Monetizing Information Assets – The Time Is Now!
Information is the lifeblood of any enterprise and is imperative to the success and existence of any organization. These assets are intangibles that currently don’t have a value on the Balance Sheet, though surely represent a tacit knowledge of an organization. Information including data, documents, contracts, campaigns, meeting minutes, emails etc. is created and consumed by multiple stakeholders in an organization across formats. If not managed well, they could also pose tremendous governance risks for enterprises resulting from not retaining them for adequate periods as per government regulations or ensuring timely deletion as per corporate policies. Information only grows exponentially year on year with rapid increase in the volume and variety of these assets year on year.
The biggest challenge to effectively manage information assets is to first tackle information silos (for instance email database, Sharepoint, file shares, various databases etc.). Managing information assets require enterprises to identify and prioritize areas of improvements, put processes in place based on governance requirements and invest in the right technology to automate and make the process sustainable.
Enterprises need to put archiving solutions in place to ensure that data retention requirements are taken care of. Legacy data should be cleaned up and a proper Records Management (RM) / Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution needs to be put in place to ensure that information assets are being effectively managed across its lifecycle from creation to consumption and archival / disposition. The solution should be scalable to accommodate the enormous growth in information and should be able to handle all data types. It should be seamlessly integrated with the enterprise ERP and yet should offer flexibility for non ERP users to access the data using the ECM.
Information Management needs to be a holistic approach across the enterprise and cannot be viewed in silos. Managing information assets not only ensures effective governance resulting from no data loss, but also importantly takes care of improving productivity and efficiency of the enterprise. Users are able to accelerate the time taken to undertake the business process, as they no longer have to be people dependent – information can be found easily and be repurposed.
Information Management is an essential good practice and needs to be done well to ensure improvement in productivity and cost reduction. After all, these assets are Intangible Assets that can potentially lead to better valuation of an enterprise.