Use Architecture to describe the business, before, during and after projects.
“Architecture” is now a widely used term associated with Information Technology. The number of adjectives applied to the term seems endless: “Technical Architecture”, “Systems Architecture”, “Business Systems Architecture”, “Enterprise Architecture”, and so on.
Why do we need Architecture?
Architecture is not an end in itself; Architecture exists because things need to be built.
Architecture is required when building anything that is not simple; in its essence, Architecture identifies all the separate components of an end artifact and how all the components are related and fit together to comprise the whole of the artifact.
Architecture is layered to capture and present information about the product to different audiences, from initial/high concept to detailed specification.
Applied to IT, a component assembly approach is what I see in the industry, from the OO approach of software development, to real-time use of defined services, as popularized by SOA. Specialized agent software is starting to assist in finding services and brokering between different services to perform transactions collaboratively.
For the average company using IT, architecture is needed because it needs focused IT functionality to deliver the highest current value, while trying hard to ensure that the function will work (“integrate”) with the next function that is needed.
Readers: What does Architecture mean to you? Are you managing your IT resources based on a defined Architecture? How much of your business is described in the Architecture, compared to the technical aspects?
Next Time – You don't need to invent your Architecture from scratch.