The ICT Production Architect: Role, Taksks, and Responsibilities

Photo at blog from webmaster - 21/09/2010 - 13:27

In his last blog Hans Lodder advocated that the role of the CIO should focus more on an effective ICT operation and less on an efficient ICT operation. Does this contradict with my quest for a Production Architect? I believe not: they could even be the biggest buddies!

The CIO as change manager is, according to the analysts definition, linking strategy to performance by showing how to use ICT in getting a competitive edge. Hans Lodder rightly ads to this that the success of his role depends strongly on "make new things happen".

Recall my definition of a Production Architect: With a business process optimization view in mind, this person should draw upon the vast array of proven current technologies to renew and optimize the usage of our current components.
The keyword linking the CIO and the Production Architect together is "renew". When a new idea is agreed between CEO and CIO, the first and foremost question is: when can we be operational? This question even supersedes the question about the potential revenue, because the window of opportunity will be closed, or worse, taken by the competition, before we are ready to run.

Re-using existing components and infrastructures are a much overlooked alternative, because business managers know too well that adapting current applications have proved to be an expensive and risky road, in development cost but even more in operational costs. But why? I have to re-state: There is almost nobody who knows anymore what we are running!
The Production Architect is the person who looks upon what we have as our IT asset inventory. He will be able to advice his CIO in how to most effectively implement the ideas that the business need. Maybe by cloning applications or components, maybe by wrapping old but proven functionality. In occasional situations he or she could just clearly state that there is no suitable asset in house to work with but at least this is known upfront and saves lengthy and costly doomed projects.
Am I too optimistic? My firm belief is that there are hidden treasures in every IT-infrastructure but we tend not to see them, because we don't regard them as assets but as necessities. The Production Architect is the gem, the one to open the eyes for the CIO what we have in store to create quick proven solutions.

CIO: Find and pamper your Production Architect!

As always: looking forward to your comments.


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