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Infonomics – Book Review

The information age is a term we have been using for decades now to describe the rise of technology in society. Without a doubt, technology is continuously changing our lives. From 2007 when we were introduced to the iPhone and now it’s difficult to imagine life without smartphones. With the rise of cloud computing, AI, Machine learning, Big data, IoT, and other emerging tech trends the amount of information and access to it is only growing. Yet in Douglas Laney’s book Infonomics we have not fully realized the power of information as a resource and asset. Doug shows us the evolution and rise of data highlighting how we have gotten to where we are today and lays a foundation for an emerging practice of infonomics.

All businesses are moving to digital and those that do not are going out of business or falling behind. Look at Blockbuster vs. Netflix. Blockbuster failed to embrace the nature of streaming content and stayed with its traditional model of brick and mortar video stores. Utilizing data and information Netflix parsed the most popular content and then went all in on content creation adapting from a mail-order DVD company to the behemoth it is today. It was the ability to leverage their data to enable their business for the future. At its core Infonomics dives deep into the consequences of not acting on data and information in business while highlighting examples of leading companies successes. 

One of the most interesting points Doug highlighted is the complexity yet the necessity to value information as an asset. When you look at the known information companies like Facebook you see their valuations relative to earnings are higher. There is a price discrepancy that may be attributed to information being factored into the price. There are many ways to value information yet it is not included in traditional accounting principles and is not on corporate balance sheets. In the future, this may change and leaves it up to individual companies and investors to come up with a methodology for evaluating their information assets.

big-data 

This is the largest opportunity for businesses to gain a competitive edge and ultimately thrive in the changing business landscape. I believe that most large companies if they do not make a pivot will be in a position to be disrupted from smaller companies that focus on information as an asset. In the future, it is likely that we will barter and exchange information and one of the exciting use cases for Blockchain is around this idea of monetizing and securing our online data. Enabling the owner of the data to have the power of monetizing or hiding that information.

Overall Infonomics is a fantastic read that highlights a big pain point and opportunity. Information is a new currency and asset for all. In general, information always has been but the amount of data and opportunity to utilize it in new ways has only been unlocked more recently with the evolution of technology. For business owners, investors, or those interested in how information and technology are changing the world I recommend you read Infonomics as it clearly identifies where we are today and what the future of information may look like in our lives.

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