Getting a Handle on the Concepts

Situation and Challenge

Corporate Information Model (CIM) is a jointly determined model of a company’s information. It is a definition of how company-wide information objects such as customer, product, service, etc. are to be defined and related to one another. The information model describes the central aspects of a company’s operations. It is with these objects that the company can conduct its operations.

A company often has several different definitions and perceptions about the same information object. The business sphere focuses on the concepts it uses with customers and partners. The IT sphere focuses on what its IT systems’ information definition is. This results in differences in perception. Both are right, but the situation is unsustainable. The different perceptions obstruct development of operations, modifications to IT systems, integration, analysis and operations monitoring.

Required skills – problems with implementation

An information model that is described on the basis of the organization’s world view and requirements will have the longest lifetime in the organization. The model can function as a “desired state description” to work towards. It provides the most accurate description of the organization from the perspective of follow-up and analysis.

Producing these types of models entails some challenges:

  • production employees and other key individuals are often very busy
  • working from a blank sheet of paper takes too long and using finished frameworks is too complicated
  • employees can perceive modeling as abstract and complicated
  • documentation must be done in tools that can maintain complex contexts

Structurally correct approach

The structurally correct approach can be divided into several blocks:

  • Involve employees with experience in running workshops, various business models, information modeling as a discipline and tools know-how for documenting results.
  • Divide up the work into several seminars in which concepts and important operational rules are defined together with representatives from the area.
  • Work on the basis of the company’s basic data in the source system.
  • Document the results in a repository-based modeling tool to maintain complex connections that facilitate management.

This results in a basic description for continued development, which is documented in an information model, with concept definitions, visual concept models and table examples. The model then forms the basis for replacement models, data models, service interfaces, etc. It can also serve as a guiding principle for what the concepts we use in the organization mean.

We have done this before

Ferrologic has helped major international companies within several different industries produce operations-driven information models. We can create valuable shortcuts for our customers with our systematized experience, our knowledge capital from different industries and our understanding of the information standards in the various industries.

For the telecom operator’s investment in the CRM system, common definitions within the group needed to be produced so that more advanced customer management in relation to life style patterns on the web, in customer sales meetings and in customer service could be implemented.

A heavy equipment manufacturer needed to produce a new strategic objective for information based on a new business model: the information service was to be integrated in the product range and various business processes.