Unsecured Economies: A Look Inside McAfee’s Study

Michael D. Moberly   January 31, 2009

It’s a wake-up call for companies globally, that is, it’s essential to ‘shift their mindsets in the way they value (their) intellectual property’ and, I might add, that  mindset shift should also include their intangible assets, competitive advantages, and proprietary information.  The fact that 70+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and sustainability are directly linked to intangible assets and IP is, slowly being recognized – accepted by c-suites as both an economic fact and business reality.  In other words, information assets are ‘becoming firmly established as an (the) international form of currency’.

But, to exacerbate the situation, ‘traditional operational boundaries of organizations are (literally) disappearing’, that is, ‘information assets are subject to various jurisdictions, infrastructures, and cultures, including those of suppliers and partners’.  These trends are ‘making it more difficult to lock down IP in order to ensure its safety’.

Despite these well grounded concerns, as reported in McAfee’s study, but well known among information asset protection professionals, ‘many companies continue to leave themselves open to exploitation and attack because they don’t realize (1.) the value, and (2.) location of their IP’.  Let me emphasize to the readers how unfortunate this particular finding really is.  As consistently reported in this blog, it’s an undisputed economic fact – business reality that increasing percentages (ranging from 60% to as high as 90+% depending on the type of company) of (a.) company value, (b.) sources of revenue, and (c.) future wealth creation (sustainability) lie in intangible assets and IP.  For c-suites, not knowing either the value or the location of the dominant sources of their company’s value, revenue sources, or sustainability speaks volumes about what may be in the offing.



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