A Rethink of the Nature and Value of IT Assets – Critical Realism Approach

  • A. Kayode AdesemowoEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 558)


In the era of fourth industrial revolution, knowledge economy and beyond, information gets increasingly prevalent and ubiquitously important. Inevitably, stakeholders’ interest is increasing, which results in greater reputation risk. Do we still view IT assets in the narrowed view as we do or do we broaden our horizon? Should we not be guided by how information technology was ‘coined’ in the late fifties, even though the reality is that IT assets have evolved and keep evolving. More than ever before, information is now an integral part of IT assets, and IT assets must be treated and accounted for considering the critical strategic importance (of information and IT assets) to organizations. Nonetheless being ubiquitous, there is a challenge in the identification process of IT assets. There is no agreed identification metrics and common understanding on the nature, structure and mechanisms of IT assets. The impact of this challenge is that IT assets value, or benefit realization from IT assets remain underrated or risk treatments remain at risk. This research study, based on critical realism philosophy investigates the nature, structures and mechanisms of IT assets. The four domains of IT capability maturity framework was used and to an extent asset specificity, to assist with phenomena and boundaries. The study of the nature of IT assets, based on critical realism, provides better insight into dual-contrasting nature of IT assets and contributes to the discourse on assets specificity and IT assets management. The derived classification, will contribute to the areas of infonomics, information risk and IT value/diffusion.


IT assets Identification Structure and mechanisms Critical realism 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nelson Mandela UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa

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