Skip to the content

Circular Wonderings is an exploration of the role of digital, software and technology in the Circular Economy. Exploration is the key word here. I write regularly, reflecting on my current thoughts and research. Expect typos, incomplete thoughts, varied rambling topics and (hopefully) a journey towards clearer understanding and insight. Subscribe here to join my journey.

Linear software is not circular

Linear software is not circular. 

That is a tautology.

It is also an important point!

When we create software within a specific context it must be built upon the assumptions from that context. We then build upon those assumptions to affect an outcome. The goal of the software may be to facilitate a process, improve efficiency or effectiveness and to enable scale. Regardless of how flexible or configurable the software is, we have focused it on a specific range of outcomes.

Now, if we change the context we may find the foundations of our assumptions no longer hold true. That, in turn, results in the outcomes our software is optimised for are no longer exactly what we want.

Sometimes a small change can result in software becoming part of the problem. Worse than not effective, it is moving us further away from our goals.

Across the linear supply chain our software is optimised to maximise the one way flow of materials. When we want to make that flow more circular we find that the software is completely blocking the innovation and learning needed.