Let’s start with the basics: the goal of our Architect role is to align IT with the course of business. So far, so good, eh? So, being that almost every business has been challenged as a consequence of the current economic slowdown, we—as architects—are challenged to make our architectures follow the pace of business that these days is particularly changeable and unstable.
We thought that we had a clear understanding of the rules corresponding to the latest scenario. Having made a plan to face it, and being in the middle of the execution, we’re told that the organization must now implement further changes to keep business going. The results of the last quarter were known, and growth expectations were revised to lower—perhaps negative—numbers.
This issue of The Architecture Journal won’t tell you when this meltdown will end or whether we’ll have kept our jobs. It will, however, share architecture strategies, IT behaviors, and—for sure—success stories. I counted on the invaluable collaboration of Mike Walker as guest editor for this issue. Mike wrote the opening article, which details how architects can add value back to the business during climates as particular as the current one. He and the other authors are architects like you and me: they didn’t live during the Great Depression and, even if they had, technology in general and IT architecture as a discipline were slightly different from what they are today. They were suddenly challenged, and they responded to those challenges. Now, they tell us how they are succeeding. I hope you’ll find both inspiration and courage in these pages.
By the way, as announced in the last issue, we keep adding features to the Journal to take advantage of its now mainstream digital format. We‘ve introduced a “Follow Up” section at the end of any article that has references for going further with implementation.
This issue, we’re introducing the “guest columnist” concept. You’ll find that an article comes with one, two, or even three guest columnists. We intend to widen coverage on a given topic by offering different perspectives and voices. We’re not yet done with these new features. Also, for those of you who are interested in receiving a printed version, we’re still working on a print on-demand model.
By chance, are you interested in writing an article for the Journal? We just finished a call for papers on “SOA at the end of the decade,” and we thank all of you who participated in that call. You can learn about a future call for papers by subscribing to The Architecture Journal newsletter, which you can do by visiting The Architecture Journal Web site.
As always, you can let us know your opinions directly by e-mailing us.
Architecture in Turbulent Times, by Mike Walker
Reuse, Buy, or Build: Components and Services, by Simon Thurman and Phil Rowland
“Live Long and Prosper”: Customer and Employee Retention with an Agile Process, by Rodney Guzman
Surviving Turbulent Times: Prioritizing IT Initiatives Using Business Architecture, by Martin Sykes and Brad Clayton
Practical Architecture in Impractical Times, by Matt Valentine
Reducing Infrastructure Costs Through Virtualization, by Leandro Sgallari
Engineering in the Cloud: An Engineering Software + Services Architecture Forged in Turbulent Times, by Peter Williams and Simon Cox
This issue is also available as a PDF. Download it here.