Enterprise Data Management meets 2.0

Sam Lowe wrote a very thoughtful post about the potential impact of web 2.0 on Enterprise Data Management.  Add him to your feed.  I suggest you read it all, but here is a quote…

So Web 2.0 will undoubtedly introduce new technologies like RSS, Wikis, REST, Blogs, AJAX etc into enterprise usage. But perhaps more interesting than the new technologies is the potential influences will have on Enterprise Systems design and the way Enterprise Data Management will adapt.

Thinking about what Sam is saying, it made me look back to models of IT, and how we like to put things in boxes.  I’m a fan of models – Mcfarlan-McKenney, McAfee, and  lately Rangaswami for instance, but I can’t help thinking  once you grasp the principles of any given model, whatever the discipline,  the really interesting spaces are the lines between the boxes, where stuff seeps from one set of assumptions and definitions into the other.

We need to be cautious about placing the structured application world into one box, hermetically sealed off from the emergent, ” collaborative”.  The two worlds  interact, data and processes do span and leak. 

If I follow Sam correctly, the place where this change will have a major impact is in the very way that we model and design.  I think there are some fundamental questions about data ownership,  governance, identity and privacy that we haven’t even begun to address. 

But this is an issue not just for the enterprisey models and processes, yes, these have to become more become more flexible,  adaptive and emergent -it is a challenge for the 2.0 vendors and evangelists as well.  The demands of COBIT and the like don’t vanish when you sprinkle 2.0 dust.

I’ll ponder this as I read “Enterprise Architecture as Strategy” by Ross,Weill and Robertson..



2 thoughts on “Enterprise Data Management meets 2.0”

  1. “I can’t help thinking once you grasp the principles of any given model, whatever the discipline, the really interesting spaces are the lines between the boxes, where stuff seeps from one set of assumptions and definitions into the other.”

    That’s very Buddhist–to accept categorizations only tentatively as practical ways of understanding the world. It’s useful to arrange things into boxes only if we’re always willing to look outside the boxes and use other boxes too.

  2. Thomas, a great point – it’s effectively cross-fertilisation. I’m sure there’s a smart comment about the dangers of in-breeding in there somewhere but I’d better stop.

    The crazy thing is that if we all accept that monolithic silos are such a bad thing in IT, then why would we want our intellectual systems about IT to be that way.

    And as you say, that goes both ways.


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