Thursday, August 21, 2008

Complexity is not a technology problem

In a recent copy of CIO Magazine, John Parkinson wrote an article titled Simplifying IT Management is Anything But. In this article, John discussed the difficulty in seeing through the vendor presentations to see which technologies would really make a difference to an organization.

In my view, if you are trying to understand what technologies to use to address complexity, you are probably too late. The solution to complexity is never found in technology. It is found in architecture. And architecture is mostly technology neutral. My perspective on complexity is that it can only be addressed at the enterprise architectural level, and then only if an organization specifically focuses on that as the overriding issue. In my book, Simple Architectures for Complex Enterprises, I address the issue of architectural complexity in depth. In summary, we must first understand complexity, then model it, then build processes that can be proven to address it. But the single most important factor is attitude. We need to view complexity as an enemy and simplicity as a core business asset. Every business analyst and IT architect needs to unite in the battle against complexity. Most IT systems fail, and the bigger they are, the harder they fall. When an IT system fails, the reason is almost always unmanaged complexity.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Simple Architectures - The Book (Discussion)

Simple Architectures For Complex Enterprises is now available. You can order it at Amazon. This book introduces a new way of thinking about Enterprise Architecture. The focus of Enterprise Architecture should not be on efficient use of IT, improving alignment between IT and the business, or any of the other traditional concerns of Enterprise Architecture. Why? Because none of these are the real problem, they are merely symptoms of the problem. The real problem is enterprise complexity. This book discusses the nature of enterprise complexity, why complexity causes so many problems for IT, how complexity can be understood, and, most important, how complexity can be attacked.

Would you like to discuss some of the issues raised in Simple Architectures? This is as good as place as any!