How many of our "information assets" are actually "information liabilities - and what does it do to our credibility if we confuse them?
This is an outstanding question for me.
In finance terms, an asset is something from which you expect to recieve future cash flows (and just to be clear - from an accounting perspective, saving money is just as good as earning it).
A liability is something for which you expect to have to pay future cash flows.
So how much of what we hold is a liability?
How much of our information is only ever going to consume money in the form of storage and maintenance costs?
If you are like most of the organisations I work with, the executive only ever see a bill for information and records management - no quantification of the positive return from the asset.
Sure - the bill is for maintenance of information assets, but without someone sitting down and rigorously proving that money was saved or earned by the "assets" that we are holding - how can they take the assertion that they are “assets” seriously?
If they can't trust that what we're telling them is an asset actually is, what does that do to our credibility when we ask for money for other things?
I'm really interested in your thoughts on this, particularly if you've done information asset quantification work and are happy to share it - we need those stories, because without them, information management isn't managing information assets, it's managing information liabilities, and liabilities aren't something that gets invested in.
What a great way to shape thinking around this, Karl. I am working closely with a colleague to review secondary commercial storage of records, and it helps to view them through the lens of potential (most likely) information liabilities. That's motivating.