For a number of years, I have observed the successes and challenges in applying information management to the capital projects and operations worlds. It is important to recognize the value of project and plant information. I frequently refer to creating the Information Asset™. [Since my time with Trinity Technologies and now with EMC, the lawyers urge me to include that little trademark symbol.] The question frequently comes up, when is information an asset?
The concept of the “Information Asset” came about many years ago as a way to raise awareness that information being created through our systems contains considerable value. It needs to be managed just like the corresponding physical assets which it describes.
INFORMATION ASSET: It’s more than data
This is both an opportunity and a challenge. As designers, technologists, and process engineers, we need to describe the information that we create not just as “data”. To make a point, would you describe a physical asset as just concrete or steel?
Like a physical asset, information needs to be maintained, improved, and further extended
Instead, we must think of this information as its own system that supports design, maintenance, and retrofitting, and thus representing huge business value. We need to go from the “cost line” to the “investment line”. Like a physical asset, information needs to be maintained, improved, and further extended as new business requirements are identified. It must be thought of as “living.” This reinforces the need to create work practices to keep information current, to assure the safety and viability of the two other assets: the physical and the human.
Measuring Value and ROI for an Information Asset
Our challenge is to clearly demonstrate that the Information Asset has a return on investment related to the plant or project. Data becomes an asset only when it is Continue reading