Veritas Vision 2016: deeper into the 'value' of data

Information management company Veritas used the second day of its Vision 2016 user, partner and customer event to dig down a little deeper into the data universe and talk about how and why ‘all things data’ is becoming such a part of modern connected digital business.

Gartner Infonomics

Gartner’s Doug Laney spoke at the event to explain his firm’s concept of Infonomics.

The problem we face is that courts around the world are split on the issue of whether information constitutes ‘property’ — and this is a serious issue in terms of how we hold onto digital information these days.

One legal firm has even said that information is stored in the form of electronic data residing on disks and these disks are physical ‘things’ made up of electrons and therefore information much logically be physical property.

Information is a pain in the asset

As we now move forward and look at how we manage, monetise and live with data firms will start to think about what role data plays in terms of it being an ‘actual asset’ in modern usage.

Gartner says it has been developing the idea of Infonomics to explain how information is an asset that should be managed in the same way as any other asset i.e. like in the same way that a firm would look after an asset like human capital or machinery and so on.

Firms will need to measure the value of realised operational data today plus also incorporate the potential realisable value that data could produce given the other existing assets that make the company what it is.

“Investors tend to more quickly reward companies that are information centric and focus on the economics of their data,” said Laney.

Measures of information

  • Intrinsic value of information — how correct, complete and exclusive is this data?
  • Business value of information — how good and relevant is this data for specific purposes?
  • Performance value of information — how does this data affect key business drivers?

While Gartner was speaking completely independently of Veritas at the show, the concepts presented here do (very arguably) act as a reasonable validation for the information management technologies that Veritas specialises in.

The future of information

The future road map (if we accept the arguments put forward here) for information could lead us to a point (as per Laney and Gartner’s predictions) where by 2018 we will eventually see a ‘bifurcation’ of traditional IT departments into an I and a T department.

By 2022 we could see information insurance policies come into existence and by 2030 we could see accounting recognition of information assets.

So remember, it’s not IT, it’s information AND technology.