The Real Time Economy

from the all-that-information,-so-little-understanding dept

The Economist has a series of articles all about the real time economy and all the companies trying to jump on this latest bandwagon. They even do a good job of somehow relating it to the big “web services” question we keep asking about here. I don’t doubt the value of more information provided more quickly, but I do worry about our ability to interpret that information. While some of this is touched upon in a later article in the collection, real-time info is only as good as what people do with it. In many cases, I’m afraid that people begin to rely too much on their information systems and it sets up a situation where they ignore other information that would give them a better sense of the big picture. One of the articles discusses Cisco, who was famous for their inventory system a few years back, that was always providing them with the “perfect” information to understand customer demand. This is the same information system that caused them to have $2.5 billion extra in inventory last year. So, yes, the “real time economy” has its good sides, but I’m afraid the hype is going to lead to a lot of real time screwups.

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