Information Management

1371 Words6 Pages
The management consulting industry deals in three different areas; risk management, consulting, and information management. In risk management, companies “seek greater protection against unexpected losses , whether from natural disaster, lawsuits, political events, and internet scandals.”1 Information management refers to the internet and how businesses organize and control the information flowing in and out of them2. Consulting combines the two, where businesses employ advisors to help them manage risks and their information to further profit and prevent loss within the company. Information management is a long standing industry, that existed before computers and the internet. When technology advanced to computers, and electronics, the information management field changed drastically. The first electronic information system that functioned correctly was created in Dresden, London in 1931. This machine was Emanuel Goldberg's “statistical machine” which combined photocell technology, circuitry, and microfilm for data retrieval. The first prototype for a working computer that could be used for business, called the 409, was created in 1951. It consisted of a refrigerator sized punch card unit where one inputed information. Not only was this unit large, it was also prone to error. One mistake could ruin an entire day of productivity. This led to the need for information managers whose sole job was to control the flow of information in and out of the machine. Luckily, these machines quickly evolved from punch card machines to mainframes and spools of magnetic tape. This led to the introduction of the Structured Query Language (SQL) in the 1970's. During this time, IBM mainframe computers were widely used in business3. The evolut... ... middle of paper ... ...r that reason they hire consultants13. These consultants have a knowledge base that ranges from general management advice to technology development, to financial advising, to strategy, to implementation. This broad base led to the industry being highly fragmented and polarized. It also led to a broad scope and blurred functional boundaries, which in turn, caused the industry to have a low barrier to entry. The industry has little to no regulation depending on the subject matter, and there is no certification requirement to become a consultant. Despite this, the industry generates about $125 billion between the United States and Western European consulting firms, and the industry is largely considered to be recession proof. This is “because during times of economic decline businesses tend to look to consulting firms for restructuring advice and financial planning14.”

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