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Infonomics – Applying Economics to your most valuable assets

As I read the HP newsletter titled Collaborate to maximize business value from strategic information, featuring Gartner research, I come across a concept Gartner is introducing—Infonomics: defined as the economic theory of information as a new asset class, and the discipline of accounting for, and managing information as any other enterprise asset. The principles of Infonomics include Information being an actual asset, with quantifiable potential and realized value, which should be maximized to help budget IT and business initiatives. In other words: information should be managed like any other asset in your enterprise.


Here is how the basic steps of Asset Management can be applied to managing the most valuable asset in your enterprise -- Information:


Identify. It is important that data that matters is used to realize the big picture from big data in the context of what your customer needs. This step identifies the segments of data that best qualify to be processed for informationalization.


Classify. Once the meaningful data is identified, it must be classified into specific domains. These domains could be based upon the service lines for your enterprise, your product offerings, regional segments, business processes, and architectural layers. There is not one answer that fits all for all enterprises. Nevertheless, the classification into logical domains is an important next step.


Secure. If securing data is good, securing information realized from the data is priceless.Just like you would have incremental layers of security around your more valuable assets, informationalized content realized from the foundational data elements require additional security.


Value. Like all other assets, you must know the value of the information asset. This is what I perceive Infonomics to be basically about—the principles of economics applied to Information. Therefore, you need to determine the Return on Information in the context of your enterprise.


Govern. Finally, like all other assets, there needs to be a cohesive governance structure in place across the enterprise for information as well. Even though you may already have governance structures for IT, Architecture, SOA and the Cloud and even data itself, an enterprise-wide Information Governance Model is essential. After all, the CIO is the Chief Officer for Information.


Taking these steps will position your enterprise to systemically maximize the business benefits of managing your information asset. Even Data agrees.


How about your enterprise? Do you know the value of information in your enterprise? How would you go about applying Infonomics?


Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.



leroymason | ‎01-23-2013 09:06 PM

I'd ensure source code was considered infonomically.

Nadhan | ‎01-23-2013 10:55 PM

Leroy, I see where you are coming from with your reference to source code.  We should focus on managing source code that matters just like we realize value from data that matters.


Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.

Doug Laney | ‎02-21-2013 09:18 PM

Great piece Nadhan. I appreciate you picking up on my infonomics concept and helping carry the ball forward. Yes, once an organization gets around to recognizing information as an actual corporate asset, the next natural step is to apply traditional asset management principles and practices as you've outlined.  --Doug Laney, VP Research, Gartner, @doug_laney

Nadhan | ‎03-12-2013 10:36 PM

Thanks, Doug.  The critical step is for an organization to recognize information as an actual corporate asset - which is where your concept of Infonomics helps immensely. 


I have extended the personification of information from multiple perspectives in "Letters from Big Data to Enterprise IT".   Please check out my post when you get a chance and let me know what you think.


Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.

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