The IT sector is notorious for thinking up new marketing terms, which frequently consist of nothing more than old wine served up in a new bottle. It is also infamous for its hype. One expression that is certainly not hype is "information as an asset". The term itself, and what it means, may not be especially new but that certainly does not take away from its intrinsic value. Moreover, in this era of ‘big data’ (and, yes, that is a term that is overhyped) it has more validity than ever, if we are to assume that the information in question is not just the data in relational databases but also the information held in content stores, emails, spreadsheets and so on that are held around the enterprise, along with relevant third party data that may be available, either directly or via the Internet.
We are not going to argue here the merits of information as an asset. There are plenty of papers, blogs, articles, reports and other sources that do that and if those sources have not convinced you already then our two pennyworth is unlikely do so. In this paper we are going to assume that you already appreciate the value of your information. However, understanding that fact and doing something about it are two completely different things.