Analog vs. Digital

There are many ways to look at the differences between analog and digital. The way music CD are produced provides a useful analogy to use when looking at analog vs. digital uses of corporate information technology.

There are three acronyms printed on CD cases to indicate how the music was recorded, mastered and stored: (definitions from the webofhifi.com dictionary)

  • AAD means that the music was recorded in analogue (A), mastered in analogue (A) and then stored digitally (D).

  • ADD means that the music was recorded in analogue (A), mastered in digital (D) and then stored digitally (D).

  • DDD means that the music was recorded in digital (D), mastered in digital (D) and then stored digitally (D).

Obviously, since we are talking about CDs the last letter will always be D, since a CD is by definitition digital storage. You could extend these definitions to include analog storage (LP or analog tape), so that you would have a wide range of possibilities: AAA, ADA, AAD, ADD, DAA, DDA,DAD, DDD.

I propose use of a similar classification system for business processes, either organizational or individual. Obviously, the three positions will not represent recording, mastering, and storage but something more appropriate to business processes. I suggest the following:

  • Position One:
    • A = Initiated “in person”, either face-to-face or via telephone, etc.
    • D = Initiated in Bits

  • Position Two:
    • A = Processed manually, either on paper or on a computer or other device (such as a PDA)
    • D = Processed automatically

  • Position Three:
    • A = Relevant information maintained by individuals
    • D = Relevant information automatically maintained in a central location

Hmmm. Will need some tweaking, but I believe it is a good starting point. Will look back on it and see how it fits as I layout various processes.

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