What can a Mime Teach us about Software Scalability?

Like a mime that goes to the trusty trapped in an invisible box skit, the feeling like the walls are closing in on you is common especially for many users of server based commercial and home-grown software systems.  The key to avoiding your business from being trapped in a software’s confined area is scalability.  Wikipedia defines scalability as the capability of a system, network, or process to handle a growing amount of work, or its potential to be enlarged in order to accommodate that growth.[1] For example, it can refer to the capability of a system to increase its total output under an increased load when resources are added.  The fact is that your venue will likely change over the next few months.  You will add new inventory or resources to your facility.   The catering manager will add a dish to your menu guide or you will acquire more audio visual equipment.  Change is going to occur so having a system that can easily adapt will ensure you can efficiently manage this growth.  Without a system that can scale you will quickly find that your venue may start to feel the pressure of creating work-arounds that could impact the integrity of your data.  The most important thing to ask when looking at software is will this system be able to  accommodate my growing business.  Don’t become the mime that gets trapped in an invisible box and free your business from the constraints of a software system that will not keep up with your evolving operational needs.