By Margaret Gloeckle and K Royal
Personal data. When those two words are read, we automatically start thinking about privacy laws
and requirements. But why don’t we think about knowledge assets? Some people might wonder what a
knowledge asset is and why it matters. Many already know what knowledge assets are, but the phrase
does not bring to mind data protection measures or specific controls. Yet knowledge assets may be a
company’s greatest resource and, if lost, could cause utter destruction. Knowledge assets are best
explained if one thinks of them as ...
... the knowledge drivers of an organization’s success. Knowledge assets can be unstructured, as tacit
knowledge (e.g., key personnel with deep expertise). Or they can be structured, as explicit knowledge, and
codified (e.g., patents, copyrights, and intellectual proprietary rights in codified form). What is interesting about
knowledge assets is that the more you provide structure, meaning the more you codify knowledge, the easier it
is to share both internally and externally. Structured knowledge can be shared in milliseconds via the internet,
whereas deep expertise or experience requires more time to share with other people.