Asset Management 101…00110010001

Posted in information asset management & valuation on 2011 Jul 28 by Doug Laney

Information is one of our most valuable corporate assets.

We frequently hear executives and business leaders spout this maxim or one like it. But is it just lip-service? Do they really believe this? More important, do they really act like they mean it?

If information were really a most valuable corporate asset, wouldn’t organizations manage it with the same discipline as other acknowledged corporate assets?

Physical assets are closely monitored and secured, and yes, so are many information assets. But experts in physical asset management implement policies and processes in their companies for asset planned and unplanned maintenance, inventorying, replacement, transportation, disposal, and safe handling. From manufacturers to retailers—companies that thrive on effective physical asset handling, they certainly do treat these assets as if they were critical.

Similarly, financial assets are managed with a certain precision and discipline. From the creation of portfolios to gauging risk to making investments, CFOs, treasurers and controllers have a well-honed scheme for their care and feeding.

Even human capital is managed with strict meticulousness in most organizations. The entire workforce workflow from recruiting through RIFs and retirement is carefully orchestrated to maximize the value of each employee to the business.

Business ancestry benefits us with hundreds of years of formally managing various forms of material, money, and men and women. Perhaps CIOs along with information managers, stewards and architects should spend a day on the factory floor, loading dock, accounting department and HR group counterparts to glean ideas that might apply to managing information assets.

What do you think they’d learn that can and should be applied to the discipline of managing information as a true corporate asset?