Thinking about pluralities I was motivated to dig out and dust off my copy of Nicholas G. Carr’s book, Does IT Matter?: Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage. In this piece of pulp Nicholas droned on about the commoditization of hardware and software and the end of the IT industry.
What Nicholas was witnessing in 2003 was the plurality of one generation of hardware and software. Everybody had an office suite and enterprise software suite. And rightly, they were no longer providing a competitive advantage. What Nicholas was experiencing was a complete lack of imagination with regard to the opportunities the pluralarity presented: the next generation of innovation leading to the next singularity.
In hind sight it was funny how Nicholas shook everybody up, but I didn’t find myself looking for a new career, I found myself looking for innovation and in many respects we found it in Open Source and Web 2.0 Social Software.
I have also found that Relational Database technology is reaching plurality and its limitations are becoming more pronounced as application developers test its limits. It simply does not have the flexibility we need. I’ve seen the future in the Associative Model of Data and have found it fits the Zachman Framework better than current technologies. The need is growing and this architecture fits it.
What Nicholas and all of us should have still been reading was this book:
Peter is still the authority when it comes to experience based instruction.