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Information as an Asset

Many people are used to viewing tangible objects as assets but have difficulty appreciating how mere information can be a real asset. Companies spend billions of dollars every year on research and development. The discovered information is worth at least the amount of resources taken to derive the information plus the economic gain produced by the information. For example, if a company spends $200,000 researching a process that will in turn generate $1 million in revenue, then that data is worth at least $1.2 million. You can think of this economic gain as a simple equation:

VI (value of information) = C (cost to produce) + VG (value gained)

While some people are not yet fully cognizant of the concept, data does indeed represent a valuable asset. When we speak of the “information age” or our “information-based economy,” it is important to realize that these terms are not just buzzwords. Information is a real commodity. It is as much an economic asset as any other item in the company’s possession. In fact, it is most often the case that the data residing on a company’s computer is worth far more than the hardware and software of the computer system itself. It is certainly the case that the data is much more difficult to replace than the computer hardware and software.


  

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