To Dream, To Believe LO11636

William J. Hobler, Jr (
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 09:05:16 -0500

Replying to LO11586 --

Ben Compton wrote

>I would agree with this assessment and wanted to see if other people felt
>the same as I did. At work I've been taking small groups of people on a
>"tour or the corporate anatomy," which includes a stop by the "punch-down
>closet" where all of the network connections are brought together and sent
>down the fiber-optic cable. In our closet there are over 300 connections.
>The wires coming out of the wall and into the punch down closet look like
>nerves in a nervous system (a coincidence that only accentuates my story).
>I talk about the nervous system of the human body, and how it knows how to
>work together to create complex physical behavior (i.e. running, jumping,
>basketball, football, hockey, etc.). I then compare the network with the
>nervous system, and how if each of us uses it correctly, we too can create
>complex business behavior.

In my experience there is a danger of making too much of a technical
infrastructure. To me the key comment is in the final two phrases "if
each of us uses it correctly, we too can create complex business

One must keep centered on the human community as the basis of intent and
creativity. With this center it is extremely difficult to develop a
technical infrastructure that supports changing human community intent and

Because of the difficulty, and its initial cost, it is difficult to build
a compelling business case for doing the work. Moreover, building for
flexibility and creativity are concepts that neither business people or IT
people internalize easily.

If I were to advise a business I'd start a joint effort of business people
and technical people studying the business needs and building simple to
understand systems to meet the needs. As both business and IT people grew
in their mutual understanding of the interplay of the technical
infrastructure with the business the needed complexity would evolve. Just
in any evolution there would be waste, but what survived would be a whole
and effective organism that can grow in many directions. case


"William J. Hobler, Jr" <>

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