Intangible assets and risk

The top three impacts of not managing your intangiable assets are;

  • Financial - Money wasted, opportunity for savings lost
  • Operational - Unable to meet targets and deadlines
  • Reputation - Unable to influence others

The following table illustrates the top three risks when not managing your intangible assets;

Read down the first column to identify the main risks. Read across a rwo to find the will it happen risk level, the what if it does happen risk level and the consequences.
Main risk Will it happen? What if it does? Consequences
Buying or creating assets / Rights more than once due to not knowing what you own or have rights in. Highly probable High impact Money wasted – unable to demonstrate good use of public funds.

Opportunity to achieve more results within allocated budget is diminished.

Inconsistencies in rights agreed in different purchases.
Unable to use an asset you need to do core / statutory work due to a loss of control of an asset or Rights to a third party. Highly probable High impact Unable to meet business targets and deadlines and/or influence others.

Money wasted - Cost of re-creating a vital asset or having to change a product or service.

Money wasted - Cost of continuing to pay the third party fees because they now own or control the IP to an asset you want to continue to use.

Unable to meet customer commitments – unable to continue to offer a product or service.
Infringing others' Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) by mis-using their assets. Highly probable High impact Lengthy and costly disputes – potentially ending in public legal proceedings and/or a third party injunction preventing your continued activity.

Impact on your organisation's credentials – unable to influence others to meet targets and deadlines.

Seen as lacking respect for the law and others' rights/business – not managing impacts of your actions.

Please note:

  • Risks under "Financial", "Operational" and "Reputation" – some risks have consequences under more than one of these.
  • Mitigation measures – suggested high level actions to put in place checks and balances that you need to manage this important asset class.

Reviewed 22 July 2010