According to a new report from Gartner, 30 percent of businesses will be directly or indirectly monetizing their information assets by trading, bartering or outright selling them by 2016 because of the high financial demands associated with storing them. The report indicates that these companies, realizing that their data and information assets hold market value but lacking the expertise to handle big data and develop information products, will turn to specialist intermediaries who will act as information brokers or re-sellers.
“The need to justify the expense of accumulating and managing huge volumes of data has led many organizations to consider monetizing or productizing their information assets,” said Doug Laney, research vice president at Gartner. “For example, several retailers are already generating millions of dollars per year in incremental revenue by placing online their point-of-sale and other data for business partners to subscribe to. Other individuals have launched ventures packaging and reselling publicly available data, or using it to launch new information-based products — such as in the insurance and financial markets.”
Gartner says that these new opportunities for information-borne income will lead to the customization of web-connected products to collect as much usage, location and system data as possible. In fact, Gartner, as part of its “infonomics” research, has developed valuation models to help organizations gauge the potential and realized economic value of their information assets.
“Consumers and businesses must recognize that their personal usage, location, profile and activity data has a tangible market value. They should guard it and ensure that when they do share it they receive ample services, products or cash for it,” said Laney. “Businesses monetizing information assets need to be sensitive to the reputational risk of public backlash against such practices, that may in turn lead to a tighter regulatory environment.” We may, for instance, see the Federal Trade Commission issue more subpoenas to major information brokers to disclose how they collect, use and protect personal information.
(For additional information on this report, contact: Gartner, 408-468-8312, www.gartner.com.)