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Blockchain Business In 2060 Information Technology Society Technology Text-to-Speech

Cloud Computing in 2060

I was busy with professor Gytek when a high-priority notification arrived, so I ask my AI family assistant for a voice reading.

“Good morning Yannick, you’ve spent 1704 CU this semester. The consumption is unusually high by 27% compared to the previous period.”.

I guess it is because my grandchildren are living with us since ‘that’ incident. And my work with professor Gytek is certainly for something. Sometimes I feel I turned like my old folks, thinking my civilian bills is a high priority!

It feels like ages ago when, in 2034, Europe voted for the General Digital Access Regulation or GDAR. The GDAR has invited country members to the standardization of digital facility services for all European citizens. The implications were multiple with some bonuses. It became mandatory to provide access to the Internet to residents. Therefore, at least a device was to be given for truly digital equality and sustainable civilization development. Hence all citizens could study, work, buy, and vote online free of “access fees”.

Today, each and everyone is connected, could it be brain-wired, phygital reality glasses, in-bone sensorial devices, you name it. Not that it is necessary, holographic coating comes by default now. Wall paints, object textures, and glasses contain diamond-shaped optical picobots that give the illusion of depth without wearing anything. Actually, holographic surrealism is the latest design trend! Consequently, it has created an outstanding dependency on Decentralized Cloud Computing and Centralized Cloud Computing Networks.

The first sign of significant transformation was post-COVID-19, which revealed the need for remote work.

The intense need started really in 2032 when governments realized they could not be relying only upon Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for the future of digital expansion. The main reason is that GDAR states the following foundation principle:

Article 3.
Pursuant to legal principles of ownership and privacy, it is hereby declared that all data, computing resources, and services shall be considered the personal property of the individual to whom they belong. Any access to or utilization of said property by any third party must be fully authorized by the owner and must be recorded in the EU Secure Non-Repudiable Ledger for the purposes of personal auditing and consumer accountability. Any unauthorized access or use of such property shall be deemed a violation of the owner’s rights, and may subject the offending party to legal action.

The negotiation with US and Chinese companies demonstrated the frail adherence to these requirements. Sometimes there were even reluctant to do so, which, considering the balance of the tripolar world order, was already quite an achievement. In parallel, to ensure national intelligence security, and intellectual property preservation, the only option left was to rely on a European Cloud.

This is when GAIA-X also became a so-called superunicorn company, switching from a federated cloud project to a single organization of a new kind: a European company, managed like a private company, with an obligation of result, but publicly owned by all state members, and, that’s a first, explicitly owned by the people. As a result, GAIA-X became ATHENA, and Octave Klaba, the founder of OVH Cloud, its CEO. What made it truly unique was the redistribution of benefits to the population; Indirectly, of course, but still, the business model was innovative, sustainable, and fair to citizens. The only thing you need to get started is your wallet!

During the same period, a new kind of Trade Exchange has been created: the EU Sovereign Trade Exchange, where only state citizens could buy and sell ATHENA’s shares and Computing Units tokens (CU). The latter serves as the foundation for receiving your free volume of TPU to satisfy your basic need as an individual and to extend the growth of enterprises based on how citizen wishes to invest in their business expansion.

The real benefit and the paradigm shift, at least for me, was computing becoming a utility resource like electricity and water. It changed everything:

First, Cloud Providers became producers of CUs. Considering international diplomacy with New Americas, BRICS, and the Great African Union, the leading cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Service, Google Cloud Platform, Netflix Entertainment Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Africa Data Centres, and DFnity were considered first-class cloud producers in the European Union.

Secondly, individuals can be CU providers when they have devices and servers producing more computing units than they consume. Nowadays, Cloudfluencers are the real deal!

Thirdly, all dwellings, devices appliances, were by default connected to your dHome Network, which is your dedicated network for privacy compliance. In 2034, the first GDAR amendment was issued in Luxembourg, where it forced all new construction and existing construction to incorporate a pluggable dHome network. Thus, the civil architecture standards and IT digital standards were upgraded and propagated throughout Europe. As a consequence, private-to-public Internet gateways were included in all housing plans by design.

