Get Familiar with “Intellectual Property Assets”
In case you’re not familiar with the term “intellectual property” you should be. The emphasis used to be on customer service—and while it still is to some extent—managing intellectual property has risen to the forefront of corporate concerns.
Today’s corporate assets aren’t so much machinery or raw materials anymore. Rather, it’s the people who work for them and the ideas they generate. And with employees moving from company to company more often than in the past, employers worry about not only losing intellectual property, but harnessing it and making it available to everyone in the organization. The November 29, 2004 issue of Information Week magazine cites a study conducted by its sister publication, Optimize magazine. The study found that 44% of 200 business technology executives are more concerned about intellectual property than they were a year ago.
It turns out that about four-fifths of companies track and manage intellectual property electronically, using mainstream relational databases. But since some property is in the form of pictures, drawings, and other images, 56% also rely on imaging databases. Since respondents could check more than one tracking system, more than half also used spreadsheets...although most weren’t centrally located, but on individual employees’ desktops, making them more susceptible to loss or theft. Few companies are using applications specifically designed for intellectual property management, such as asset management (18%) or patent-portfolio management (11%).
Just as administrative professionals organize information, financial figures, and human resource data today, in the future, they may be “filing” and guarding intellectual property that was developed by an employee and owned by the corporation.
So, brush up on relational databases, spreadsheet applications, and follow all the new imaging equipment and software in the marketplace. It could be the road to a new position in another company or a promotion where you are now.
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