Secure Sharing: It's A Simple Equation!

My goal is to give you a framework for looking at your own information sharing ecosystem and delivering solutions that maximize value.

13 August 2013

Corporate Value of Information = f {(a) - p(b) – (c + d)}

a = value added to information through sharing
p = probability of information loss
b = impact of information loss on corporate value
c = productivity cost of sharing
d = productivity cost of controlling

If you’re like me and math wasn’t your strong suit at college, then you’re probably looking at the above equation and thinking…huh?

But, it’s actually pretty simple. The formula simply says that the value of information is determined by the value you gain from sharing it, less the probability of it going into the wrong hands, less the time and money spent on facilitating collaboration and securing the information during that collaborative process.

Still not clear? Well, pulling this apart will be the purpose of my next few blog posts. In doing so, my goal is to give you a framework for looking at your own information sharing ecosystem and delivering solutions that maximize value.

To give you an early introduction to the series, here’s how it breaks down:

The value of sharing – this one’s a no brainer. We live in the information age where the sharing of information drives more value in organizations and economies than the movement of physical goods. If I keep information to myself, it has almost zero value.

The risk of sharing - It used to be the case that information could be exploited largely within the four walls of the organization, in which case, the risk of loss was much lower and the cost of controlling it was relatively low. Now though, information HAS to be shared or stored externally and that presents dramatically increased risk. And here’s a hint….it’s not just about securing your infrastructure against attack!

The cost of collaboration – Every process involves a productivity cost. Much of the IT innovation over the last 15 years has focused on reducing the costs associated with collaborating on information. But with the advent of simple, cloud-based tools, the market for personal productivity tools has exploded….and the cost of collaboration has plummeted.

The cost of control – Again, every process involves a productivity cost…and the process of securing information is no exception.

And, of course the last three of these factors are heavily inter-related in complex ways. I could implement a rigorous and expensive information governance function that severely inhibits the productivity of my workforce, but lowers the risk of sharing. Chances are that people will bypass it and the net effect will actually be an increase in the risk of information loss!

OK, so maybe the formula wasn’t so simple after all. But don’t worry, we’re going to get through it together. Over the next few posts I’ll explore in more detail the practical aspects of information sharing and best practices that balance the elements of an effective formula for success.

In the meantime, you can jump to the final chapter and check out Intralinks VIA™ as it’s a great example of how to maximize the value of your corporate information.