Network Fabric

One of the ways we interact with centralized infrastructure, and directly experience the problems with it is  through IT departments. I think we can all relate to the frustration that comes from solving technological problems through highly centralized systems intended to solve these problems when they arise. The problems are in line  with any centralized system: lack of responsiveness, bureaucratic barriers and isolated decision making power from the top down. The reason these are problems is because it does not allow for immediate action to solve a problem on the spot, and instead creates space and dissonance between the problem and the provider of a solution.

Of course the reason these systems were so highly centralized in the first place was to make them more integrated and efficient. In this sense they're not functioning as they were intended to. As this article from Tech Republic articulates, the alternative is to create a decentralized IT unit that can be more 'agile and responsive'. However there may be problems associated with completely disconnecting from centralized resources such as data centers and network operations.

This article is speaking our language when it mentions 'there is no right answer to how IT should be structured in every organization', but the common solution is probably something along the lines of a 'hybrid' approach, allowing the system to be both networked and driven by collaborative management. The author calls this 'a representative government model where the departments actually have a say-so in their IT operations.'

This article is really talking about transitioning from a centralized network to what is known as a network fabric. We are encouraging this same kind of network design with our flour milling projects, and with all of our future projects. The important distinction to make is that we are not using decentralized or distributed technology frameworks to scale and replicate business models. We are actually trying to strengthen social and economic fabric that already functions int this same way already, which will allow scale and replication to happen organically. It is useful to understand IT networks because they offer a clear perspective of this fabric.

Read the full article




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