Semantic Ecosystem – What’s that about?
A semantic ecosystem is a modern information infrastructure that uses a rich web of metadata and services to:
- Add meaning to raw data artifacts
- Make relationships between and within data sources explicit
- Dynamically bring information together when and as needed
- Enable patterns to be discovered
Today’s Legacy Information Infrastructures
Today’s information is remarkably diverse and increasingly fragmented. Data is held in a variety of forms, containers and places. Applications come from different vendors, run on different platforms and manage different processes. As processes manipulate different kinds of data, applications create disparate data sources, replicate the same data in different forms, produce silos and introduce enormous costs. While information is the fastest growing and most important asset in an enterprise today, enterprise information infrastructures are not designed to seamlessly connect, re-use and manage this diverse information. Connections in the data are brittle, hard to maintain and, often, nonexistent. The result is a basic infrastructure, not an ecosystem.
Every day, everywhere, natural ecosystems are behind the scenes, producing services that enable life itself.
In nature, highly connected networks – ecosystems – breed powerful capabilities, generate value and enable astonishing success. In ecosystems success arises from connections and the ability to adapt and evolve new capabilities.
Business Information Ecosystem
Semantic ecosystems are modern information infrastructures that can bring the same success to business.
“Central to success is an enabling technology infrastructure that helps information producers and information consumers organize, share and exchange any type of data and content, anytime, anywhere. This enabling technology infrastructure is what Gartner calls a modern information infrastructure.”
Gartner, Top Technology Trends Impacting Information Infrastructure in 2013.
We call this ecosystem semantic because it relies on providing clear definitions or semantics to the data as a way to facilitate its connectivity. As in natural ecosystems interconnected wholes become greater than the sum of their parts. The “big picture” emerges and enables better, faster, more creative and effective decision making.
How will you know when you have one?
As in natural ecosystems, we believe that success in business is based on capability – and the ability to adapt and evolve new capabilities. Semantic ecosystems transform existing diverse information into valuable semantic assets. Key characteristics of a semantic ecosystem are that it is adaptable and evolvable. You can start small – with one or more key business solutions and a few data sources – and the semantic foundation can grow and evolve with you.
You don’t have to pre-define all the applications that will use the data and how they will use it. A company can start with internal data and later it is easy to merge that with data from partners or publicly available data. A company can expose to the ecosystem only a small subset of a data source and then extend the scope later.
Semantic ecosystems have emergent properties – they allow information to connect in unanticipated ways. A semantic ecosystem makes it possible to combine business, consumer, and device information with ease and intuition and to deliver it at the right time to the right person and process. It builds a foundation for a true information fabric with an infinitely flexible and scalable architecture – just like the web.
TopQuadrant’s mission is to help organizations incrementally build and evolve their semantic ecosystems. We deliver solutions using semantic ecosystem technology to bring bottom line benefit and a new level of competitive capability.
Our enterprise customers are saying our semantic ecosystem solutions:
research, education and clinical practice.”
and Gas industry for data exchange –receiving, validating,
storing, analyzing and transmitting.”