Failure to Launch – Governance: Assembling the Region’s Organizations

Go Lean Commentary

“Speak softly, and carry a big stick.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President

This is such illustrative language: Imagining a “stick”. It denotes the idea of negotiating peacefully, simultaneously threatening with the “big stick”, or the strength of the military. Now there is another imagery of building material and governing efficiency:

Iron, or “Big Iron” to be exact. Iron is also used to refer to something sturdy, strong and tough. But since the ancient Western Days – see Appendix VIDEO below – the term is said to be a slang, referring to a handgun. This Big Iron term has now come into fashion to apply to very large, expensive and extremely fast computers, or more so effective computer server farms that have resilient steel stands. – Technopedia. See full reference in Appendix below.

There is the need to transform the societal engines – economics, security and governance – of the Caribbean. The approach of “speaking softly and carrying a Big Stick” would be effective in forcing compliance among the regional stakeholders. The President Roosevelt application – in the foregoing photo – was clearly addressing security dynamics, but the same approach can apply to the other societal engines:

  • EconomicsImagine a big corporate entity with the need for a large work force, the decision-making of where to locate a plant would cause a lot of bidding among different communities. That company would be wielding a Big Stick.
  • Governance – There is also an application in governance; having a Big Stick or Big Iron can force compliance among the governing entities. Imagine large computer systems for e-Government applications …

This consideration is in harmony with the book Go Lean…Caribbean. The book serves as a roadmap for change in the region, affecting the economics, security and governing engines. It presents new measures and new empowerments as it introduces the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) for the 30 Caribbean member-states to benefit from a super-national federal government with a lot of integrated solutions. This commentary is 4th of 4 parts, completing the series on the Caribbean’s Failure to Launch integrated solutions to elevate the societal engines in the region. The full series is catalogued as follows:

There are many Alphabet Organizations – listed here and from Page 256 of the Go Lean book – that transcend services to one Caribbean country after another. The Go Lean roadmap (book and accompanying blog-commentaries) calls for assembling them under the same government umbrella – the Trade Federation – and process their operations on the CU e-government systems, the CU‘s Big Iron.

Page 96: This roadmap constitutes the assessment required to forge change in the region. Upon understanding the needs of the Caribbean people and the current organization structures available, this roadmap pursues an assembly of these different institutions and then to supplement them with the creation of new super-national organizations. This approach allows the CU to “stand on the shoulders” of previous efforts and then reach greater heights.

This initial phase entails incorporating all the existing regional organizations (ACS and CariCom) into the umbrella organizations of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. These organizations include, (but are not limited to) the identified Alphabet Organization this this photo here:

The foregoing disclosed the quest to “stand on the shoulders” of previous efforts; this includes efforts to integrate. This is what the Go Lean book presents, a workable roadmap to integrate efforts from the region and leverage the economies-of-scale of the 30 member-states so as to effect change in all societal engines, and to do so using as much technology as possible. In fact, the roadmap features Launching integrated solutions following these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The CU seeks to “speak softly and carry a Big Iron” by providing the e-Government processing for all of these Alphabet Organizations. There are some basics to this plan to elevate Caribbean society:

  • Leverage …
  • Economies-of-scale …
  • Integration …

These are important consideration for efficient and effective governance; and since in each Caribbean member-state, the government there is the largest employer, better efficiencies – as in computer systems – can improve Caribbean governance and bring real change to society.

With Internet and Communications Technologies, it is easy to link governmental systems from one country to another. (Big companies – i.e. airlines reservation systems – do this all the time).

  • Why have we fail to even consider this type of integration for our governmental entities in the past?
  • Too expensive?
  • So why have we Failed to Launch shared computer systems?

This Failure to Launch integrated e-Government systems across a shared network is now inexcusable!

The subject of e-Government has been a consistent subject for this movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free. In a previous commentary, the role and functionality of this Big Iron (unstated) was related:

Among the strategies, tactics and implementations in the Go Lean roadmap, is the deployment of e-Government services, systems and solutions. The Go Lean book explains how this implementation can streamline operations – lean, no heavy bureaucracy – for every level of government: municipal, state and the CU federal level. A type of computing implementation can leverage productivity against a very small level of staffing.

See how a lean structure is portrayed in the book (Page 51):

    A lot of office automation and data processing can be provided in-house for member-state governments by [the CU] simply installing / supporting computer mainframe/midrange systems, servers, and client workstations; plus supplementing infrastructural needs like power and mobile communications. The CU’s delivery of ICT [(Internet & Communications Technologies)] systems, e-Government, contact center and in-source services (i.e. property tax systems [and “”]) can put the burden on systems continuity at the federal level and not the member-states. (This is the model of Canada with the federal delivery of provincial systems and services – some Provincial / Territorial presence / governance is completely “virtual”).

