Integrated vs. Modular
The computer industry is currently overcoming one of the greatest divides it has ever realized. Big Business and Big Data in particular are leading the way on the most visible front, like re-animators who are busy patching and repairing their experimental frankentech to see if it can walk, talk, or even listen…
But how does the current bridge between Modular Design and all it’s hard-won benefits apply to Integrated Systems in the modern sense (given that “modern” means what is current, c.2015 with respect only to current technology which is funded, committed, and imminently slated for release, which may yet include some preliminary 5G technology judging by this criteria…)
Who remembers classic “integrated systems?” IBM mainframes are perhaps on the tip of everyone’s tongue. It depends on who you ask- but another example which brings (again, perhaps-) the best example of the beginning of the end: Microsoft. When you were a modern business of significant size- one which had “infrastructure”- and your business model was invested with brick-and-mortar stores, there were some gains in adopting a reliable computer system/software vendor.
Based on the business model provided by Microsoft and several Competitors, the word “Vendor-lock” was born. This describes a circumstance which is reminiscent of organized labor unions. Except- imagine that your “labor” was responsible in some ways for the future of your company in a strategic sense. Imagine that your “labor” force actually had the power of the Vice President relative to your company, but firing the VP meant fairly certain destruction of your company or at least its entire infrastructure. How then to qualify the #2 in power? A VP moonlighting as a co-chairman? Seriously.
Those who have the experience to understand such things from a practical viewpoint- their careers were significantly impacted by such things- often do not really live and breathe in the cornucopia of modern architectures where 64-bit mobile computing is not Jules Vernes-ian thinking, it’s here- now- and AI is no longer just a philosophy it’s actually one revolution closer than it ever was considering the advent of what I have always called “behavioral programming” in the way I used to do it, and what is now actually called “Reactive Programming.”
There are many sacred cows being herded for unknown purposes these days. Yet this is not a time for fear, or the faint of heart.
Something exhilarating has occurred, and the proof that it has happened can be simply observed by the amount of education it will require to apprise the average business person of what this means.
The “average” business person may not read this at all- so let’s take the average technically savvy person whatever their background. Think of how difficult it would be to put the technological advances that are now just beginning to appear into perspective.
Go ahead and sell this new “integrated system” which is not a monolithic beast of yester-year with a mainframe as the super-cpu. It’s a distributed system, possibly one of several components creating an overall architecture which spans several languages, code-bases, and experiences quite imperfect system integrity- and still runs.
It’s more like a field of wildflowers than a neatly trimmed bouquet. It