IT needs a return to the art of architecture

We've lost our way, focusing more on technology than technique, more on hype than core deliverables; architecture is our only path to better IT

I'm back now from the Open Group Conference. I was thinking on the plane ride back that I pretty much go to all of the major enterprise architecture-oriented conferences and find that this part of IT is both important and interesting to me. I just can't help thinking that this is the path to solving many of the larger issues within IT.

[ For related news from the Open Group Conference, read about the upgrade of the TOGAF enterprise architecture. ]

With the issues around SOA lately, mostly caused by organizations not practicing architecture, perhaps there needs to be a return to the art of architecture or the creative ways in which you can configure your IT resources to support the business and the process around doing that.

I think that we've lost our way in the last few years, focusing more on technology than technique, more on hype than core deliverables. I've hammered that point here and on my podcasts. This poor behavior has cost us dearly, both in lost time and lost opportunity.

To me, architecture is about thinking through the strategy and the approach to IT and then moving to the desired end state holistically. There are many layers, including architecture at the micro-domain or project instance, and architecture at the macro-domain or enterprise-wide. The trick is to define the macro-domain first, then move toward the overarching strategy project by project, success by success.

Hopefully, the issues around SOA working or not within existing enterprises will drive many to look at the core architectural issues, and return to more detailed and structured planning. In many respects, it's becoming a lost art, but our only chance to correct many of the dysfunctional IT infrastructures we're dealing with today.

That's my 2 cents.