Information and Data: Virtual Assets with Tangible Future Benefits

Information and Data: Virtual Assets with Tangible Future Benefits

The previous blog post provided a brief overview of the recent CGOC executive meeting held in New York, which had the theme of treating information as an asset. When it comes to information governance many of the attendees at CGOC events are practitioners in industries such as financial services & banking, oil & gas, insurance, manufacturing and the like. Perceiving and managing information/data as an asset isn’t necessarily natural for such organizations especially when it comes to historical or archived elements. That’s beginning to change with the emergence of Big Data and analytics, and it’s worth taking a brief look at an industry that has always approached its information and data as assets, media & entertainment.

The treatment of information as an asset has long been a concept I have promoted and was cemented further when I spent several years in the media & entertainment industry building and delivering digital asset management software (DAM). One broad way to understand DAM is kind of like ECM specifically for motion imaging, i.e. film and broadcast. Think about the fact that this industry moved to fully digital production about ten years ago and that they had to think about preserving these new assets. They need to archive these virtual assets forever essentially AND be able to access, retrieve and preview them ten, twenty, fifty years in the future. Imagine Disney’s catalog and archive of film from the classics like Snow White and Cinderella (analog) to Toy Story and The Avengers. They think in terms of the full content lifecycle from the point of creation through to archive and preservation. Disposal of assets isn’t as relevant here because they’re also considering the “long-tail” value of these assets for producing revenue well into the future through re-release, on-demand streaming or re-purposing clips and producing new assets.

The ability to do this requires governance and effective management to ensure digital rights are adhered to, privacy and security concerns are addressed to prevent piracy and integrity is maintained through the years so these assets remain viable. These concerns are not that much different from the considerations necessary in traditional, commercial organizations, e.g. financial services. The benefits of analytics to decision making, customer experience, and competitiveness rely not just on new data, but historical assets as well. There is long-tail value in a variety of content and data types. Determining which is most relevant to organizations is not as obvious to organizations outside of media & entertainment. The encouraging news is that we are seeing a real shift in the paradigm where information is managed as an asset.

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