Sunday, May 07, 2006


If James Robertson was an Enterprise Architect...

James Robertson seems to be stuck in a loop on Smalltalk. Whenever there is controversy of any sort within the blogosphere, folks will more often that not express their perspective from the outsider looking in point of view. I wonder what James would think if he worked for a large Fortune enterprise...

In the past, he has commented on my posting of Why enterprises may never adopt LAMP not by misinterpreting my comments by taking each point as a standalone and therefore concluding that enterprises should never adopt Linux, nor does PHP have its place because that would simply be incorrect.

One blogger that has a great perspective that the community should read is Charlie Savage. Check out this post. Another blogger that "gets it" is Robert McIlree and his observation of the blogosphere as described here.

So, now for three really difficult questions I would love to see James provide insight into within this context:

1. James as a new hire is responsible for all strategies around software development and wants to make a recommendation on how the enterprise can modernize their IT portfolio. He knows that he has to sell the idea to his peers and others in a rapid manner in order to make the next budget cycle. James has been doing his homework and realizes that while the enterprise should be thinking about multiple aspects of software development, acknowledges that he will be successful if he focuses in one and only one recommendation. Which recommendation should Stephen choose and why?

2. James also accepts responsibility for several cost cutting initiatives and discovers he also needs a strategy to counter the effects of lots of folks retiring within the next couple of years balanced with the fact that there aren't a lot of college-aged folks pursuing IT nowadays. James is faced with three choices, which recommendation should he represent and why?

3. James has been also challenged to not only focus in on software development which makes up a tiny portion of the overall IT expenditure but also has been tasked with reducing the total cost of ownership within their infrastructure. James acknowledges that most large environments tend to be risk-adverse in the sense that they practice at some level taking the safe recommendations from large firms when there is a lot at stake. James figures out how to reconcile risk adverse thinking but is also a savage believer in open source. James is faced with four choices, which recommendation should here present and why?

I suspect I will be accused of asking the wrong questions by those outsiders who are looking in and they will not hesitate to share their perspectives as to why my questions posed are evil. Hopefully though, they may also respond with what their own recommendations would be in the situation outlined.

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