One of the things that caused me concern at the recent BCS conference (see #bcshs) was that all the portal-vendors seemed to be offering solutions where data only goes one way – into their black boxes to be displayed in their portals. The following article (discovered via my newsfeed subscription to Slashdot) sums up that concern very well, but broadens the scope to include most of the big “web 2.0” services. Here’s a snippet:

I say this because even for companies, like Google, that articulate open-data policies, the cloud is still largely a one-way road into Web services, with closed data networks making it difficult to impossible to move data into competing services. Ever tried getting your Facebook data into, say, MySpace? Good luck with that. Social networks aren’t very social with one other, as recently noted on the Autonomo.us mailing list.
For the freedom-inclined among us, this is cause for concern. For the capitalists, it’s just like Software 1.0 all over again, with fat profits waiting to be had.

Cloud computing may just be the Hotel California of technology. I say this because even for companies, like Google, that articulate open-data policies, the cloud is still largely a one-way road into Web services, with closed data networks making it difficult to impossible to move data into competing services. Ever tried getting your Facebook data into, say, MySpace? Good luck with that. Social networks aren’t very social with one other, as recently noted on the Autonomo.us mailing list.

For the freedom-inclined among us, this is cause for concern. For the capitalists, it’s just like Software 1.0 all over again, with fat profits waiting to be had.

Link

Let’s hope our health systems don’t end up in the same boat. Judging from the presentations at the conference (and it wasn’t just me that noticed this so I think I’m interpreting correctly), software vendors appear to be building their own portal services on top of their existing data silo (if they’ve got one), with “on-ramps” for other software vendors to feed their data in – sounds to me like a recipe for data silos for a long time to come. Surely there’s some way NHSS can make sure data is easy to move between systems, and also that data can be accessed for use by other systems…

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