Friday, September 23, 2005

Is Anybody There? Does Anybody Care?

Is anybody there?
Does anybody care?
Does anybody see what I see?

-- John Adams' character
from the musical 1776

Almost any large enterprise can cut its IT budget between 10 to 25 percent by consolidating, standardizing, and simplifying. Headcount can be reduced by eliminating technical support roles. Annual maintenance fees to vendors can be decreased by pruning technology portfolios. System disruptions can be minimized by trimming the number of potential points where failures can occur.

What's needed to save money and improve performance is a Technology Architecture -- one of the four cornerstones of Enterprise Architecture. It's imperative that every enterprise understand what it already owns -- its existing technology terrain. How can any organization ever hope to move forward successfully if it doesn't know where it's starting from?

The Y2K debacle five years ago was caused primarily because most enterprises lacked any formally documented Technology Architecture. IT organizations everywhere spent untold sums of money trying to identify what systems and services their enterprise owned. Unfortunately, today, Technology Architecture at most of these same IT organizations is no better than what existed a half decade ago. It's almost the same problem we just witnessed in New Orleans where the government was no better prepared to respond to the Hurricane Katrina emergency than it was for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

I personally have tried to make Technology Architecture as approachable and affordable as feasibly possible. The combination of my ITscout web site and ITguide product offering brings Technology Architecture capabilities within reach of any IT organization regardless of its size or complexity. All that's necessary to get started is for some architect to commit to performing a technology audit. ITscout primes the pump by providing graphical taxonomy models, classification hierarchies, category descriptions, and lists of products and related vendors. ITguide provides a simple, intuitive, inexpensive tool for modeling, documenting, and communicating Technology Architecture.

The business case for Technology Architecture is compelling. Who wouldn't want to cut costs by at least 10%?

If you agree with my assertion that consolidation, standardization, and simplification will generate substantial savings, that there's a valid business case to be made for Technology Architecture, then please help me spread the word. The problem is a lack of exposure. Most people -- both technical and non-technical -- haven't a clue how to define 'architecture' let alone 'Technology Architecture.'


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