Thought of the week

Sometimes we wonder if we are getting anywhere.  So, what is the latest process (IT wise) to come full circle between the 1970’s and today?  The answer is 3270/5250 and Rich Internet Applications (RIA).  For those of you who may be on the younger side, the model for data processing through the ‘70s was the mainframe and the dumb terminal (aka 3270 or 5250).  All of our data was in one place – in the computer room.  Access was through a dumb terminal or printed report.  Clumsy?  Yes.  Restrictive?  You bet!  But at least we had someone verifying and protecting the data — a single version of the truth.  By the 1990’s, we had fully embraced the smart terminal (aka PC) and “client-server.”  The good news was that with data extract and mining tools we were freed from the shackles of waiting for IT to act on our request for data.  And with powerful desktops, laptops and workstations we could work anywhere, even on airplanes.   The bad news was that now data was everywhere.  Multiple copies in databases, spreadsheets, emails with no guarantee that they all matched.  Data maintenance costs went through the roof and, more importantly, there was no single version of the truth.   We learned the hard way the value of accurate, consistent, accessible information, as well as the cost of not having it.  So, what has “come around”?  With the emergence of better, safer communications, virtualization, Web 2.0, RIA, and hosted services, we have come full circle.  Everything is moving “to the Web,” “into the Cloud”, which means that it is moving back to a single place.  The only difference is the change in the way it is accessed.  What goes around, comes around.

(Shamelessly “borrowed” from PSC Group, LLC)


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