Fourthly, connection to the Internet is also included. The network is software-generated and the adaptive routing is part of the civil infrastructure coming by Satellite’s PolyLight technology (which is the advanced distribution network using directed polyphasic beams of light, and each “column building” is a piece of architectural art), distributed electric grid network, where each device and vehicle act as a distribution node, or air using the old school 10G network used by the purists and the developers. Underground internet distribution is forbidden nowadays. You only had to select your Cloud Computing Providers for additional services, like on-demand Entertainment Services, the same way you used to subscribe to Netflix!

Finally, you had a single billing system where your utility invoices were sent directly to your EU Citizen One Stop Shop portal, the dHome, while payments were performed automatically (see Banking in 2060)

The security of ATHENA’s distributed network was the best.

The Core Network, BREW, was virtually inaccessible. The reason was simple, it was located in space. Its data center was a giant polyhedron, entirely built by machine. It is not that, nowadays, we do not trust humans, it is just that people trust the public and the unbias aspect of machine-generated code.

The most impressive was the servicing of qCPU. Each of them is unique, embedding in its core a set of private metamorphic keys only known and bound to the citizen. Then, the qCPU is printed on demand inside BREW autonomous factory. Furthermore, the qCPU is destroyed, recycled, then replaced periodically to ensure maximum security. Finally, human interventions, if any, are performed remotely, from ATHENA Earth Control Center, using a repair drone, which was shipped from the daily Falcon Cargo Shuttle.

“Where was I again… Ah, yes. Professor Gytek, we need to work out what is happening to you. This cannot happen again…”


Categories
Business Career Information Technology IT Architecture Self development Technology

What roles exist in IT for software developers to pursue after they are tired of coding?

There are many job careers to “step up” or “side step” from IT Dev Engineer. The following introduces 14 jobs to which you can start planning your next career move.

Technology Consulting

Join an ICT consulting company to provide technology consulting. The goal is to specialize in a dedicated technology or focus your attention on a specific technology stack. You are selling your expertise, methods, and best practices.

Thus, your activities will mainly be: installation, configuration, integration, performance tuning, security hardening, and guidance. For example, ELK Stack specialist, Neo4J expert, Microsoft Azure Cloud champion, etc.

Project Manager

Your expertise will be mainly focused on planning, coordination, communication, and budget management. Your experience in IT will also help you to identify pitfalls and manage delivery and expectations. You could also be specialized in Agile Delivery and get a Scrum Master certification.

In addition, you will develop financial acumen. Keeping spending in check is an important part of project management. Decisions, such as hiring contractors, conducting RFP, and cloud service consumption optimization, have an impact on the overall project investment.

Business Analyst

You will focus on your functional expertise in the frame of an industry vertical, such as Banking, Healthcare, or Food services, to provide an in-depth analysis of functional and non-functional requirements.

Then, leverage your IT experience to increase the feasibility of the solutions.

Your knowledge spreads over the spectrum of:

  • Contribute to project activities
  • Acquiring the voice of customers
  • Provide thought insights on product feature prioritization
  • Discover new business trends
  • Provide expert-level internal support and customer support.

Architect

You have a different flavor of architect roles here. To name a few, Software Architects, Infrastructure Architects, or Solution architects will move into the realm of architectural design and increase the scope of your actions and the weight of your decisions.

The end goal is to continuously deliver high-level plans and detailed plans that have been worked out with product managers, business analysts, IT engineers, etc. so that product implementations fit completely to expectations given the resources and constraints.

Ops Engineer

As a side step, you can focus on other IT jobs such as Ops Engineer, or specialized System Administrators (Sys Admin), where you will focus more on platform automation, reliability, and observability. There is more configuration, administration, forensics, and less coding.

But you will still code. Shell (Bash, Powershell, etc.) and scripting will be your best friends!

