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Monday, November 15, 2010

WTD about TMI?

TMI - Too Much Information, Too Much Content, Too Much Data - are all here to stay with us. There will be more of everything that we will pull and more of everything that will be pushed to us.

On my BART ride last week (yes - very green of me), I read an interesting article ( in Bloomberg Businessweek magazine on RIM CEOs failing to communicate their vision/strategy to the market. 99.9% of all the CEOs in the world will come out 2nd best when compared with Steve Jobs, but there was a particular comment made by Jim Balsille (RIM Co-CEO) that made me realize that RIM's market share and mind share in smartphones could erode faster than Motorola's or Nokia's:
Balsille thinks the world is wrong about apps. Many are just
glorified bookmarks, he argues, that aren't necessary if you can connect
customers to the Web.
Apple has 250,000 apps because most of them are serving a critical need of presenting content in a form that can be consumed very easily - especially on a mobile device. Yes - you can browse the web and search for whatever you need - but that does not help the TMI syndrome. If anything it exacerbates it. The apps are making it easy for iPhone, iPad or Android users to filter and consume the content available all over the Web. Even Google has embraced the app paradigm - even though "googling" for content is good for Google's ad revenues.

Gus Hunt, CTO for CIA, who is building a "peta" scale infrastructure to handle the data and computing requirements said at Cloud Expo last week that he wants any data to be used by any application. He does not want to invest in building applications that are dependent on a particular data set or a particular data set being created for a specific application. The days of consolidating all the data into a single repository are long gone and never coming back.

Question is What To Do about TMI?

First - Leverage technology that can reference data from any source in any format. It isn't feasible to try and standardize the legacy content repositories. Data will stay federated, so your content integration strategy should account for it as well. Speed and agility in accessing new content sources is a competitive advantage for today's businesses.

Second - Ensure that data cleansing can be automated. This will allow you to work with incomplete or partial data - especially when working with a large number of data sources.

Third - Focus on normalizing the aggregated data, so that the consuming applications can work independent of data sources. This will allow you to serve content to a variety of consuming applications and end devices - especially the constrained mobile devices that need additional filtering or formatting. This will also allow the content creators to focus on creating content and not to worry about the device/platform battles that are being waged on the other side of the value chain.

More to come on the innovation in these areas.....