- Published: 20 July 2011
Business Asset Management
When we talk about business asset management, the natural inclination is to discuss tangible assets. Information and data are less tangible except for the storage mechanisms that are used to retain that information and data. That's why data resource management or other related topics are so critical to running a business. Time is money! If data is mis-managed, it consumes tremendous amounts of time and resources.
Business asset management has made significant strides in the last twenty years. Enterprise-wide or organization-wide asset management, where an organization (public or private) can take a holistic view (e.g. on-hand inventory, financials, facilities, etc.) and share best practices. It has evolved into Enterprise-wide asset management (EAM) and went mainstream in the mid-1990s and today, although it is a very mature industry, it’s just starting to go through a major transition involving into other assets, like: automation, intelligence, and energy. For years, organizations have maintained a status quo with their asset management strategy, and have done a decent job leveraging computing solutions which are now just scratching the surface of the impact asset management can have on their operational, financial and environmental performance.
Let's make sure we distinguish between the term: asset and resource. EAM is dealing with the classical definition of an asset. That is something that an organization or person owns, benefits from, or has use of, in generating income. As an accounting term, an asset is something that an organization or person has acquired or purchased, and that has some economic value (cost, book value, market value). Assets are shown on the balance sheet (like land, labor, and capital ) and can be easily converted into cash. Much of EAM's, as described, practices revolve about these assets.
On the other hand, a resource is something that can be used for support, help, or is a source of information (data) or expertise. Others have defined a resource as an economic or productive factor required to accomplish an activity, or as means to undertake an organization and achieve desired outcome. Classification of resources certainly include land, labor, and capital; but now include things like: energy, entrepreneurship, information, expertise, management, and time. These are not defined as organizational assets.
The keys for successful business management is having the discipline, structure, and resources using high-quality data that is aligned to organizations' goals and objectives. Doing so, the organization can provide products and services that ensure better informed decision-making, customer satisfaction, and long-term responsiveness to current and future market conditions.