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Valuing IT Architecture

By John Menzies, Integration Architect, Integration & Architecture, Devoteam

July 2018

In the coming weeks and months Devoteam UK will publish a series of articles that address some important aspects of technology and IT architecture in order to remove unnecessary complexity that hinders understanding and impedes progress. These pieces will start with market-facing topics that people know, proceed through solution design (skipping delivery) and head towards the value of IT architecture. It is important to state that delivery takes a different path from architecture, heading south, rather than north from the problem IT architecture solves. Integration is also a separate topic. Here is a glimpse of the series to come.

Buzzword bingo

Our industry is full of buzzwords. Marketing has taken control, and for the sake of gaining business competitive advantage has indulged in the practice of creating new words to sell the same concepts and patterns that have been around for years. Is there a better way to convey changes and evolution without the need to invent new words? We will examine the benefit of a new marketing spin and explore whether it really differentiates what we are trying to achieve.

Understanding the problems technology is solving

As technologist we’re bad at getting our propellers on and letting them spin hard. Is this what businesses of today need or do they need a practical approach to solving the problems they have? Digital Transformation shouldn’t be about building a sports car when the business needs a truck, and vice versa. Technology needs to solve the problems facing a business in the context of that business, considering not just what’s the best in the market place but what’s appropriate for the problems a business is facing to be viable.

Moving away from product-centric technology

With the proliferation of technology tools, why do we still insist on solving problems with vendor solutions? Solutions need to target root cause, which often isn’t the technology itself. How do we identify and resolve root causes of issues and avoid the common mistake of implementing a new tool to solve the problem?

Blinkers off – a conceptual approach

In a world where technology is moving faster than most people can keep up with, what skills will technologists of the future need to be able to survive? Removing buzzwords, delivery methods and shiny new toys from our language will allow us to understand the full scope of a technological problem.

Why there’s so much value in IT architecture

Why do so many technologists underestimate the value of a good IT architecture? Why do architects find it so difficult to be pragmatic with the definitions they create? Architects try to solve every possible permutation of a problem, while developers consider too few permutations of a problem. In an Agile/DevOps world, how do we keep architecture relevant to the daily discussions?

Integration in the new world

Are the patterns for solving solutions today that much different to those we were implementing a decade or more ago? Are we possibly starting to revisit old, what were considered, anti-patterns for Integration? Or is it just that the scale we use to measure the integrations we create is different? Were all the concerns we had back then around security, data lineage and lifecycle, separation of concerns and abstraction invalid, or do they still apply? How has the application of those concepts changed over the years and what are the synergies?

Look out for these articles from Devoteam in the coming weeks.