Future-proofed architecture must replace the slum and monolith: Gartner

Future-proofed architecture must replace the slum and monolith: Gartner

The too complex and too simple need to find balance through planned enterprise architecture building and delivery

Enterprises must begin to architect their organisations through a future-proofed mindset that does not necessarily attempt to predict what will occur, but rather considers the business’ contextual requirements, its direction, and how that can be supported, according to Gartner Research vice-president and distinguished analyst, Betsy Burton.

Thus far, enterprise architecture has been victim to the slum and monolith models. The former – a ‘from the ground up’ structure – has produced overly complex infrastructure that is too delicate, and due to its interconnected nature, faces the threat of a domino failure effect. It creates a lack of business and portfolio prioritisation, and risks reliability, scalability, and availability, Burton said.

By trying to deter disruptive failures that disturb the businesses, enterprises look to assert control over the entire architectural environment by producing rigid structures – the monolith.

The monolith sits at the opposite extreme through over-consolidation and standardisation. Burton said that this limits business extensibility, agility, and flexibility, and is not reflective of the current business and IT reality.

Using contemporary hotel construction as an example, Gartner Research vice-president, Ian Finley, said that escaping the slum and monolith involves the employment of a ‘city planner’ perspective by architects, whereby they build architecture one block at a time and set guidelines so the organisation is able to deliver as a whole.

Additionally, Gartner Research fellow and vice-president, David Smith, who refers to the new approach as ‘nexus’, added that key assumptions must be re-examined. These include social, mobile, Cloud, and information assumptions. Smith said that architectures must adhere to global class principles or they will be considered antiquated.

This means that CIOs and IT departments must get ahead by future-proofing applications for inevitable change, and recognising that disruptions will not stop.

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