Planning for the Future

“. . . the United States…is pioneering the development of a world-wide information grid.  It is expected that such a grid will come into being by about 1975.  For the first time in history the cumulative knowledge of mankind will be made accessible on a global scale—and it will be almost instantaneously available in response to demand.”

– Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages : America’s Role in the Technetronic Era (Viking Press, 1970)

Brzezinski has been one of the most influential ‘statesmen’ of the last 50 years.  If you follow politics you will be aware of the impact he has had over the last few decades.

I recently read Between Two Ages and the book is full of examples of how people in this field are able to think 10, 20 or even 30 years into the future.  In particular, the quote above describing the internet, written in 1970 shows just how possible it is to predict change.

It makes me think that Architects in the DWH/BI space should be able to broadly know what is coming down the line for at least the next 2-3 years and to plan accordingly.  A lot of companies I know of are just replaying 10-year-old practices on more modern platforms.

For reference, technetronic means ‘shaped or influenced by the changes wrought by advances in technology and communications, especially electronic’.