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Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

Forrester's IT Forum: The Business Technology Transformation

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For the next few days, I'll be at Forrester's IT Forum in Las Vegas (of course). The conference is centered on Forrester's Business Technology agenda:

"...a time for some soul searching in IT, a time to learn from past lessons and create a better way. Forrester calls this new mandate business technology (BT), where every business activity is enabled by technology and every technology decision hinges on a business need."

The goal of the conference is to enable a real-world transformation to Business Technology.  Forrester breaks this transformation into five interrelated efforts:

"Connect people more fluidly to drive innovation. You serve a more socially oriented, device-enabled population of both information workers and customers. You want to empower both groups without losing control of costs or hurting productivity.

Infuse business processes with business insight. You support structured business processes but lose control as they bump heads with a multitude of unstructured processes. You want to connect both forms of process to actionable data, but you struggle with data quality and silos.

Simplify always and everywhere. You have the tools to be more agile, but you face a swamp of software complexity and unnecessary functionality. You want technologies, architectures, and management processes that are more fit-to-purpose.

Deliver services, not assets. You want to speak in terms that the business understands, but you find your staff confined to assets and technologies. You want to shift more delivery to balance-sheet-friendly models but struggle to work through vendor or legacy icebergs.

Create new, differentiated business capabilities. Underpinning all of these efforts, you want to link every technology thought -- from architecture to infrastructure to communities -- to new business capabilities valued by your enterprise."

Given your and my broad perspectives, I'll be attending sessions from all tracks to get the big picture.  My detailed live-blog posts will be at elemental links.  I'll post some summaries here.

To follow the entire conference conversation on twitter, use hashtag #ITF10.  Follow me on twitter @bmichelson.


Just a great notes, Brenda! I agree and support majority of your points (in bold) except for the one about simplicity.

I think,this statement requires some explanations. For instance, "Simplify always and everywhere from the business perspective". "software complexity and unnecessary functionality" will go away almost automatically if each technical architectural and implementation decision would be challenged and analysed from the business rational point of view.

For example, Technical Architects tell me in my current project that ESB makes development easier and faster... by acquiring and accumulating business logic of inter-service interaction. At the same time, my business clients ask for the independent business services, independent from a technical coupling and, by all means, independent from any technical infrastructural tricks that are not under the business control (which Business Unit controls business responsibilities of the ESB?)So, looking at the ESB from the my business clients perspective, I have and will avoid using it for Business Services.

Is this simple? For Business - yes, for Technology - yes, for SW developers - no. But those who pay money, those define what 'simple things' are.

I loved what you've done here. The design is elegant, your stuff classy. Yet, you've got an edginess to what you're offering here. Ill definitely come back for more if you keep this up. Don't lose hope if not too many people see your vision, know you've got a fan right here who values what you've got to say and the way you've presented yourself. good on you!

Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.


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