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Simplifying Architecture

As the economy continues to take it's toll, more and more companies are looking at ways to simplify their technical or systems architecture in an effort to reduce complexity and costs. I will highlight four ways to simplify your company's technical architecture:

1) Governance process - Your technical architecture will continue to be polluted without a proper governance process in place. The "end-state" and standard technologies need to be defined as a way to guide and govern. A governance process includes things like a design review process by the senior architects or your Enterprise Architecture council - this design review needs to occur BEFORE coding is started. Remediation plans need to be created in situations for which the architecture does not meet standards.

2) SOA approach - A service oriented architecture approach will drive simplification. Once you determine the business services that exist and the ones that are needed what naturally follows is a simplification effort for the related business processes.

3) Platforms - Moving to a set of common platforms (eg - BI Platform, SOA Platform, CRM Platform, etc) is a good way to simplify architecture. Consolidating functionality onto a common platform naturally leads to a simplified architecture.

4) Tactical Simplification Efforts - There are always opportunities to consolidate databases, consolidate servers, consolidate networks, etc. These efforts can be planned into an on-going roadmap. Typically these will not be associated with a strategic business effort but more likely associated with a capital cost avoidance or cost reduction effort.


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