Wednesday, November 10, 2010 3:27 PM Mikael Sand

ARC204 - IASA’s Five Pillars of IT Architecture

Presented by: Jim Wilt
Video here.

This was a bit of a surprise for me but it turned out to be one of the best sessions I've seen. The man presenting, Jim, sure knows what he is talking about and has years upon years of experience. But not only that; he can also convey this knowledge in a very nice and understandable manner.

The subject was the IASA's five pillars of Architecture. This is the organisation's (IASA) way of trying to determine what an IT architect is and by that, also trying to make it into a proper profession, like a doctor or a chef.


Now as the video almost is up by this time I will just type some notes I made that I would like to underline.

"IASA likes definitions that fit on at t-shirt", he said and the official definition of an IT-architect is: " a technical strategist for the business". That would fit on a t-shirt but it does not have the proper "zing" to be on a t-shirt. Let me propose: "I'm an architect that was educated at F U" :-P

"You cannot be an architect without knowing economics". Now that's true. See if you can read these TLAs: TCO, ROI, CBD, TTM, NPV. Gawd I've got a long way to go to be good.

You have to use quality attributes to measure the success of an implementation, and in that the attributes must be useful. You cannot say "we need a 100% update 24/7", because that is not useful.

Good design is two things: Firstly that there is a reason why something is there and also that it is tied to a business requirement. Secondly good design is a series of trade-offs and decisions. To be good at good design you must also see to it that these requirements, trade offs and decisions are documented...well.

The last of the pillars is the most important according to IASA since it has the most influence on the finished implementation. Human dynamics breaks down into a set of subsections (click the picture for a better view).


The wrap up I would say that pillars is a fair analogy. You need them all to build something really good and to be a good architect you have to be able to master them all.

Lastly he said something that I already know but never the less it's worth repeating: "Let's face it: If you are a BizTalk developer, you know everything!" Best thing said at TechEd so far.


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