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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A radical remedy to the information management problem by Andrew McAfee

10:23:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg , , No comments

From the post "What I Said About the Revolution" by Andrew McAfee:

Impediment or design flaw: People and Information are Deeply Mismatched in Most Organizations.

...while most organizations are drowning in many kinds of data they are simultaneously starved for vitally important information—information that comes over time from ‘wetware,’ or the minds of involved people. Lack of access to this information leads to sluggishness, redundancy, inferior decisions, and missed opportunities.

Radical Remedy: Create an Emergent, Social Enterprise Information Environment

An organization should deploy a universal digital environment that lets members contribute and modify content in a ‘freeform’ manner—with a minimum of imposed structure in the form of workflows, decision right allocations, interdependencies, and data formats specified ex ante. This environment should contain mechanisms to let structure emerge over time; such mechanisms include linking, tagging, voting, rating, and trading, as well as algorithms that generate recommendations, assess relative popularity, etc.

How about that?

I think it has all to do with empowering people and provide them with the means to allow ideas and information to flow easily. If people will just think "share" instead of "store" when they produce content, then a lot can be achieved. We are still stuck in the old mindset that we produce content to store it somewhere or in a certain format. The tools and technologies we use should instead make us aware about the user in the other end so that we actually produce content to be easy to find, access, use and share. For us IT professionals, why not just avoid drawing databases whenever we visualize an IT solution for customers? Business users should need to care about how or where the content is stored. And as more and more get used to storing their content in "the cloud", they will naturally care less about it. We should focus more on the interfaces and what they expect to be able to achieve with the solutions.


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