Sten Vesterli's Blog

Think About the End at the Beginning

Your risk of getting hit by space debris just went up. The Chinese have launched the first module of their space station. Like last time, they have left their launch booster in uncontrolled orbit. Other nations plan a controlled deorbit so they can splash their used rockets in the sea. Private companies reuse them. The Chinese just lets it hit whereever.

All object have a lifecycle. In modern production, manufacturers are starting to think about how to ensure that as much as possible of products can be reused, recycled, or disposed of safely. In IT, we’re not good at thinking about end-of-life. That’s why we have decades-old mainframe systems that we can’t figure out how to get rid of.

As a CIO or CTO, next time you greenlight a new system, ask the architects and designers how they plan to decommission it. How will useful data be extracted from the system? Will historic data need to be saved? How will the business logic be extracted and reused many years into the future? The system works to spec now, but in less than a month, the system and the documentation will have diverged. Think about the end at the beginning. Don’t be like China and leave it to chance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.