No doubt, you've heard about semantic Web and its potential to change the Web as we know it.
And, of course, I've written here on numerous occasions about semantic integration-which is, essentially, using semantic techniques, such as ontologies, to solve integration problems.
But a recent article in Information Management shows that semantic tech isn't something you'll apply in isolation to solve a specific tech problem-like, say integration. It will have a broader impact on how information is managed and manipulated across the enterprise - a topic that's generating more interest.
The Semantic Web's the Next Frontier," written by the CEO of Cambridge Semantics, Michael Cataldo, looks at how the financial services industry is embracing semantic technology. Cataldo explains how an ontology-based data system could have helped identify subprime mortgage loans sooner - say, for instance, before said bad loans nearly caused the collapse of a national economy. Not that I'm bitter.
But what I loved was his description of how semantics is a fabric that unites, and therefore dissolves, silos:
"A semantic implementation effectively creates a fabric to which all enterprise data can be connected. One benefit of this is the ability to discover provenance and history. As data is added to or changed, it is now possible to see who changed it, how it was changed and even recall the original version, potentially a boon for standards compliance."
Normally, I don't share anything that costs, but I will say that if you happen to be a Cutter Consortium client, you might want to attend their free (for paying clients) webinar on "The Rise of the Semantic Enterprise." Senior Consultant Mitchel Ummel will discuss how semantic technologies can be applied to enterprise issues such as business intelligence, data mining and CRM. Too bad we can't attend, but the webinar description in and of itself should tell you something about how broad semantic tech's impact could be.
Ummel apparently has written several articles about semantic technology and the enterprise - unfortunately, the only one open to free viewing is a short piece, "Incubators for Today's Semantic Data," which looks at the line between popular mashups and semantically aware applications.
Hopefully, Ummel will offer something more substantial about enterprises and semantic technology - but for free - soon. (Hint, hint.)