Management teams need to think differently about why, how, when, and under what circumstances their intangible assets are in play and warrant safeguards…
1. The rules of engagement have changed…business-competitive intelligence and ‘open source’ data mining operations have become ultra-sophisticated, predatorial, and legacy free, but are often overlooked or wholly dismissed.
To effectively safeguard companies’ proprietary intangible assets, management teams are obliged to recognize each assets’ contributory roles to achieving value, competitive advantage, generating revenue, and reflect the global (business) operational tenants of go fast, go hard, go global and winner-take-all. Its also prudent to exercise caution about which, what, how, and when particular intangible assets enter the public domain.
2. Business’ initiatives, innovation, transactions undertaken, and their outcomes are less influenced by, dependent on, or require…interaction with or use of physical-tangible assets. In large part that’s because company – business value has literally shifted from collections of physical (tangible) assets to collections of knowledge and know how, ala intangible assets which, in many instances are unique, interactive, and collaborative commodities. Sustaining control, use, ownership, and monitoring their value and mitigating risk are now integral to business’ near-long term success, competitiveness, profitability, and sustainability.
3. Today, the sustainability of most business operating culture’s are influenced by the competence of intangible asset safeguards and risk mitigation…which are maneuverable and obliged to fit each business initiative or project rather than trying to frame those initiatives-projects to accommodate (reflect) the safeguards which may already be in place!
Too, an often misunderstood – misleading aspect to today’s dominance of intangible assets to business operability, is that computer/IT security is often perceived as equating with (intangible) asset safeguards and risk mitigation. It’s far better to recognize computer/IT security as being complimentary safeguards.
to whatever format they exist, and for the duration of their value, competitive advantage, and materiality cycles’.
4. Intangible asset safeguards are most effective when practiced proactively…to reflect the keystroke speed in which intangibles emerge and develop through their foundational intellectual, structural, and relationship capital. Intangible assets are inevitably in play in transactions Asset safeguard should always be applied on the front end of any business transaction, project, or initiative to function as the basis for (a.) sustaining control, use, ownership, and (b.) monitoring any fluctuations in asset value, materiality, or risk.
5. The economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value…sources of revenue, competitiveness, and sustainability requires management teams to think differently about conventional safeguards, e.g., law associated with intellectual property enforcement (patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets) are largely reactive, not proactive, and typically apply after, and if, infringement, misappropriation, counterfeiting has occurred and/or come to the attention of the rightful holder. So, sustaining control, use, and ownership of intellectual properties created by intangible assets are dependent on – obliged to…
• be alert to global risks to their business (intangible) assets.
• recognize their tolerances – thresholds for risk, i.e.,, economic – competitive advantage hemorrhaging.
• use the necessary resources to aggressively mitigate risks and wrong doers.
6. Intangible asset safeguards must be designed to be flexible and maneuverable…within a company. Many information asset safeguard regimes-systems are static and/or one dimensional, e.g., remain constant throughout the life – value – functionality – competitive advantage cycles’ of the assets being safeguarded. They are not inclined, absent inclusion of ‘artificial intelligence’ to recognize the asymmetry of risk, or accommodate fluctuations in assets contributory role, value, or materiality. Therefore business intangible asset safeguards should be forward looking and possess the capability to monitor, and make rapid adjustments to changes in an assets’ value, mission relevance, risk vulnerability, probability, and criticality.
7. Avoid ‘pushing the future off the table’…forward-looking offenses, ala intangible asset safeguards are the most effective defense to safeguard businesses non-physical assets. Each day companies are presented with urgent, near term challenges (risks) that variously create pressures to push the future off the table., i.e., return to convention and past practice, presuming that will produce the immediate fix deemed necessary at the time.
One consequence of doing so, is that disproportionate emphasis may be given to companies’ persistent chorus, offering largely speculative, anecdotal, and worst-case scenario snap-shots-in-time risks and threats. While the potentially devastating consequences of these pronouncements should not be dismissed, neither should they serve as the sole or necessarily dominant rationale for the design and execution of intangible asset safeguards.
8. Safeguarding businesses intangible assets should also be about forging relationships...with asset originators, developers, users, and owners because, this is where and how (an important starting point) for sustaining control, use, ownership and value of any business’ intangible assets commences.
Michael D. Moberly July 8, 2018 St. Louis email@example.com ‘The Intangible Asset Blog’ (http://kpstrat.com/blog) where attention span and action really matter!