You will abide by the good practices of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and ITIL governance, most specifically within Change Management, Incident Management, and Problem Management.

Test Engineer

If your mind is more driven by probing things and ultimately driven by quality, this job is for you.

Test engineers focus on elements that are not in line with requirements and the expected “correct” behavior. In addition, they will bend the product until it breaks.

It is all about detecting as early as possible the elements that will go against the fulfillment of the functionality, or hamper the user’s experience. It is a continuous practice as each change has the potential of breaking working features.

They are highly useful advisors as they guide you in the right choice, and the valuable tradeoffs, as IT delivery is often about the decisions between quality, timing, and costs.

Security Engineer

It takes another way of thinking, almost reversing the IT developers’ mindset. As a security engineer, you work in the realm of “what if” and “be ready when”.

It is about playing defensive, thinking in terms of security zones, trust limits, sometime in trustless systems (Zero Trust Architecture), and managing identity and access rights.

The ultimate purpose is to erect an unshakable foundation because a crack in your fortress will be undoubtedly disastrous.

Like Tower Defense games, it is a fun job, and Cybersecurity jobs are in high demand.

UX Designer

If you are sensitive to ergonomics, aesthetics, and customer behavior, and you are already acquainted with frontend development, a jump to UX design, and regularly extended to UX/UI design.

UX, as User Experience, focuses on the events leading to the experience, the beginning of the experience, the path the user walks, and the end of the journey.

UX designers will focus on making the moment “enjoyable”, “frictionless”, and sometimes, “memorable”. Hence, the user’s feelings will be considered a critical piece of data during the design exercise.

Alternatively, the UI (User Interface) Design concentrates on the aesthetics, the action of polishing, turning something common into a unique piece that links to brand identity. Masters in this area are considered digital artists.

IT Manager

Then, if you feel the need to lead, coach, mentor, organize, and decide about the next step: walk the path of the IT Manager.

First and foremost, understand that it is primarily about the people as your job continuously focuses on ensuring your colleagues are in the optimal state for fulfilling their job in the most enjoyable way possible, moving away obstacles, and sources of confusion or disorganization.

Start with learning how to manage a team, a small one (1 to 3) to start with. It takes a different kind of skill set for managing people. It is not because you are a sound engineer that you will be a good people management.

Finally, management truly shines when you learn how to be a leader, and even more when you teach leadership.

Data Management Expert

In this case, it is all about the data. Designing Data models, managing existing data (consistency, integrity, etc), releasing new schema, improving query performances, patching data, performing data migrations, managing reference data, etc.

You will perform a lot of data analysis and forensics. Mastery of the meaning will be key and you are highly valuable to your company / to the industry for these skills.

Data Scientist

Your sole purpose is to find gold in your data, hence your job is to be a researcher using advanced tools such as statistics, graph visualizations, machine learning, deep learning, etc.

This job is perfect for explorers and pioneers. You will navigate the sea of data (Data warehouses, Data Lake, Data Mart, etc.) often to seek an answer to a question, or in pursuit of pieces of information unseen before.

You will find correlations, clean the data, aggregate them, practice feature engineering, create models, and, to some extent, reuse or create new A.I. architecture.

The point is that you must be good with data and maths, especially statistics. There is much less coding, yet most libraries such as Pytorch, Tensorflow, and Brain.js are built upon Python, JavaScript, and R. Coding is more of a tool in this case.

IT Risk Engineer

This discipline consists in transforming the organization by incorporating risk elements inherent to bad practice and non-compliance to industry standards (HIPAA, ISO 9001, BIAN, …), regulated framework (GDPR, NIS, …), practice standards (ITIL, COBIT, …), and corporate standards.

As an IT Risk engineer, your activities are:

  • Designing and enriching the risk management methodology
  • Running day-to-day operations, controls, and governance to ensure the enterprise stays in adequation with compliance.
  • Coding IT programs that guarantee automatic compliance by design.
  • Actively mentoring other colleagues in developing risk awareness

Typically, IT risk elements are subject to compliance checks run in the scope of audits.

IT Auditor

IT Auditors are the ones verifying compliance with standards and regulations. You can work as an internal auditor or an external (independent) auditor.

You will work within a control framework and an IT auditing methodology to highlight compliance findings and gaps with respect to a standard or a regulation.

For the latter, you will likely represent a body of regulation or a body of certification. Either way, you will more often find a job in the top tiers consulting firms, such as EY, BCG, Infosys, Cap Gemini, or large companies that are either mandated by the regulator to have an internal audit organization, such as in Banking.

Technical Writer

Technical writers are experts in writing professional documentation. Your purpose is to engineer documentation in such a way that it will holistically be understood by a specific audience, could it be an end user, an administrator, or a developer.

You structure your documentation so that its information architecture is easily grasped by the reader. In addition, the progression is engineered in such a way that the reader will learn throughout its journey what concepts mean, how they are related to each other, and how to repeat tasks to become autonomous.

A technical writer deeply understands that documentation is part of “the product definition”, therefore it must be polished, finished, visually designed, and user-focused.

Typically, the best documentation promoted by the best ICT companies is written by these experts. They work with Content Management Systems, proof-writing systems, templates, reader-friendly fonts, and rich illustrations, within the consistency of a design system created by a UX/UI Designer.

🫡

Categories
Bitcoin Blockchain Business Business Strategy Cardano Cryptocurrencies Ethereum How to Polkadot Strategy Technology Technology Strategy Web 3.0

How to grasp the blockchain world and safely walk your first steps into Web 3.0

The following is a quick guide explaining how to become acquainted with the world of blockchain, crypto, and web 3.0:

  1. First, I invite you to start with these videos:
    1. What is a Blockchain: https://youtu.be/rYQgy8QDEBI
    2. The difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains: https://youtu.be/0UBk1e5qnr4
    3. What is a Smart Contract: https://youtu.be/ZE2HxTmxfrI
    4. What is a Stablecoin: https://youtu.be/pGzfexGmuVw
    5. What is an NFT: https://youtu.be/FkUn86bH34M
  2. Understand the key concepts of web 3.0 by googling them: Blockchain, Wallet, Cryptocurrency, (crypto) token, Mining, PKI, tokens, Smart Contracts, Dapps, Decentralized Exchanges (DEX), Staking, ICO, ITO, Layer 1/2/3 protocols, transaction fees, consensus, etc.
  3. Know what are the major Web 3.0 technologies, their differences, and their value propositions like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, Cardano, Cosmos, Polygon, Hyperledger, IPFS, Storj, Solana, Tether, etc. Not only the network but also the development tooling and the distribution means.
  4. Understand what new business models, organization models, like DAO, and features the Web 3.0 is bringing with respect to Web 2.0. Then research how Web 2.0 and 3.0 complement each other.
  5. Select one Blockchain technology and stick to it, in the beginning, to understand how Dapps are being built, distributed, and promoted in the ecosystem. Some of the most popular depending on your areas of interest: Uniswap (DeFi), OpenSea (Digital Art, NFT), Axie Infinity (Gaming), …
  6. Understand token economics and how it is possible to have such a huge valuation and market capitalization.
  7. Learn by doing!
    • Learn to use blockchain tools like Etherscan and Bitcoin Explorer, to see all Ethereum Blockchain transactions. And now is the time to look up your own wallet!
    • Then, you could fund your wallet using the most popular and safest Crypto Trade Exchanges like Kraken, Coindesk, or Crypto.com.
      Notice that you can buy cryptocurrencies with Paypal, but you currently cannot transfer them to your own wallet. Paypal is holding bitcoin for you.
  8. Follow the various companies and foundations expanding the web 3.0 (tech websites, Twitter) to grasp how the ecosystem is expanding. Then, ask yourself how these companies are regulated.
  9. Interact on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Reddit with knowledgeable people and enthusiasts.
  10. If you are an IT engineer, start programming with Solidity. I find the Truffle Suite genuinely good to build Smart Contracts and NFTs in an easy way.
Categories
Business Business Strategy Data Data Architecture Information Technology Legal Technology Strategy

The European Data Act: actually, can your data become a reliable source of income?

