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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Information centric or information eccentric?

8:40:00 PM Posted by Henrik Gustafsson , , , No comments

Service orientation has been one of the major IT mantras for some years. Services have been and still are at the center of attention in many business and IT development efforts.

There has recently been a shift in focus from services to information. Information seems to be the next big thing and will be the focal point of many upcoming enterprise initiatives. My fellow blogger, Oscar Berg, has lately presented many statements from different thought leaders that support this finding.

Information and information management has been around for decades, so why a shift in focus now? Maybe it is because a number of people have started to realize that a service without information is an empty shell and a SOA initiative is fragile without a strong information foundation.

The recent hype concerning enterprise/web 2.0 has also put more emphasis on information and its role in business communication and collaboration. Information is today required to break free from application silos and organizational boundaries.

But seeing information as shimmering pearls may lead to the false conclusion that information are more valuable or important than services.

In a typical corporation, people that work with information and data rarely meet or understand people that work with services and applications. They have different mindsets, methodologies and tools.

Therefore, the current move towards information centricity may lead to a better understanding, cooperation and balance between these two groups. But one likely scenario is that the information/data group will see an opportunity to take lead and start doing things their own way, not building on the experiences of the service/application group.

Information (what) and services (how) should be seen as the two sides of the same coin. Being information or service centric is ok. That will help to understand different views of problems and possible solutions. But following the current trend it looks like many are about to go from being service eccentric to becoming information eccentric.

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