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Information asset registers: the ultimate onboarding tool


We tend to think of information asset registers in their top-down capacity – as a tool for senior management overseen by ICT and information professionals. Their application as a self-serve means of navigating an organisation is often overlooked.

With remote work on the rise, information asset registers can serve as a valuable onboarding tool – not just for IT departments, but for knowledge workers of every level and across every function. While I’d love to pretend this is some inspired thinking on my part, the reality is that I stumbled on the idea in the second week of my new job.

I recently took on the role of Business Development Manager at Synercon. I’m not the only one to change jobs during the pandemic – it’s a global phenomenon prominent enough to have its own hashtag. But, unlike many remote workers, I had the advantage of spending a week face-to-face with my new boss.

It was an exciting but intense process; my head was so crammed full of new information and ideas that I thought it might explode. While I spent the weekend decompressing and recharging my batteries, I had time to reflect on how fortunate I am. As well as benefiting from an in-person induction, I get to work in a well-structured information environment.

I’m mid-career and there’s an expectation on both sides that I hit the ground running. Like any new employee, I’m eager to achieve some quick wins and cement my position. So, with a new week beginning and the hand-holding phase drawing to a close, I found myself referring to the company’s information asset register. And it turned out to be a gold mine.

As a newcomer, Synercon’s information asset register has already answered a lot of my questions. I’ve been able to determine where to find the information I need, what applications I should be working across, and even start planning which ones I can take ownership of. I know what activities I’m responsible for, where to save the work I’ve produced and how to manage the emails that have already started rolling in.

I haven’t had to rely on the goodwill of my colleagues, taking them away from their work just so they can help me do mine. It’s a win for productivity and, for my part, a welcome alternative to the floundering feeling that usually plagues me in the first couple of weeks on the job.

So why am I sharing this? Because it’s just one more example of how disruption is the new ‘business as usual’. Organisations are going to keep encountering new obstacles that require new solutions. And if I’ve learnt anything from this experience, it’s that it’s forward-thinking ICT and information professionals that will be uniquely well-placed to deliver them.

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