Tryst with a Solution Architect – 2 – Red Herrings
In continuation of the earlier blog ‘Tryst with a solution architect’, we explore what are the ‘red herring’ factors that might affect the customer. The clear benefit is to leverage high end expertise in an on-demand model, leveraging multiple technology choices. Multiple factors affect the design of an application. From the advent of cloud as platform and access through mobiles, with pay-per-use / subscription models available, the variety of decisions that a solution architect has to make when designing an application architecture has grown more complex. While great minds can explore and envisage, the clear alternative is a team of experts who can present alternative scenarios to reach the best possible solution to a design problem. However, factors like ‘cost’ and ‘outsourcing’ still act as mind blocks for companies. It is a combination of a feeling that transcends the clear advantages that the logic might present. Some other issues can evolve as teething problems – but it again goes to collaborative approach that makes knowledge sharing beyond boundaries. A classic example of this is, when the development team feels that working with an ‘external’ group of architects is a challenge and essentially cut into management time. With today’s world moving into ‘leverages’ and ‘compete and collaborate’ models, such barriers typically act as red herrings. Enterprises seek knowledge beyond their boundaries to solve both business and technology challenges. Outsourced solution architecture is essentially one such trans-boundary collaboration idea. Another factor that acts as a red herring is ