Annual IT Architects Extravaganza of Technology, Complexity and Disruption
Well not far to go now. All the hard work has been put in so we can have a great day out for the IT architects in Ireland. And it's not often you can say that is it!?
For those of you just realizing that the event exists (shame on you!), let me just recap again what we are doing on the day.
The Big Picture
This is a conference for IT architects mainly (everyone is welcome though). I think of us as the technology leaders in organisations who have chosen not to become traditional IT managers (or maybe someone else decided that? ... whatever). It is my strongly held belief that in this, the emerging "Digital Age" we, as a group, we need to step up and help our organisations deal with the new levels of organisational complexity that has been driven, largely
speaking, by software technology. We've helped change things. We now need to help pick up the pieces!
One of the biggest impacts of software is the disruption of business models - in both private and public sector. What this disruption often means is that the beneficiaries of a any complex system may find that the degree to which they benefit has changed, sometimes significantly - a unplanned side-effect in many cases. Who do I mean by the beneficiaries of a complex system? Here's a quick list - see what you think:
The consumers - obviously! (Or so you'd think - not always the case). Organisations exist to meet a need - that's why they exist. Whether they be supermarket customers or patients of the healthcare system, you'd hope their needs would always be at the forefront of the system.
The providers. Not always considered as "beneficiaries" of a system ... but of course they are. You can't expect people to provide a service without some kind of payment - can you? How much is fair though? (Dangerous word fair ...).
The secondary providers. It's rare in the modern world that you can provide a service without leveraging secondary services from other entities. Again, these services must also be funded in a sustainable way.
The managers. Someone has to make sure that things are done correctly. Whether that be making sure the providers deliver what the consumers need or making sure the consumers (directly or indirectly), provide adequate funding, this group also need to be rewarded.
Nothing new here in some senses but software is disrupting what we do at such a basic level that we do need to go back to basics on a lot of this stuff and figure it out again.
Now I'm not saying that IT architects are going to solve all of these issues - that's a much bigger challenge, but what we can do - initially anyway - is that when we design software enabled solutions, we make sure that the costs and benefits are much clearer. We haven't done a great job on this to date in my opinion. We have the tools. We have the know-how. We just need to do it much better. And if we do that well we may be asked to help at a wider context.
So, this is the theme that I tried to get the speakers to address. And this is what I hope they will do in their own way. This is a new way of thinking for us so it will take some time for it to sink in. I'm really looking forward to see what they come up with though.
So, if you want to be a leader in the Digital Age ... make sure you come along. It will be an interesting day!
Note: Originally Posted on LinkedIn: on 30/05/17: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/show-me-money-june-15th-long-now-paddy-baxter