Wanted: The ICT Production Architect!

Photo at blog from webmaster - 21/09/2010 - 13:26

The IT industry is screaming for a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) like approach as the way forward. The key people to implement this approach are the information architects, a breed of specialists who translate business requirements into future proof IT components. But don't forget that 80+ percent of the IT spending still involves production related costs. Real optimization is this area requires a new breed of specialists: the Production Architect.

Over the years optimization within the production side of IT has been limited to pure cost cutting. Especially lower hardware costs and also some economy of scale results from outsourcing have shown structural impact. But at the same time the cost cutting drive has stopped investing in quality people managing the infrastructures and thus resulted in creating a new risk: there is almost nobody who knows anymore what we are running.

You find this exaggeration? Think about this: 10 years ago an average production engineer would know about databases, operating systems, the network and last but not least the internals of the applications. Nowadays we have partial technical specialist who might be absolute experts on their individual subject, but are missing a complete overview of what is involved, and what can improve the whole business process. On top of that new developments, like the above mentioned SOA-based solutions, make infrastructures even more complex.

Older technology and applications will die away slowly (or even not at all) and will remain the backbone of many production infrastructures. Deep insight in the (im)possibilities of tuning these often still functional sound components is a basic requirement for substantially lowering operational IT costs. The key resource to make this happen is the Production Architect. With a business process optimization view in mind, this person should draw upon the vast array of proven current technologies to renew and optimize the usage of our current components. Reference stories on lights out operation, zero latency processing, component wrapping and process flow management have proved potential results. An integrated approach to this under the guidance of the Production Architect will in my opinion show even exponential results.

Think about this: what investment (time, money and risk) is needed to replace your IT infrastructure with the best-of-the-best and the-newest-of-the-newest?

Compare this with the following thought: if we would use 20% of this investment to optimize what we have?

I know my answer: Hail to the Production Architect!

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