The Go Lean book presents the plan to deploy many e-Government provisions. There must therefore be an advanced structure of computer systems for Data Processing. This means Data Centers, our Big Iron for the Caribbean. The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. One advocacy is optimizing the deployment of 6 strategically-located Data Centers. Consider some specific details, excerpts and headlines from the book on Page 106 entitled:

10 Trends in Implementing Data Centers

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
The CU treaty unifies the Caribbean region into one single market of 42 million people across 30 member-states, thereby empowering the economic engines in and on behalf of the region. The CU embraces the cutting, “bleeding” edge concepts, systems and methodologies for data centers and computer server farms, as in high density computing, facilitating the maximum computing power with the least amount of space and power. The prerequisite for any serious data center deployment is power…stable, reliable electricity, with primary, secondary and tertiary solutions. The CU roadmap calls for deployment of a regional power grid, with above ground, underground & underwater cabling. Though data centers must launch now, power costs will be expected to decline with the grid. …
2 Fiber-Optics / Pipeline

Optical fibers are widely used in fiber-optic communications, which permits transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than other forms of communication. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with less loss and are also immune to electromagnetic interference. The transparent fiber are made of high quality extruded glass, silica or plastic. The CU as a new Federation can apply a leap-frog approach to implement communication networks without having to contend with older methods or investments. Further the CU will embrace the strategy of installing elaborate pipelines thru out the region, enabling fiber-optics to traverse the network.

3 IP Convergence

Internet Protocol (IP) is now ubiquitous for data, voice, and video communications – they all operate on the same type of fiber. This indicates that data centers also function as telecom hubs – central switching offices are now bygones.

4 Cloud Computing

The CU will embrace cloud computing for many operational systems, thereby requiring optimal continuous processing.

The roadmap calls for citizens to interact with their federal government via web portals, kiosks or phone contact centers.

5 High Availability (HA)
6 Colocation Data Centers

A colocation center (colo, or coloc) is a type of data center where equipment space and bandwidth are available for rental to retail customers. Colocation facilities provide space, power, cooling, and physical security for the server, storage, and networking equipment of other firms—and connect them to a variety of telecommunications and network service providers—with a minimum of cost and complexity. Colocation has become a popular option for companies as it allows the company to focus its IT staff on the actual work being done, instead of the logistical. Significant benefits of scale (large power and mechanical systems) result in large colocation facilities, typically 50,000 to 100,000 square feet. The CU will assume a role of coloc landlord for member-states, municipalities and NGO’s for their data center needs.

7 [Limestone] Caves as Data Centers
8 Storage Solutions – No need for humans
9 Security Issues

Modern data centers require minimal human interaction, therefore physical security tend to be very restrictive. In some firms, even the CEO is not allowed access. The CU will implement biometric systems like fingerprints and iris scanning.

10 Unified Command & Control

The data center may be void of humans, but there is still the need for many professional analysis, programmers and engineers. These are normally stationed in command centers to facilitate monitoring and cyber-security functions.

The technology to leverage the governmental administrations of the Caribbean will be available Step One / Day One of the Go Lean roadmap. Though there would be some need for customization and specialty programming. This development effort can be leveraged across the entire region.

Under the Go Lean plan, the expressions of the Caribbean Big Iron would be manifested by systems in government offices, self-serve kiosks, various websites (i.e., Social Media channels and smart phone applications.

These types of e-Government manifestations have been discussed in previous blog-commentaries; consider this sample: The Future Focus of e-Government Portals The Future Focus of e-Learning in the Caribbean Location Matters, Even in a Virtual World Lessons from China – WeChat: Model for Caribbean Social Media Transformations: Caribbean Postal Union – Delivering the Future e-Commerce Strategies for Tourism Stewardship China Internet Policing – Model for Caribbean How to Re-invent Government in a Digital Image – Book Review Plan to Integrate CXC into the CU Trade Federation for e-Learning

Let’s do this Big Iron – deploying advanced computer systems – to facilitate the e-Governmental transformation of our CU Federal government agencies – the Alphabet Orgaanizations, member-state agencies and even Non-Government Organizations!

We can no longer Fail to Launch

We can “speak softly and carry a Big Iron“.

Our governing efficiencies depend on it.

Also, our economic and security engines can also benefit.

These efficiencies can help to reform and transform Caribbean governments and society in general. We urge all stakeholders to lean-in to this CU/Go Lean roadmap to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Big Iron

Definition – What does Big Iron mean?

Big iron is a slang word commonly used to describe a very large, expensive and extremely fast computer. It is often used to refer to oversized computers such as Cray’s supercomputer or IBM’s mainframe.

The term big iron originated in the 1970s, when smaller computers known as minicomputers were introduced. To describe larger computers compared to the small minicomputers, the term big iron was coined by users and the industry.

Big iron computers are primarily used by large companies to process massive amounts of data such as bank transactions. They are designed with considerable internal memory, a high aptitude for external storage, top-quality internal engineering, superior technical support, fast throughput input/output and reliability.

Techopedia explains Big Iron

The term is said to be a derivative of the term “iron”; when used as slang, this term refers to a handgun. Iron is also used to refer to something sturdy, strong and tough. The term big iron is frequently applied to highly effective computer ranches and servers that have resilient steel stands.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the market for mainframes, or big iron, was mainly through IBM and companies like General Electric, RCA Corp., Honeywell International Inc., Burroughs Corporation, Control Data Corp., NCR Corp. and UNIVAC. Later servers based on the microcomputer design, or “dumb terminals”, were developed to cut costs and create greater availability for users. The dumb terminal was eventually replaced by the personal computer (PC). Subsequently, big iron was restricted to mostly government and financial institutions.

Source: Retrieved December 17, 2017 from Technopedia:


VIDEO –  Big Iron- Marty Robbins  –

Published on Mar 28, 2011

All rights belong to their respective owners


To the town of Agua Fria rode a stranger one fine day
Hardly spoke to folks around him, didn’t have too much to say,
No one dared to ask his business, no one dared to make a slip
The stranger there among them had a big iron on his hip,
Big iron on his hip …

Lyrics retrieved December 17, 2017 from:


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