Some plants, like bamboo, have invasive varieties. They often spread unseen underground. While there are other, similar looking, varieties that are not invasive. Mixing them up creates a whole lot of, unplanned and unenjoyable, work in future. However, there are actions you can take annually or when you plant to control the invasiveness.
Going Digital is somewhat similar. Different systems and decisions have invasive and non-invasive ‘varieties’. Understanding and considering the future repercussions of apparently ‘isolated’ decisions is critical. Knowing when you are buying into a ‘system’ not just one solution is important to know. Collecting, storing, and sharing data because we can and it’s easy is one thing, but it may not be beneficial. Going digital creates possibilities but comes with responsibilities.
Just like there are things gardeners can do to control the spread of bamboo, there are things we can do to ‘go digital’ wisely. Standards, policies, ethics committees, and so on can help with this.
However, most importantly it’s wise to understand what variety we are dealing with.