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Digital Asset Grid: some of the challenges ahead

Posted on: Thursday 1st of November 2012

Fascinating couple of days at Sibos leading up to and after our presentation of our research into the business potential of SWIFT Innotribe’s proposed new Digital Asset Grid.

You can see our White Paper on information logistics and why it’s important here, and all the core presentation material here and here.

Two (opposite) sets of responses from people. Some don’t get it. When we talk about enabling information sharing, they think we are trying to solve a problem that’s already been solved. ‘Why do we need this when we’ve Facebook, gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn etc’. As yet, they don’t see, the need for an additional layer of functionality on the Internet to do with security, the ability to negotiate rights, permissions and prices for data sharing (e.g. you can use this data, for this purpose on this price), the need for a trust framework to oversee and enforce these rights, and so on.

The other side sees all the obstacles. When you try to digitize or automate a process you uncover all the nasty secrets current inefficient processes hide: what’s the point of real time sharing of data that is wrong and can’t be used? Getting the data accurate and up-to-date is a prior task that’s difficult in its own right.

There are also many potential ecosystem issues. In our presentation we gave the example of trade finance: how complex and cumbersome it is today and how it could be streamlined by the Digital Asset Grid. But what happens if a key party such as Customs Houses refused to digitize their documents? What seems like a massive opportunity to everyone else could seem like just an extra cost to them.

Problems like these could greatly hinder our ability to realise the potential benefits of information logistics platforms. But that is what innovation and entrepreneurship is about: turning problems into business opportunities.

Information logistics is both a massive problem and a massive opportunity.

Alan Mitchell