Many large enterprises are feeling pressure: digital disruptors attack with brand-new business models and no legacy; the “FaceBook generation” has dramatically increased user expectations; and access to state-of-the-art technologies has been democratized by cloud providers. This is tough stuff for enterprises that have been, and still are, very successful, but are built around traditional technology and organizational structures. “Turning the tanker”, as the need to transform is often described, has become a board room-level topic in many traditional enterprises.
Chief IT Architects and CTOs play a key role in such a digital transformation endeavor. They combine the technical, communication, and organizational skills to create business value from a tech stack refresh, to look behind buzzwords like “agile” and “DevOps”, and to build a technology platform that assures quality while moving faster. They do so by riding the “Architect Elevator” from the penthouse, where the business strategy is set, to the engine room, where the enabling technology is implemented.
I rode that elevator for 5 years in a major financial services organization and am now advising major corporations on their digital journey. I collect stories from the daily life of IT transformation and package them in lighthearted, but meaningful anecdotes.
As technical director in Google Cloud’s office of the CTO, Gregor maximizes the benefit customers derive from a cloud-based IT model by combining organizational, software delivery, and IT infrastructure transformation. Riding the “architect elevator” from the engine room to the penthouse, he connects corporate strategy with technical implementation by making complex topics engaging and approachable without compromising technical accuracy.
Before re-joining Google, Gregor held a position as Chief Architect at Allianz SE, one of world’s largest insurance companies. Having established accelerated innovation and complexity and cost reduction as architecture goals, he oversaw a global data center consolidation and deployed the first on-premise cloud and software delivery platform.
Gregor is known as co-author of the seminal book “Enterprise Integration Patterns”, which is widely cited as the reference vocabulary for asynchronous messaging solutions. His book “37 Things One Architect Knows About IT Transformation” tells stories from the trenches of IT transformation while his articles have been featured in “Best Software Writing” by Joel Spolsky and “97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know”. He is an active member of the IEEE Software advisory board.