By: Neil Ward-Dutton, Research Director, MWD Advisors
Published: 15th November 2010
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
For me, the killer lines are
I’m talking about intentionally building a structure and a strategy and a position, not focusing your energy on the mechanics, because mechanics alone are insufficient
My friend Jerry calls these people [architects] corporate chiropractors. They don’t do surgery, they realign and recognize what’s out of place.
This piece is really important because it recognises the value of IT architects not as “standards police”, or people who worry about infrastructure while everyone else worries about bells and whistles; but as people who try to work against the force of entropy that constantly nudges IT capabilities and business requirements out of alignment.
The most successful IT architects in the long term are influencers, cajolers, nudgers, tweakers. They’re not the people driving macho balls-out megabucks IT transformation programmes that likely end up being associated with words like “baby” and “bathwater”. They’re people who can work co-operatively to discover and elaborate a shared vision for how IT can contribute business value over time, and then work co-operatively to make continual course corrections – taking into account changing business priorities as well as changing technology capabilities, models and skills availability.
Back in 2007 I was lucky enough to co-author a book (along with Dale Vile, Jon Collins and my MWD co-founder Neil Macehiter) called The Technology Garden, which laid out a manifesto and roadmap for improving the ability of IT investments to deliver value to businesses. It was based on quite a number of case study conversations, and its central theme was that IT estates are much more like gardens than like tower blocks: continually changing, growing, and subject to the forces of nature and the seasons. Every effective gardener knows you have to work with nature, not against it, for the most sustainable results.
Let’s hope Seth’s great post switches yet more people on to these ideas.
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