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Information is King

When you go to the hardware store to buy a new drill, it’s the hole you want, not the drill, really. However you can’t go to the store to buy a hole, so you buy the tool to make the hole. But it’s not what you want, really. You could buy the service of some work men to deliver the hole to you. Similarly in the world of computing, it’s the information we need, really, not the app.

Information is King, not apps or technology or infrastructure. They are all servants. As knowledge workers it is the information that we need and that we work on (together).

Why is it necessary to stress this? What does it mean?
If information was king, we would not for instance had to start an application to view or enter information. It’s the vendors that think this way, because they sell applications. If information was king, the main focus would not to be to create an environment to run apps effectively, but rather create a holistic information gathering and working environment. The portals would not have frames for document libraries, picture libraries,  business apps, conversations and so on. No we would have frames for case1, case2, case3, etc. that I’m working on with all information linked in to that case.

And when we talk about information, we often need bits of information linked in – this paragraph of the report, rather than the whole report and so on. (see principle 2 in Dion Hinchcliffe’s The Web-Oriented Architecture (WOA) Unmanifesto).

The same goes for functionality – we often need bits of functionality, not whole apps. So we have a cloud where we shop for functionality and the cloud delivers that without claiming ownership or host-ship to our data.

We combine bits of information and bits of functionality to produce the desired (business) output

What stops us from achieving this kind of environment and delivery model? Why can’t we as consumers demand this approach. As we see increased consumer power in the public market and web, so it could also be for business consumers. The vendor that think and delivers like this will win.

It is to bring forward the legacy of information pioneers like Vannevar Bush, (Associative linking), Doug Engelbart (Support the needs of high performance, problem solving teams, Augmenting a team’s collective IQ. )Tim Berners-Lee (The World of Linked Data).

Getting a new gadget or app is exciting, but when you go to the hardware store to buy a new drill, it’s the hole you want really, not the drill. However you can not buy the hole in the hardware store, but you could buy the service of some work men to deliver the hole to you. Similarly in the world of computing and with the right cloud delivery model,  we can in fact buy the hole in stead of the drill.

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