Mazes and labyrinth-like structures have fascinated us since ancient times. The modern-day version is what we know today as a corn maze. Visiting a corn maze has become a popular fall tradition and has helped the entrepreneurial farmer find a way to generate extra income from tourists. Wikipedia reports that the first corn maze built in America was created by Don Frantz and Adrian Fischer in Annville, Pennsylvania, just over two hours away from IT Radix. That was in 1993 and the maze covered 3 acres with just under two miles of paths. Mazes have grown bigger and more popular ever since. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest corn maze in the United States was reportedly created by Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon, California, in 2014. It covered over 60 acres, that is quite literally a big enterprise!

And like any big enterprise, a lot of planning really needs to go into creating a successful corn maze. A maze really is a network of paths, openings and dead ends! And creating a network track is much like creating an information technology network for a commercial enterprise.

The Big Picture – In early network architecture planning, the goal was just connecting a few computers, so staff could communicate and share—just get from point A to point B with their data, like walking through that first corn maze in Annville. But things have progressed a great deal since then. Today, to plan a corn maze, the planners start with the big picture and by that we mean things like what image will the maze depict from above? When creating an information technology network today, the big picture is the place to start as well. What is the goal? What is the vision? What values in terms of productivity and security will this network deliver?

The Grid – A corn maze design is only as good as the job spent cutting it. The cuts need to be precise and need to lead to the correct destinations, whether to the focal point of the maze design or to the way out! Also access into the maze and egress out of the maze must be well planned and secure. There are dozens of companies today whose sole purpose is corn maze design. Amazingly, today’s larger, more entrepreneurial farmers rely on outside resources to help them plan, create and manage their mazes. They know that relying on the experts for advice and support is the least expensive and most profitable decision in the long run. Sounds a lot like planning a computer network and deciding which network machines and users can get into the network and access files easily and securely. The smart business person relies on a resource like IT Radix to facilitate all of this in planning—even more importantly, in execution.

The Operation – After all the planning, planting, cutting and promoting is done, it is time for the farmer to invite in the public and turn the amazing network into an attraction that delivers him or her real value…real money. And that is done with the operation of the maze, adding in games, rides and contests. Some mazes are kid friendly all day long…and haunted at night! Just like maximizing the value of a corn maze, business and organization leaders today rely on outside services such as backup systems, antivirus and other security services to make things run smoothly!

Contact IT Radix here and let us help you navigate your technology maze and make IT work for you!

First published in our October 2019 IT Radix Resource newsletter