trends, the revolution in mobile technologies is far more encompassing than just the spread of such smart devices as the iPhone.  By 2012, there will be more cellular subscribers than there are people on the plant, representing the 7th major communications revolution (printing press, recorded sound, radio, TV, personal computer, internet and now mobile).

The convergence of these trends will dramatically impact how information is created and consumed, how processes are launched, how value is delivered, and how information is managed. Almost half of all CIOs expect to operate their applications and infrastructures via cloud technologies within the next five years. This change will necessitate that CIOs reimagine IT and lead their organizations through a process of creative destruction, which will need to be supported by the information professionals.

Organizations are shifting their focus from information TECHNOLOGY to how information is MANAGED. The stakes related to effective information management are rising at the same time that demands from the business to reduce costs are accelerating. The Gartner 2011 CIO Survey amongst 2,000 CIOs found the following top10 business and technology priorities for 2011:

Bob Evans described last year in Information Week HP’s new strategy and tools to help customers not just manage but exploit today's information explosion.

  • The inevitability of the cloud as a compelling enterprise IT model;
  • The rise of mobility as the dominant computing platform;
  • The momentous shift from IT as productivity agent to communications & collaboration optimizer;
  • The stunningly steep increase in the volume of information that's being produced—and the fact that we're only in the early stages of that surge; and
  • The power of analytics to help organizations seize competitive advantage by being able to exploit the power of that information explosion.


There are a number of different job roles being impacted by the above trends;

  • Business executives want to improve innovation with better knowledge sharing, retention, crowdsourcing, information intelligence, and agility
  • IT executives and staff want to improve IT with cloud computing, virtualization, mobile, Apps, analytics, and collaboration technologies
  • Line of business managers wants to improve the efficiency and control of information intensive processes
  • Marketing staff want to leverage social technologies and user generated information for improving market communication, brand exposure, web traffic and SEO 
  • Knowledge workers want better communication and transparency within and across departments and locations, but also enterprise BYOC solutions matching what they are used to as consumers.
  • Legal and compliance officers want to assure information quality, ensure regulatory compliance, and improve preparedness for e-discovery
  • Records and information professionals want to manage information over its lifecycle according to value

The AIIM Information Certification target market will be people tasked with planning and supporting the new environments, whether within a department, across departmental boundaries, or throughout the extended enterprise. This will be information practitioners and professionals, which is often a mix of IT staff, information and records managers, and line of business people responsible for information intensive processes and repositories. We also see an interest amongst solution providers and consultants.

Knowledge Areas

Earlier this year we asked 1100 AIIM community members and 350 IT practitioners (IT Managers, IT Staff, Consultants, and small business owners) what level of expertise they would expect an information professionals to have. The survey respondents were asked to prioritize the knowledge areas identified by the Forrester report “A Snapshot Of Today’s Content And Collaboration Professional,” November 3, 2010.

Level of Interest was determined by a cumulative score derived from responses ranging from “not interested” (valued at 1 point) to “very interested” (valued at 4 points) (the different colors represent different types of IT practitioners).

The below chart shows the priorities of IT practitioners from the sample not connected to AIIM. The relatively small differences between knowledge areas indicate that an information professional will be expected to have competency across a variety of disciplines.

68% of AIIM community members see value in such a certification for their organization, and this increases to 77% when we asked them about its value for them personally. We also tested the interest among the above IT managers, IT staff, consultants, and small business owners not connected to AIIM, and 38% of IT practitioners said that they would definitely or probably pursue a certification of this nature.


The new certification should help information professionals demonstrate their ability to solve an organization’s existing information-related problems, but also plan for the future.

Information professionals contribute to the success of their organizations by helping address the following kinds of information management challenges (both on-premises and in the cloud):

  1. Delivering relevant and dynamic information to staff and customers via websites, mobile or social media
  2. Improving information sharing and collaboration by leveraging virtual collaboration solutions, social networks, and existing and emerging communications technologies
  3. Improving enterprise search and access to information across systems and platforms
  4. Continuously analyzing information to identify new business opportunities and improvements
  5. Ensuring appropriate information security and privacy controls across systems and platforms to protect the organization and its staff
  6. Managing information and records across systems and platforms to meet regulatory compliance and e-discovery readiness
  7. Streamlining and automating information intensive processes across systems and platforms to improve efficiency and reduce costs

The information professional should be able to bridge the increasing gap between enterprise IT and business executives that currently exist in many organizations.  The information professional should be able to effectively communicate and facilitate; establish consistent project/program management; research user experience / user customization; demonstrate technical and analytical skills; and engage in IT architecture/technology planning (source: Forrester Research, Nov 17, 2010).

Are you interested in developing and delivering training materials?

AIIM will rely on training companies to provide training for this new certification, and interested parties should send an email to to receive a copy of the Job Analysis document as soon as this is available in June 2011. AIIM will also offer a way to review training materials to ensure it covers the relevant tasks in the exam.

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