Real-life IT Transformation

Real life writes the best stories. This blog documents my observations from riding the architect elevator up and down Enterprise IT.

I tend to write about IT Strategy, Architecture, and Cloud Computing. Choose from one of the categories below.

Architecture

Showing the pirate ship leads to better decision making

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Architecture diagrams tend to show all the individual parts rather than illustrating the system’s key purpose. Inverting this not only produces more expressive diagrams, it also improves decision making.

Failure doesn’t respect abstraction.

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The key mechanism to tackle ever increasing complexity is abstraction, such as frameworks or interfaces. Some things, however, can’t be abstracted away.

Here’s why enterprise IT is so complex

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Enterprise IT is routinely plagued by excessive complexity. It’s almost like it’s subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which concludes that the entropy in a system can never decrease.

The Machine Governator shows no mercy

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For governance to remain effective in a high-velocity environment, it needs to be automated. Surprisingly, it also produces more reliable results.

Architecture: Selling Options

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How do you explain the value of architecture to business stakeholders? Deferring to the Nobel-prize winning economists Black and Scholes can work surprisingly well.

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Cloud

Why run software you didn’t build?

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A lot of modern cloud technology leverages containers. However, a non-trivial portion of enterprise applications don’t run easily in containers. The answer to this conundrum lies in taking a step back and asking a more fundamental questi...

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Strategy

Speaking CTO

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CTOs and chief architects are busy people. But if you bring value, they will have time for you.

Don’t make your customers play Takeshi’s Castle

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When buying a software or hardware product for your enterprise, the future product roadmap is as much a consideration as the current product state. However, this is where some vendors play games with their customers.

Don’t Outsource Thinking

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Enterprise IT generally follows a “buy over build” strategy because in most cases it yields lower risk and better economics than doing it yourself. But there are a few things that you should keep to yourself.

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Transformation

Don’t hire a digital hitman

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A classic movie recipe has a seemingly law-abiding person hire someone from the underworld to do unpleasant work for them. And it all goes predictably and awfully wrong. Don’t let the same happen in your IT transformation!

Reversing the disablement cycle

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Everyone does the right thing, yet nothing much gets done. How to break self-reinforcing bad habits.

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