Good choice, David.
I thought it was amusing that the presentation talks about breaking down silos, while citing a bunch of institutional silos, such as IOS and the Apple app store, Android and the Android market, not to mention the cell phone network(s), and talking as if different companies didn’t constitute silos in their own right. As I’ve said before, nothing much happens without silos. Note that the Internet and the WWW are both silos as well, albeit quite broad in diameter. There are numerous networks out there that have no connection to the Internet at all. And of course, the Internet itself has sub-silos, thanks to national actors, and it connects intranets to each other, silos in their own right.
The issue isn’t silo vs. non-silo; it is whether the degree of silo-ness is appropriate to the objectives of the entity sponsoring/implementing the silo, i.e., a “Goldilocks” question – not too much, not too little: just right. Note that the answers to Goldilocks’ questions aren’t necessarily static, either. Give her a few years and she might like Mama Bear’s bed better! And the degree of silo-ness is a many-dimensioned concept, not a single factor such as how “openly-accessible” data or services are, or what the nature of the data representation conventions/mechanisms are (and these example factors actually have sub-factors and complexities of their own).
Lastly, silos need not connect directly with each other. Indeed, that’s not really a viable approach since each silo has limited scope and low probability/low bandwidth communication needs with most other silos. Third-party brokers (like “well-connected” nodes in scale-free networks) can facilitate interoperability across domain and “silo-grouping” boundaries. The blackboard type of functionality mentioned earlier is only one way that third party brokers can be implemented. Travel site data aggregators are another example. And can you imagine Facebook service functionality without Facebook? Everyone querying each other directly using Internet/SW protocols?
Remember that we are each our own individual silo as well, as is this forum with its own rules and conventions. Are we making all our personal data files network accessible (with appropriate access and encryption controls, of course)? If the de-silofication sauce is good for the goose, why not the gander? The answer, of course, is that there is typically a different risk/cost/reward tradeoff for different individuals and different types of human institutions/silos. So let’s be clear about the context parameters and their validity value ranges when we argue that some aspect of silo-like behavior/design is to be avoided. It’s OK to have limited scope, and it’s OK to embrace diversity. It’s generally less OK to be vague about what that scope is or what degree of diversity you are willing/able to cope with.
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of David Eddy
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2013 8:43 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Data, Silos, Interoperability, and Agility
I'd file that under "content free information."