IT Architecture: a mini business case

  • Post category:IT architecture
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Organizations heavily depend on software. Millions, billions of lines of code are produced every year.

This only accelerates in the future. (This may even be a self-accelerating process. I was looking to find an estimated for the numbers of lines of code produced every year, but could not find firm figures. Nevertheless who would doubt the number software based solutions is growing.)

Architecture provide a sense of how all the software pieces fit together.

For organisations this means (enterprise, business, IT)  architecture define and assure the organization’s ability the serve customer needs. 

Architecture is the organizing principle. 

You can survive for sometime without an explicit architecture, but at some point you will hit a wall. Inefficiencies in business processes and the supporting software systems will bring an organization to a halt. Problems with functional alignment, business process and application integration, application support, scalability, changeability and what have you (yes I am being lazy now) will need to be addressed to get back on track. 

It is better to get things organized.

architecture or mess

On efficiency (what’s a nanosecond, what’s a microsecond)

  • Post category:IT architecture
  • Reading time:2 mins read

I heard Mark Andreessen predict that programmers need to get very efficient on programming again (At about 17:30) in this very interesting interview with Kevin Kelly.

If we do not get more efficient in programming, things might get stuck.

Another insteresting perepctive was already provided by Grace Hopper, the lady that invested COBOL, amongst other things.

See this video: How long is a nanosecond 

This all reminds me of a small test we did recently to check resource consumption of programming languages, by writing just a very small Hello World program. On ein COBOL, one in Java and one in Groovy.

The following summarizes how many CPU seconds these programs needed to run:

COBOL 0,01 msec (basically it was unmeasurable).

Java 1 second.

Groovy: 3 seconds.

And then we are only looking at very inefficient programming languages. Much more could be gained when looking at application architectures. Microservices architectures, especially when applied radically, are incredibly inefficient compared to traditional tightly coupled applications in C, COBOL or even Java.

Of course I do not want to advertise stovepipe applications, history has proven the maintenance issues to be inhibitive, but a more balanced architecture with more eye for efficiency seems inevitable.

Self-centered IT architecture and technology as a necessary evil

  • Post category:IT architecture
  • Reading time:1 mins read

Everyone thinks their own area of technical expertise is the most important.

The Data Architect thinks software solutions must be data-driven.

The integration architect thinks everything must be event-driven, or every interface must be a REST API.

The service management guys think that the CMDB is the center of the universe.

The cloud architect (if such a thing exists) thinks everything must be deployed in the cloud because the cloud is heaven.

We all forget that successful architectures are based on best practices. Quite universal best practices. Don’t tie everything tightly together (layering, loose coupling), do not make things complex (simplicity), etcetera. Technologies are not a goal. They are just a means. At best. Technologies are a necessary evil. You want as little as possible of it.