Is “data as corporate asset” the next big thing?

by | Sep 9, 2019 | Data Assets

In a previous post, we talked about the future of data economy and what important role data will play to be a successful player in this future playground. In this blog post, we want to shed some light on the role data can play in fueling future success and how companies can set up strategic processes to rethink the way data is seen in companies.

Today’s Challenge

As more and more companies are transforming to a data-driven business world, the international research firm Gartner predicts that by 2022 companies will be valued mostly on their information portfolios. This development underlines the trend of data moving to the status of a business asset, but where can these be found in the balance sheet of a company? Current GAAP and IFRS accounting standards do not permit data (intangible assets) to be capitalized on the balance sheet, which currently can lead to considerable differences between the book value and market value of a company.

Our Vision

We at Tributech believe that the true value of a company should be reflected in a corporation’s balance sheet and as there is an increase in the relevance of data for business success it has to find its way for being represented in the balance sheets. Additionally, through an activation, it is more likely that it gets the management attention it deserves and needs for being used as true corporate asset fueling the future success of the company. This can help to reduce the huge gap, especially with technology companies, between the current market cap and the book value and also help optimize goodwill in M&A transactions.

Introducing Data Asset Management

When asking CIOs or IT leaders what is the most important asset of their company, they will most likely say, “data”. But is it really managed and treated within the company as an asset? For example, if you take a look at organization’s value chains, financial reportings or asset management divisions for physical assets, are there similar accounting and asset management practices implemented for their “information assets”? Companies, who want to truly change to a more data-driven business, need to see data asset management as a cross-sectional topic starting with strategy development, sales, marketing, IT, governance and accounting. With an active data asset management, the decision-makers of a company can identify
  • relevant data for supporting the execution of the company’s strategy
  • data sources from other companies that can add additional value to the company
  • new business opportunities for the company based on analyzing data or
  • data that can deliver additional value for other companies and therefore can be monetized by selling it

Enabling new business opportunities

Summarized the cross-company view and management of data can enable the following business opportunities:
  • Introduce new data-driven services: Offer new services (e.g. predictive maintenance) by also considering data sovereignty of customers
  • Share & license technology or IP: Transfer knowledge & technology to partners by having auditability of proper use
  • Add revenue streams by monetizing data: Share auditable data with partners or on data markets to create new revenue streams
  • Drive innovation in AI: Setup and participate in data pools without the trade-off of central storing or routing
  • Use auditable data as a basis for agreements: auditable usage data as trusted basis for business & legal agreements
  • Enhance traceability within supply chains: Increase traceability within global supply chains even across processes, systems, and companies

Qualifying as Business Asset

For upgrading data to business assets, it is necessary to define what qualifies data as assets and how it can be uniquely linked to a company and made sure that it is tamper-proof. We propose 3 key requirements for data as a necessary foundation to qualify as a business asset and therefore can be capitalized on companies balance sheets:
  • Auditable origin: Data collected by IT systems need to be auditable to verify its origin and uniqueness.
  • End-to-end integrity check: Need for data integrity checks across systems starting at the data source to monitor for unauthorized changes.
  • Data ownership: Data from 3rd parties needs to be synchronized, based on a sharing agreement to document ownership and permission to use.

Enabling Technology by Tributech

Tributech offers the technology for your company to secure and share data cross-company or cross-process in a selective, tamperproof way while maintaining data sovereignty. This data could be IoT, process or business data as well as documents. Businesses can therefore rely on the data source and its integrity – especially when the data is transferred cross-company. Tributech’s technology adds the following features to the IT infrastructure of companies:
  • Peer-to-peer data sharing functionalities between companies – without central storing or routing for high data security and privacy
  • Event-based and contract-based data access management that ensures data sovereignty and traceability of exchanged data for all involved parties
  • Cryptographic proofs of data, created at the data source, are securely and tamper-proof stored in a distributed ledger for guaranteeing cross-system and cross-company auditability of data origin and integrity
  Together with our partners we aim to drive the discussion about this topic and help to transform data into valuable business asset. If you are interested in joining our vision and discuss the role of trustable data in a data-driven future then feel free to contact us!  

Curious? Talk to us!

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