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The Architect is Dead – Bring Back the Architect

Technology is moving at an unprecedented pace, and the advent of “plug and play” and the concept of “I should be able to plug it in and it just works” is becoming the battle cry of many business and consumers today. I remember the early days of personal computers that if you needed to get something working you had to fix it yourself, and if that didn’t work you needed to build it from scratch. And to do that you needed to know how it worked.

I applaud the concept of ease of use, however this is fraught with dangers of its own. As more and more people are requiring the “I just want to plug it in and it works” means that the thought of design, engineering and more importantly the architecture of consumer and business networks, systems and applications is being lost. And it is the architecture of these things being lost that scares me the most. Because sure, generally you just plug it in, or sure, you just click here to install an application but this sometimes leads to sometimes amusing, and sometimes disastrous results.

Just recently I was called by a client who was having “network” issues. They were building a new server and because of the architecture of their network and just plugging in stuff, when they added the new server it all came crashing down. Why – because previously they were running multiple logical network ranges over a single physical network – no VLANs, no routers. Because these things couldn’t just be plugged in. This resulted in multiple outages on a daily basis and lost productivity and increased costs.

In another situation, a client plugged in some “plug and play” IP security cameras which for some unknown reason were also configured as DHCP servers. This of course conflicted with the real DHCP server on the network and staff, and worse still, automated machines and control systems were being handed out IP addresses that were wrong. Amusing perhaps but not when the client lost multiple hours of productivity and income. Not the mention the embarrassment and reputational damage.

So what does this have to do with architects? Quite simply, in environments such as these, where the business is so reliant on technology, and more importantly technology that works, architecture is critical. By designing the network, the systems, the applications along with the processes and procedures to support and maintain this, to support the business needs rather than just plugging it in is critical. A little thought on the architecture, and then following the blueprints of this to implement the desired outcome is a small investment to ensure the house doesn’t come tumbling down. Is your architect dead………contact us today on 1300 428 248.

Jason Sinclair, General Manager

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