Keith and I, the two IT Architects at UW-Madison, are getting ready for a planning session for our work. We are also getting ready to hire a third IT Architect. This has started me thinking about the big picture of “what we do”. I came up with the following chart last night while thinking about this work.
As I see it, IT Architecture has 6 broad realms of work (here at UW-Madison): Identity Management, Content Management, Communication and Collaboration, Service Oriented Architecture, Enterprise Data Architecture and Enterprise Application Ecosystem. There are three aspects to each realm: The Issues that are related to the realm, the Technology portion of the solution and the Human portion of the solution.
IT Conversations: Clay Shirky – Ontology is Overrated
Clay Shirky gave a presentation at ETech titled Ontology is Overrated. You can listen to the presentation at the link above (ITConversations).
Highlights [with my expansions in square brackets]:
(1) Ontologies are left over from times when we had to file objects on shelves. This is no longer true with data on the web [or in an enterprise].
(2) The ontological goal of finding the perfect categorization scheme for the “essence” of the objects you are categorizing is a false goal in this era.
(3) Library of Congress categorization scheme (hierarchical buckets without overlap between buckets) is optimized for numbers of books on the shelves not conceptual ideas or intellectual aspects. Books need to be in one place but ideas can be all over the place. We have confused the container for the things within the container.
(4) There is no shelf. There is no physical constraint that we have to enforce upon the web.