The European Data Act has recently been published.

It aims at clarifying and strengthening the governing framework of the #dataeconomy.

In the nutshell (extract):

“The Data Act will give both individuals and businesses more control over their data through a reinforced data portability right, copying or transferring data easily from across different services, where the data are generated through smart objects, machines, and devices.”

For example, a car or machinery owner could choose to share data generated by their use with its insurance company.

Such data, aggregated from multiple users, could also help to develop or improve other digital services, e.g. regarding traffic, or areas at high risk of accidents.”

Some thoughts on this

1️⃣ I wonder to what extent the boundaries of your data ownership can be explicitly defined, then transparently coded in IT systems, so that a “data asset” is legally bound to you as your property.

2️⃣ After this, you could ask Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to share a piece of the cake: % of the revenue generated from your data.
Let’s face it, it looks like a game-changer, if it can really be implemented.

3️⃣ Ultimately, you can capitalize on GPDR architecture. It pushes the concepts of data ownership, consent management, data counters, data KPI, data censorship management, IAM, data expiry management, etc.

4️⃣ Beyond multicloud oversight solutions, this is an excellent use case for permissioned blockchain, like Hyperledger Fabric. (e.g. Infrachain )

5️⃣ Innovative business models to arise like “Mutual Data Funds”, or Open Data Lakes”, where a set of businesses or individuals would provide a set of qualified and certified data sources to act as “Value Added Data Sources”, something similar to Bloomberg or Reuters for financial News.

Also, these Mutual Data Pools are fitted to be plugged as Oracles in blockchains (#ethereum#chainlink#binance, etc.)

I can already envision the pitch of startups like “We are the Bloomberg of space mining Data” (which would be awesome by the way👍)

6️⃣ This could boost the API economy. But also push further the adoption of GraphQL and AsyncAPI standards.

7️⃣ I reckon open industry data models are a much better way to start. It would help regulators (e.g. Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) , CNPD – Commission nationale pour la protection des données , CNIL – Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés), auditors and regtech (e.g. Scorechain ) to have a common ground to build their control frameworks and oversight infrastructure.
Now, it is time to stitch them together.

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Categories
Architecture Business Data Architecture Enterprise Architecture Information Technology IT Architecture Organization Architecture Technology UI Architecture

“Leading you to the best decisions” - A story about the unimaginable benefits of Architecture in Businesses

Green arrows that illustrate the theme "Leading you to the best decisions"

I am amazed by the sparkling eyes of someone discovering what he or she can achieve with Enterprise Architecture and IT Architecture. 

This wonderful effect usually starts with a casual conversation, like one of those happening when you meet someone for the first time at an event exposing the disruptive changes in your industries.

I had that conversation the other day.

Coming out of the main conference room, I was thirsty, so I walked in the direction of the bar. New beverages? Of course, count me in. The drink is unusually green. Same colors as one of those “Diabolo-Menthe” I had in my childhood in Paris. But this glass is foggy. While I am looking at the recipient trying to guess what that magic potion is made of, the bartender is observing me. During this moment of hesitation, he said: “It’s coming from Japan. You are going to like it”. Despite his confidence, he did not convince me. How could he know my tastes anyway? Nevertheless, I drank the mysterious beverage, and, oh boy, he was right. The — whatever the name — was delicious.

Someone next to me was trying a foggy red elixir. When she caught the surprise on my face, she engaged in the conversation.

I answered politely, and introduce myself.

“Nice to meet you. My name is Yannick. Chief Architect at ING”. I shake her hand and I follow up with: “We are experiencing interesting changes, indeed. For the better, I believe.”

“Ah, so you are in real estate construction? Very nice! the industry is flourishing, you must be a happy man!”

“I’m in construction indeed. However, I build businesses, not buildings.”
 
She pauses for a few seconds. “What do you mean? Are you not managing your own architecture firm?”

