Monday, December 19, 2011
Social Networking serves to destroy enterprise architecture
Consider the scenario of being an enterprise architect for a social networking site such as Facebook. Is the goal to focus on application rationalization? Is the goal to perform an inventory of all applications in production so that they can be loaded into an application portfolio management tool? I can't think of a better reference model for enterprise architecture and how IT supports the business than Facebook.
Enterprise architecture within many social networking sites is savagely focused on not letting IT become an impediment to business agility. The focus is less about IT strategy in the strict sense and more about getting the fundamentals of IT right. They are constantly finding better ways to design and build software as well as improving how IT infrastructure teams operate.
I find it fascinating how many enterprise architects can't fathom the simplicity of bespoke enterprise architecture! I have observed that Social networking sites have exhibited the following practices in their behavior:
- a. champion modest code bases
- b. Architectures must be extensible vs all possible functionality designed upfront
- c. Eschew monolithic practices such as writing comprehensive business requirements documents and instead focus on ways to collect feedback from users of the system
- d. Design the ecosystem for growth and do whatever it takes to mask inefficiencies
- e. Don't establish an organization chart that discourages technical people from remaining technical. In fact, encourage the existence of savage teams of nomad developers and encourage them to travel in tribes
- f. Get all the useless processes that don't help people do their job out of the way
So, if you want to be agile, align with the business or other buzzwords of the day, you need to pay more attention to how it is done in social networking ecosystems...
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