After eight long years, it’s an honor and a privilege to return to DevX. But while our hiatus from this venue had gone on far too long, ZapThink has been quite busy in the interim. We spent most of the last decade fighting the good fight over SOA: how to avoid falling for vendor nonsense while raising the architecture discussion out of the bowels of technology to focus squarely on solving business challenges. And while the vendors largely co-opted the SOA story to sell more middleware, ZapThink did have a modicum of success in shifting the discussion away from ESBs and other gear, focusing instead on enabling business agility in enterprises around the world.
Today, SOA has matured. Techies have more or less worked out the nuts and bolts behind building loosely coupled Services that abstract legacy capabilities and information. And while governance is still a challenge, at least we can sleep at night knowing that most IT organizations at last understand the importance of governance to achieving SOA success.
But while there’s less to say about SOA today, the challenges with implementing agile architectures in the enterprise remain unabated. The focus, however, has shifted to Cloud Computing, which provides us with extraordinary new tools and capabilities. And the more powerful our tools, the more important it is that we know how to use them properly to address business challenges. That’s where architecture fits in.
Just as in the early days of SOA, when it was easy to get lost in the technical details of building Services and miss the big picture of business agility, today we’re getting lost in the details of the Cloud. If we miss the boat on architecture, the Cloud becomes little more than a way to outsource our data centers. But if we get the architecture right, then Cloud Computing becomes truly transformative: a key enabler of what ZapThink calls the Agile Architecture Revolution.
Keep your eye on this blog as I explore the details of this revolution in depth. Following ZapThink tradition, I’ll do my best to be irreverent and iconoclastic, in the hopes you’ll get involved in the discussion, regardless of whether you agree with me or not. I hope you’ll join the Agile Architecture Revolution community as we explore the complexities of how best to leverage architecture in today’s Cloud-enabled, mobile world.