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Assessing The Value Of Document Assets

by Naresh Sarwan on August 9, 2010

In this article, Alan Pelez-Sharpe of CMSWatch.com contends that as many as 90% of documents that Enterprises hold are worthless and that it’s more productive to focus on the 10% that have an actual value to the business rather than trying to hold everything as though it has equivalent value.

Alan proposes that the term ‘asset’ as used in Digital Asset Management is better because it implies that the files have a tangible value (rather than ‘document’ which could mean anything):

There is something to learned here in the document world. For years I have advised clients that they should only focus time and money on business-critical documents, and point out to them that the vast majority of electronic documents sitting on their current system are junk, outdated, or in some other way redundant. Though far from scientific, those firms that have analyzed such situations typically report that 10% or less of the documents within their systems are actually of any value to the business.” [Read More]

While Alan makes a worthwhile point, how many times have you seen some less than valuable assets like a member of staff’s holiday photos on your DAM system (or those of your clients if you are a consultant or vendor – especially when migrating legacy DAMs)?  Also, the main problem with the 10% theory is that often it isn’t possible to know what 10% specifically has value as it might change given a combination of factors or events.  For example, an innocuous looking document like a draft version can quickly acquire a lot of significance in the event of a legal dispute even if it seems relatively worthless shortly after being superseded by an update.

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