Business Applications Need An Information Asset Portfolio

An information asset portfolio is different from application portfolios that collect and categorize software, and hardware portfolios that depreciate the moment you sign the purchase order.  Information asset portfolios are the collections of important line of business information necessary to conduct business transactions.  The data bases are usually obvious; but what about all the other information feeds, reports, and transfers nto or out of the business?  There are likely to be hundreds or even thousands of unstructured, or semi-structured files that have just as much value as the information contained in the data base. 

Appraising information value is no simple matter.  For one thing, information value is typically not constant; it fluctuates, often with time; depending on the business cycle.  Context is actually a much better indicator of information value.  For example, what factors influence whether an airline boarding pass ought to be issued?

The Aberdeen Group’s July 2006 study entitled “The Information Governance Benchmark Report - A Needed Strategy for the Enterprise Backed By Viable Solutions” indicated that the chief concern among 115 enterprises was risk analysis and management (42%) followed in relatively close succession by the need for automated processes (34%), aligning IT policy risks and operations (32%), and documented policies and procedures (29%).  These concerns all point to a need for highly developed service objectives, policies, and procedures.  Nearly 49% of the respondents stated that better risk management was a core business driver.  Information value focuses on that assessment of risk.  For example, the cost of downtime or inadvertent misuse of data should include lost revenue, penalties for non-compliance, and costs for discovery, attorneys, and damages arising from subsequent litigation.

In I.T. Infrastructure Library (ITIL) vernacular this is called a "service catalog."  Talk to Application Matrix about Information Asset Portfolios, Information Value Assessments, and Service Catalogs. 




Terminology Bridge


The datacenter's information stakeholders need to communicate with each other about business requirements for information assets the organization has to manage. This can be hard because each department has a different vernacular that has to be bridged to even begin a discussion.

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