A framework for the holistic analysis of organisational information systems

  • Steven Buchanan (Participant)

Impact: Impact - for External PortalProfessional practice, training and standards, Education, Economic and commerce


Buchanan and Gibb developed a methodology for undertaking the holistic analysis of information systems (information audits (IA)) in 1998 that has been further developed and refined over recent years, including case studies and supporting scoping frameworks.  They are regarded as one of the four authoritative IA voices of the past 25 years (Frost & Choo, 2017; Griffiths, 2010; Guitian, 2009).

The IA methodology is described in The Handbook of Information Management (2005) as one which, "consolidates all of the current thinking about the audit process, and provides guidance on a wide range of necessary tools and frameworks. As such, it provides an almost complete method which can be followed step-by-step by any team needing to conduct an information audit from scratch".

The methodology has been applied across a number of public and private sector organisations including: Scottish Museums Council, SAC (now Creative Scotland), Communities Scotland, CEDROM SNI, Macfarlanes LLP, British Council, SEPA, and Royal Bank of Scotland.  Widely reported benefits include: providing a concept map for Information Management maturity modelling (Frost & Choo, 2017); and informing best practice (e.g. Carvalho & Esteban-Navarro, 2015, Jones et al, 2013, Griffiths, 2012, Kilzer, 2012, ), including development of tailored methodological approaches to the evaluation of organisational information systems (e.g. Jones et al., 2013, Fu & Zhang, 2009).

Impact statusOpen
Category of impactProfessional practice, training and standards, Education, Economic and commerce
Impact levelBenefit


  • Information Audit
  • Information Management
  • Information Systems Analysis
  • Knoweldge Management