The Increasing Focus on Architecture

If you follow my updates on Twitter or on the OTN ArchBeat page on Facebook you have probably noticed that I'm a regular reader of Joe McKendrick's SOA blog on ZDNet. Usually I'm content to simply share a link on my social networks when I find one of McKendrick's posts interesting.

But with a recent post, In the cloud era, let's start calling IT what it is: 'Innovation Team', McKendrick hit on a point that warrants more than a quick link:
"IT is no longer just a department full of people who code, build and maintain systems. IT is the business partner that plans and strategizes what types of technology solutions the business needs to move forward."

Of course, what McKendrick is describing is an increased focus on architecture. Assuming that McKendrick's assessment is correct — and I do — that expanding focus, from coding, building, and maintaining systems to planning and strategizing technology solutions that serve the business, isn't limited to the organizational level. The individual roles within the IT organization will also have to shift to a more broadly architectural mindset.

McKendrick's post references Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger's assessment of cloud computing as a critical "third model" of computing to emerge in the 50-year history of Information Technology. As computing itself evolves, the underlying roles that make computing possible must evolve accordingly. That evolution will be defined by an increased focus on architecture.

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