“Not a firm, but an Enterprise Architecture department in one of the largest financial technology groups on earth. Still, it feels the same as running your own business. The expertise of my team consists of methodically designing and planning the development of products, services, or even the entire lines of business, in the most optimal and sustainable way possible. Whatever we provide fits the customer’s needs, and is made according to its finance, timing, opportunities, technologies, regulatory scope, etc. We consider all aspects. Basically, no matter the complexity, we have a solution for you.”

“Ah, interesting! I didn’t know such a job even existed. And by “all aspects”, you mean…?” 

“Let’s say you’ve come up with a brilliant idea to differentiate yourself by proposing a new product line or rethinking your services. Using an Architecture construction method for businesses, I will first guide you in defining and detailing your requirements and the goals you want to achieve. Quite often, what you think you want is not what you need.

Second, I’ll ask you questions to discover requirements, including some you have not thought about in the first place, and some you wouldn’t believe it is important to care about them.

Third, we will list your constraints and spot the legal framework you must comply with. Moreover, I’ll check with you what you expect as an outcome given your budget and resources. The purpose is to demystify beliefs from the start, then, I will share with you what it takes to get what you want. Indeed, this practice is similar to the building industry, there are rules you have to follow, like environmental guidelines, materials used, construction permits, etc.” 
 
“Ok, I’m starting to get it now. Tell me more.” 
 
“Sure. 
After having completed the aforementioned activities, the Architect does the first design. It is a sketch of the solution to meet your expectations. The purpose is to assess the impacts, but also to make the product more visual and tangible. It is followed by some research to identify the components that can match your needs, in the best ways possible. I said “ways”, with an S, because what matters are the choices YOU make along the way. It all comes down to giving you alternatives to preserve your freedom of choice. 

Ultimately, the architect will lead you to the best decisions

In this design phase, they are several workshops, discussions, negotiations, and information sessions held to detail the master solution design and to thin out financial analysis. 

From this point, we will initiate together a dossier, based on the agreements and scope of work. This mutual understanding acts as a contract. 

The first phase starts with an order for which the result will be an iterative analysis of your requirements, an architecture blueprint, a construction planning, a quote, from which any partnership with product development companies can manufacture your product and services.”

“This looks like a very fun job, very complex, and demanding. Can you be knowledgeable in all these domains? “

“It depends” — This is the architects’ favorite quote.

“The architect is an expert in, at least, two domains: a business domain and a technological domain. They are PI-shaped. For example, I started my career as a Development Engineer, and evolved as an expert in Information Systems Integration, with a Business specialization in Financial Services and Insurances. 

Additionally, they must know the purpose and the mechanisms of other domains and how they fit together. They grow a System Thinking. For example, a company has a Marketing department, a Finance Department, an IT department, a Sales department, etc. Each of them has a specific reason to exist, and they are made up of a plethora of activities that are fundamental elements of the corporate machine. Before selling, the Marketing intent is to present, demonstrate, attract the customer but also to analyze the potential client while continuing to engage the existing customers. To sell better, IT digitize the sales catalog and specs of the products, while having the CRM available on a mobile app, so that Sales can connect with the prospect anywhere and anytime. 

I could go on, but the point is an architect considers each of these domains, each user interaction, each process, each application, each technology, each data, each skill as a building block that needs to be assembled to meet your needs and comply with the agreed requirements.

It is like getting several boxes of Lego, figuring out what the blocks are relevant, and detailing the instructions to achieve the construction. Therefore, there is no need to be an expert in multiple domains, but you need to appreciate their purpose and understand how an industry works to be relevant to your customers. In practice, we reach experts when needed.” 
 
Humm. It sounds simple to understand yet complex in the execution.” 
 
“You are correct.”

“But how come I didn’t hear about Architects for businesses before? Thinking about it, your job seems necessary from the moment an enterprise reaches a certain size.”

