What’s the value of information ? Accountant 2.0 needed for enterprise 2.0 adoption

One of the main issues about social computing is the value of information. Since social computing is to publish and share informations and since it needs time, the busyness approach says “it isn’t worth the time people spend”.

Such a point of view seems to be sensible : you just have to measure time spent in social computing, multiply it by the hourly cost of the employee and you have the value of information. And since we can’t measure (in money) the benefice due to information, the conclusion is obvious : social computing has a cost and doen’t bring any profit. So it’s useless.

The reason why such reasonings exist is that one doesn’t know how to quantifiy information according to business indicators. So the only business measurement is the acquisition cost, simply because no one can say : “such information made us make x dollars”.

The point is information is rather than an option : its value has to be determined when exercised. With one big difference : it my be exercised as many times as needed with a different value each time.

Example : I spend two ours to publish an analysis on my company intranet. We can know the cost of this information. Imagine no one read or use it in the next few month : it’s a loss of money. Imagine, that, one year later, a sales person read it, uses it in his blurb and closes a $200.000 deal because of that. Or imagine it helped one hundred people save 10 minutes on a day to day task…

Who said information and social computing have no value ?

This makes me think of one thing : we have nearly “everything 2.0″ but finance. Perharps the key guy in enteprise 2.0 adoption will be the (still to come) accountant 2.0.

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