In the past, people tended to think of data as a private resource which might – in certain, well-defined circumstances – be shared. Today, with the important caveat about security and privacy, the assumption is data should be public.
Businesses need to adopt this viewpoint as well. If you make more of your data available outside the organization, you increase the value you're giving to others while at the same time inviting them to collaborate with you. Specifically, businesses could and should be reporting many kinds of performance data in the spirit of the open data movement. I'm thinking immediately of data around environmental issues and diversity, but maybe we should be even more radical.
For example, maybe companies should issue their production data. Is it sensitive information? Does it embody competitive advantage? Well.. What if you issued your production data in a standards-based, machine-readable format, and a smart startup somewhere used the data to show you how you could save 10 per cent on your costs, or speed your time to market by a week?
You could call this open innovation. You could also think of it as a new way of operating in an era defined by information flows. GCN