“Perhaps you did, there are more architects than you think. For various historical reasons, Architecture is associated with the Information Technology department. Hence most of the time, people in companies consider us like IT folks doing IT stuff, whereas what we deliver are business and technology strategy, business and engineering analysis, business and engineering design, business and engineering planning, and business and engineering innovations. 

Almost every change and improvement in your value chains need software and hardware. So it does not surprise me, our core skill is engineering. We thrive in manufacturing predictability and precision. 

Nevertheless, I understand totally why people categorize architects exclusively in a technical domain if they are continuously presenting themselves using a single part of their expertise. Sometimes it is comfortable !” 
 
“Maybe. Now that you mention. In general, we discuss with our IT specialists whenever we need to change, create new features, or fix things. We trust them, but sometimes it feels like they over-complexify things.” 

We both joyfully laugh.

“I was just sharing my feeling here. I am nowhere near capable of assessing if they could do faster or better. We know they do their best. Yet, we wish we would have more flexible and more modern IT systems, more automated stuff, and good-looking user interfaces. Well, at least they do work!”
 
“Trust me, this is what matters the most. I have a very simple Architecture motto:

1st it needs to work great all the time,
2nd it must be easy to use, remember, teach, and maintain
3rd it should look awesome.” 

“Amen to that. It makes me wonder, though… If Business and IT people can build things already, why would I need an architect?” 

“Good question. To answer you, I’m going to start with: I prefer you to not need me.” 

“I wasn’t expecting this. I’m confused… And curious!”
 
“I know. Why would you need a civil architect to fix your light bulb, change your kitchen sink, or even change the facade of your building? No, you don’t need one for the activities. You call the electrician, plumber or you do it yourself. You need specialized builders or repair persons. And autonomy is the best for everyone. But if you’re looking for building a new house, extend your house with a new room, or change the location of your bathroom, you might want to call your architect. You can, eventually, do it without one. Though, it is your decision of running the risk to spend more money than expected, to have the construction take more time than expected, to receive something that may not meet your expectations or worse.
The decision is entirely yours.”

“I get your point. So when and where should I get an architect? Do I need a Bat-symbol?”

“For most small changes, you don’t need an architect. Rule of thumb, If the structure does not change, the scale of impact and volume stay similar, you don’t touch your foundation, and you don’t bring any new substantial data or business functions, ask your engineers, or senior business analyst to make the change. But at some point, your companies get big enough that people start losing sight, control, and understanding of how everything comes together. The systems of an enterprise are simply too complex to be dealt with by people busy with specific tasks daily. Furthermore, it is neither their core knowledge nor their core activities. And as if it wasn’t enough, the pace of technological disruptions keeps increasing.

As a rule of thumb, you need an architect when you: 

  • Want something custom 
  • Are dealing with complex programs of work
  • Don’t know where to start 
  • Need to acquire or leverage a piece of technology 
  • Seek guidance to build enterprise functions that are sustainable and scalable 
  • Require to plan an actionable strategy with a good level of accuracy 

Either you want something that everybody can get or you want something custom.”

“Are there different kinds of architects? I mean, we have different kinds of builders like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc.”

“Architects are … architects. There are flavors of architects. Let’s say they have specialties. Some of them are experts in the infrastructures, some in the data, others in software, while some focus their expertise on a specific industry. The only thing that matters, from a customer point of view, is that they provide the same service and they work together. 

They have the same fundamental knowledge and way of operating. Architects might differ in their technique though. with the practice of various Architecture methods such as Zachman, TOGAF. Some companies build their own because it fits better with their industry and their organization such as EAgile for ING. Some are more specialized, like my AMASE methodology for startups and innovative organizations.
I could tell you more but I’ll save this for another time.”

“I thank you for these explanations and for your time. To be frank, this is an eye-opener. I need to talk with my executive co-workers.”

“My pleasure, Ms. X. One more thing. Do you know what the origin of the word “Architect” is?”

She looks above like she was looking at the answer deep in her memory. Then a second later, the spark. She said, with the scintillating eyes

“Master Builder!”.


Photo by Frank Busch