Bad Water and Office 2.0 – The Single Point Of Failure


Don't get me wrong, much of the Office 2.0 craze are concepts I agree with and endorse.  I believe that great services, matched with great software, will change the way we work.  Office 2007 starts that trend, IMHO.

My colleagues and I were discussing one core flaw in the Office 2.0 vision -> the assumption that network connectivity will not only be everywhere (which it will), but that it will always be available (it won't).  Single point of failure is not a new concept and is not limited to Web 2.0 / Office 2.0 by any means.  I just believe that the "visionaries" need to consider the issues of what will we do when the infrastructure goes wrong.... (like at the Office 2.0 conference when people couldn't even do demos because the wireless failed)

Let me use an example to emphasize the problem.

I am sitting in the Vancouver airport.  I am itching for a coffee.  I head to Starbucks.

What does coffee and Office 2.0 have in common?

1)  Starbucks / Tim Hortons, like Wifi, is almost everywhere

2)  It's something I would use many times a day

3)  I get REALLY cranky if I can't get access to it

4)  They both have a single point of failure (for one it is the network, for the other it is water)

So, here is the situation:

Two days ago there was a major storm and the water supply in Vancouver has been compromised because of overflow (http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_5372.aspx).  Everyone has to boil water to drink it.

Nobody is serving coffee because of it (too much trouble to boil that much water in advance)

So, no coffee for me.... the single point of failure made sure of that.

I'm glad I don't need WiFi to do the reports I have due today.....

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