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Putting Information on the Balance Sheet

February 11th, 2011 02:00 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Balance sheetRedMonk‘s James Governor and EMC VP of Global Marketing Chuck Hollis are calling for enterprises to put information on the balance sheet. In other words, start considering useful information as an asset and poorly managed information as a liability.

“If you’ve got an expensive manufacturing machine, you invest periodically to keep the asset running in top shape, otherwise its value falls sharply over time,” writes Hollis. “Are information bases any different? How many databases in your organization are providing declining value simply because there isn’t a regular program of data maintenance and enhancement?”

Not a bad idea. Taking it a step further, Gartner and Forrester have been agitating for IT to be a profit center, and putting information on the balance sheet would be a step towards quantifying the value IT provides an organization.

One way to make information even more clearly an asset is to sell information in a marketplace like Azure DataMarket. And, for organizations that simply can’t do this, paying attention to these markets may help determine the value of information.

Even though the CIO role is increasingly under fire, it’s also an increasingly important role. Intel CIO Diane Bryant said in a recent interview:

It’s remarkable how dependent the business is on IT. Every business strategy we’re trying to deploy, every growth opportunity we’re pursuing and every cost reduction all funnels back to an IT solution. How do you go from hundreds of customers to thousands of customers? You do that through technology. You don’t scale the sales force by 10 times. I look across Intel’s corporate strategy and I can directly tie each one of our pillars to the IT solution that’s going to enable it. It’s a remarkable time to be in IT. All of a sudden the CIO had better be at the table in the business strategy discussions because they can’t launch a strategy without you.

The new role for IT will be to make money for companies, not to just support operations. That’s a big shift in thinking, and it’s time to start making plans.

Photo by Philippe Put

Source: Putting Information on the Balance Sheet

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