The Grid Forum is meeting in Seattle in June. I mentioned Jim Stewart's desire to create Utah Labs over the weekend. There are many things that we need to consider as we push forward with the UWINS project. An article in the latest issue of Grid Connections (see page 4) argues that one of the biggest challenges in implementing grids is not being addressed with the push to resolve technical barriers—it is overcoming organizational politics. Then this statement: Organizations cannot be efficient in servicing their customers when operational silos exist. The author, Dr. Ian Baird, states that,
"the only way to overcome the organizational politics of grid and implement an IT infrastructure that truly meets business demands is for an organization to change its attitudes and perceptions and develop policies for sharing, collaboration and open communications. To do this, every organization must clearly address concerns about budget ownership, loss of control over data and resources, and organizational change."
This type of profound structural change can be extremely demanding and may exact a high degree of political capital. Dr. Baird supports his article with this survey on breaking down barriers. Projects like Jim's Utah Labs and UWIN can help create common ground to ultimately support a grander vision.