Archive for January, 2010

I/T Architecture in Action

This book is about IT Architecture and is a methodology based on a technical five domain framework; Applications, Information, Network, Platform and Operations. It addresses each providing pretty much the currently accepted practices for each domain.

This means that over time the book will probably not age that well, but it is a fairly sound summary of the current state of play. It includes areas and concepts like wireless, ESBs, ODS and even SOA and virtualization, in a concise but not very detailed way.  After all it is only 180 pages and there would be books with more  pages on every one of these topics.

The  philosophy of  blending  “strict rigor and organic innovation”  sets this book a little at odds with the Euro architects, but it does produce an easy reading and informative text.  The book opens with the all too common Why EA? sell chapter;  in which he covers off the usual agility verses cohesion issues.  However, I think it is in the next two chapters on Architectural Principles and Governance in which the book makes its real contribution.

Principles seem to be a problem for a lot of architects. Particularly, connecting them in a meaningful way to the design and development domains. This book offers what may be the best twenty odd pages linking business models and strategy to principles that I’ve seen written for the layman.  He goes on to back this up with a simple, but better than average chapter on governance.  In which he rather timidly pokes a stick at the “managerial behavior” elephant. I can almost feel him constraining his frustration to the suggestion of a few metrics for the architectural review board’s performance. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much to say about handling architectural exceptions, but then again not many authors do.

This is a good book, current, and easily read,  a little lightweight and while some sections will with time become obsolete others contain sound advice obviously born of experience.  Not deeply technical or academic it is a more than a fair attempt to bridge the business IT divide. I think most architects would find something useful in this book.

Reese, Richard J. (2008), I/T Architecture in Action, Tyler Westcott

ISBN 978-1- 4363-0505-1

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