Saturday, March 18, 2006


Open Enterprise Architecture and why Small is the New Big

Big used to matter. Big meant economies of scale. Big is the egos of many enterprise architects in corporate America. Big is now a predictor for failure...

Big computers in your data center are silly. They use lots of power and are not nearly as efficient as properly networked pizza boxes (at least that’s the way it works at Yahoo and Google). Big boom boxes are replaced by tiny ipod shuffles. Big budgets for anything results in even bigger budgets until things grow out of control.

If you have ever attended a presentation on service-oriented architectures by any of my coworkers, you may have noticed how we eschew big budgets for SOA. In fact, there is nothing in the budget labelled SOA. Likewise, when architects collaborate and figure out the next minute architecture, we do so via face-to-face discussions. No big meetings, corporate policies or feasibility studies. Just do it...

The principles of the agile manifesto encourages frequent customer interactions. Being close to decisions that matter allows one to make them quickly. If your customer has questions, you can provide not only the answer but insight into how they can think even deeper. The larger the problem, the harder you have to work to make things smaller.

Staying small requires one to outsource in a way that is not evil. Embrace outsourcing for all the boring, low ROI work which allows you to focus on things that matter. Command and Control almost always results in big inflexible decisions that result in the wrong decision being made...

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