Document-centric vs. knowledge-centric IT

Summary:IBM's veep of open standards and open source Bob Sutor picked up on my discussion of why thinking in terms of documents (when designing collaborative infrastructures) is a trap that predisposes your IT to Draconian architectures when today's technologies can help you break that inefficient chain.  Knowledge centric thinking  is infrastructure agnostic.

IBM's veep of open standards and open source Bob Sutor picked up on my discussion of why thinking in terms of documents (when designing collaborative infrastructures) is a trap that predisposes your IT to Draconian architectures when today's technologies can help you break that inefficient chain.  Knowledge centric thinking  is infrastructure agnostic.  That blog was provoked by a post he wrote a few days ago that I found to be a clear example of document centric thinking.  In response (and from somewhere in the Orient), Sutor writes:

David, absolutely right.....I’ve been talking about this issue during the last couple of weeks as I’ve travelled around Asia. I’ve been asking people exactly how they use documents and how they should start using them. For example, I state that I use a spreadsheet perhaps one or two times a year, a word processor maybe once a week, and presentation software many times a day. I don’t use a work processor that much because I send a lot of email and blog a fair bit. When you are an enterprise or organization considering a migration to ODF, say, or just examining your information workflow in order to improve it, you have to know about usage patterns before you design a strategy.....You will find that you will have an easier time moving to a new format if you use fewer things that use the older format.

Speaking of formats, the OpenDocument Format affirmed its de jure status as an international standard when the International Organisation of Standardization (ISO)  ratified the specification.  But as far as I'm concerned, the ISO and other organizations like it (eg: Ecma) that will happily ratify two or more standards for the same thing are a joke.  Here's why.

Topics: Open Source

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David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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