Information Renaissance: Changes in Information Storage

Information Renaissance: Changes in Information Storage

Literally meaning “rebirth” in French, the word renaissance is commonly used to refer to the Italian Renaissance, the historical period that denotes the end of the Middle Ages and modern history. The Italian Renaissance started in the 14th century as a cultural movement and lasted until the 17th century. Several aspects of life that were “reborn” during this time were philosophy, art, science, and politics, and stemmed from the rediscovery of Greek ideologies and works.

One of the most revolutionary technologies developed during the Renaissance was the printing press, developed in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg. The printing press facilitated the mass proliferation of information across Europe. This spread of information then facilitated the acquisition of knowledge and contributed to other discoveries and the overall advancement of science and education.

The aspect of education is vital to the advancement of society; a more educated society is able to produce more sophisticated products and promote a higher quality of life. With the advent of the internet, we have seen the effects of easily accessible information on productivity. With such vast quantities of information available to us, we are able to work more efficiently as the process for searching for relevant information has been drastically expedited. Furthermore, we are able to collect information about the behavior of others that allow us to make better decisions; purchases made by customers can be collected and tracked, stock prices can be monitored in real time, and customers can provide feedback in a matter of seconds via social media, just to name a few methods of gathering information.

We are currently in the midst of another information renaissance, but unlike anything we have seen before. With the advent of the internet, information became readily accessible. However, as previously mentioned, information is now incredibly easy to gather and store; and herein lies the problem. With the capability to gather tera/petabytes of information, many organizations are struggling to store all of the data that they are collecting. As an added complication, it is also difficult to sort through the massive amounts of both structured and unstructured data to determine what is significant and what is not. Although storage capabilities have generally become cheaper, maintenance and the power to operate storage facilities have not, according to Deloitte.

While the problems we are facing in terms of the storage of information is not necessarily a total reorganization of the way in which information is spread, it is forcing us to develop new ways of approaching data, such as through faster and more powerful analytics, reductions in duplicate data files, and improvements in the expertise and training of administrators. These new approaches contribute to the ever changing arena of information management.

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