Traceable Information Systems Factors That Improve Traceability Between Information and Processes Over Time

Abstract: Preservation of information is not a new issue but preservation of digital information has a relatively short history. Since the 60’s when computers began to be used within administration, digital information that has had to be preserved over time.The problem addressed in this research is how to preserve understandable information over time. Information is context dependent, which means that without context it is not possible to use the information. Process is one part of the context. And an important issue when preserving information is then to be able to trace an informationobject to the process where in it has been created and managed. Associating information to a particular process creates the possibility of relating information objects to each other and also to the context in which the information has been created and used. The aim of this thesis is to identify and structure factors that can improve the traceability between information and processes over time. A set of factors based on case studies and a set of analytical methods are presented that can improve the traceability over time. These factors have been identified and structured by the use of the Synergy-4 model. They have been identified within four different spheres namely: competence, management, organization/procedure and technology. The factors have further been structured in three different time states namely: creation time, short and middle term and long-term. The research concludes that there are a lot of factors influencing ability to preserve information. Preservation issues include selection of metadata standards, organizational culture, lack of understanding from management and formalization of documents. The conclusion is that if an organization wants to succeed in preserving traceable information they have to build strategies that cover the issues from a range of different angles. This thesis suggests that crucial angles are competence, management, organization/procedureand technology. Furthermore, the strategies must be in place at the stage of creationof the information objects.