Sharing dimension analysis - use of Sharing principle
In modern life, to satisfy commercial viability requirements, sharing resources has grown to become one of the major problem solving principles used in most of the business and activity areas all over the world.
Sharing of resources takes place at different dimensions of spread of space, time, shared amount and type of domain. Dimension of spread can be divided into further levels of the dimension.
Let's clarify with examples.
Dimension of Spread : level large - global sharing
Telecommunication : Network sharing
Nowadays we speak and carry out virtually all the tasks in daily life using phone and Internet services. Telecommunication networks (including Internet) are all interconnected and shared for giving you the magical facility to talk or chat from your mobile handset to your dear one sitting on the opposite side of the globe. To reach her your speech may have to span a large number of different networks each belonging to a different telecom service provider or Telco.
If these networks remained separated, the services would have remained localized and highly limited in scope and variety. Only connecting the networks globally meets your full communication requirements.
The telecommunication charge that you pay monthly or periodically is collected by your local telecom service provider. It carries your call, if it is speech, up to its own network boundary and then hands it over to the next network towards the destination of the speech content. This point onwards works the principle of sharing.
Telcos have network sharing agreements between themselves by which they not only share their network resources but also may share the revenues generated. By sharing everyone is benefited - the customers as well as the service providers.
Sharing mechanism makes telecommunication possible in practice. Imagine the power of sharing!
Core sharing mechanism A: benefit sharing:
A service owner earns revenue share according to what kind of work load it caters to: for its own work load it earns more, for others’ workload it earns a smaller previously agreed to share. In this case, benefits are shared according to contribution towards a service request fulfillment.
In this kind of sharing mechanism, each works for its own gains except for the responsibilities required for the services to be sustained as a whole.
All kinds of business resource sharing follow similar type A core sharing mechanism.
Airlines - Route sharing, flight sharing
An airline flight, let's say, from London to New York can't take just any path across the sky - there are optimum well-studied and controlled routes. These routes are shared by all the flights between two cities. This is one way of route sharing. The other way to share a route is to split the route into two or three segments.
With major changes in air flight management and also because of opening up of markets, passenger traffic has increased manifold over the years. Optimal sharing of routes along with sharing of all other common flight support systems is now a necessity. No single airline can acquire and maintain all resources required to run flights across the globe or a country.
Because of this market expansion and route sharing, now you have the opportunity to select a multi-stage flight, say from Kolkata to Dubai, among many such flights. Each of these flights would have more than one Airline sharing the whole route by splitting the route into convenient segments in their own comfort zones. Business agreements form the basis of this type of sharing.
Dimension of Spread : level small - local sharing
Telecommunication - Mobile infrastructure sharing
When mobile service provisioning started in Kolkata in a virgin field, number of customers was not large, networks were small with small number of BTSs (Base Transceiver Stations) and accordingly requirement of buildings to house the BTSs was also minimal. Now it has increased by more than 30 times. It is nearly impossible now to get a suitable tall building for BTS installation.
Out of this severe constraint (constraints or barriers are useful: in generating new ideas and solutions: some methods deliberately create constraints), were born the common Infrastructure Service Providers.
These organizations acquire, prepare, and sell rights of use of part infra resources and also manage a large number of BTS buildings across the city. They specialize in infrastructure. The mobile service providers hire these infra resources from the Infra service providers and share a roof for antennae, rooms for equipment housing and also share the common power supply of the building.
In this case of severe shortage of good buildings, sharing a suitable building with other competitors becomes the only feasible practical choice.
This is a case of enemies at war sharing a bed!
Airlines - Airport facility sharing
Like infra for telecommunication, airport facilities also have to be shared between many competing airlines. No single airline company can own, maintain and use a busy airport alone. It violates all basic business principles.
Dimension of Spread - level very small - micro sharing
Telecommunication - Mobile Exchange
A mobile telephone exchange is a highly complex combination of modules of software and hardware. Each software module is specialized for a specific set of tasks and carries out these tasks for ALL the task loads (for all mobile calls) absorbed by the exchange. In other words, All Calls share a specific hardware or software module for part fulfillment of their requirements.
Dimension of Time
Sharing can happen at the dimension of Time also in many different ways,
- In telecommunication, many speech traffic share a transmission channel over time, for smoothing basically bursty nature of speech traffic. Without this sharing, channel use won't have been optimized and communication itself won't have been commercially viable.
- Airline routes are studied for traffic density and accordingly various time-slots during the day or week are occupied by each airline.
- In a city like Kolkata with total road surface as low as about 6% of the city area, interminable traffic tangles were a daily affair. This difficult problem was resolved by a system of one-way two-way mechanism for the roads depending on the time of the day. The road traffic now shares the road facility not only over spread, but also over time.
Thinking of sharing resources at the dimension of time can generate highly innovative solutions.
Dimension of amount
Resources can be shared in terms of quantities, and that sometimes becomes a critically important factor.
- Sharing of river water, where the river passes through two countries or even two cities in one country: During lean times, life becomes hard as the upstream city tries to hold back more water for itself. In future, water wars are predicted.
- Companies share their profits with the shareholders, by amount usually. Determining the amount remains always a tricky affair.
- A surprising example of sharing by amount is - how much time you would allot to various subjects for your exam preparation. In this case sharing is not only by amount but also at the dimension of time and a given amount of time is shared by the competing subjects.
Dimension of domain - cross-domain sharing
In all the examples cited till now, sharing happens in one domain only. For example, in telecom cases sharing takes place in Communication domain, in airline cases sharing happens in Transportation domain only and so on. But this need not be so always. Sharing may happen between two domains of activity also. The following examples are on sharing of worker resources.
- Maths whiz-kid working in finance domain - though we classify it under cross-domain resource sharing category, who else but the maths whiz-kid would be the best person to manage the increasing risk associated in finance investments and loans!
- Computer specialist working in Life science front-line research areas - today, with increasing complexity it is inevitable that a subject would reach number-crunching stage and would then require a computer specialist.
- Nanotechnology tends to become a virtual confluence of specialists from multiple disciplines.
This tendency is more prevalent in the knowledge domain because increasing complexity of subjects results in dependence on other subjects for solutions.
We envisage analysis of sharing in four dimensions
- At the dimension of spread of space, global sharing has the most power and scope, but to control the increasing conflicts of interests, today it is necessary to strengthen the local level sharing with optimal global level sharing. This is true world over.
- Sharing amount is though easiest to envisage, it is the trickiest to implement effectively. Failure of development by aid model is a case in point.
- Sharing resources over time and cross-domain sharing have the potential to generate highly innovative solutions.
Thinking in terms of various levels of activity always increases the possibility of creating new ideas.
If we look at an important common activity (in this case sharing) from as many angles as possible we would understand the activity better with an ultimate goal of improving its impact significantly.