Gartner Highlights Four Innovation Forces in Information Infrastructure

Analysts Say These Innovation Forces Must Be Harnessed by Organizations Seeking To Enhance Information Management Competencies

STAMFORD, Conn., December 14, 2010 – A strategic approach to managing information is increasingly on the agendas of IT and business leaders as a growth economy re-emerges, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner analysts have identified a set of key innovation forces that can be exploited by IT leaders to mitigate the challenges they face in managing information.

“These innovation forces provide significant changes in the way that information management technologies and competencies will be focused and delivered, with the goal of radically improving the cost-effectiveness, agility and transparency with which information assets are managed and leveraged,” said Ted Friedman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Organizations that focus only on tools and technology, without increasing their information management competency or changing their culture, are unable to fully achieve the benefits of information infrastructure.”

The four innovation forces in information infrastructure include:

The information-centric organization
Information management leaders spend most of their time on technology because they usually come from a technology background and have been hired to work on technology projects. However, innovations with information infrastructure depend on making the organization itself information-centric and getting both IT and business staff to adopt new behaviors. Gartner believes that CIOs, information management leaders and HR professionals need to understand what kinds of “people” changes must be made to create the next generation of information infrastructure.

Information as an asset or liability
Business and IT leaders know that a huge amount of value remains locked inside their masses of information, but they cannot capture this value simply by implementing more technology. Gartner analysts believe that CIOs and information management leaders must set aside their traditional engineering mind-set. Instead, they must take a new approach by focusing on the value of information itself, rather than the value of information systems. This will require strategies and techniques for assessing the value and risk of information assets.

Adaptive information infrastructure
With adaptive information infrastructure techniques and supporting technologies, the discovery of meaning and relationships across the entire content continuum – from highly structured to loosely structured – can be automatically inferred, and decisions about information delivery can be made at a more abstract level. In addition, techniques of dynamic optimization will limit the need for hard-coded and static data delivery mechanisms. Gartner maintains that through such approaches, a substantially higher degree of agility in adapting where, how, and in what form and context information is delivered can be achieved.

Alternative delivery models for information infrastructure
Enterprises have quickly started to adopt new deployment models in many IT domains, and the use of alternative deployment models will continue to grow quickly. In particular, appliances and cloud computing allow IT organizations to implement new capabilities quickly, with minimal upfront cost. Gartner asserts that these benefits are beginning to be seen in the information infrastructure domain, as more capabilities for persisting, integrating and delivering data and assuring its quality become available via alternative delivery models, ranging from appliances to cloud-based services.

Analysis of the implications of and pre-requisites for harnessing these four innovation forces is available in a recently-published body of research summarized in the Gartner report “Gartner Analysts Explore Innovation Forces in Information Infrastructure,” which is available on Gartner’s website at

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner deliver the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the indispensable partner to approximately 60,000 clients in 10,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has approximately 4,300 associates, including approximately 1,200 research analysts and consultants serving clients in 80 countries. For more information, visit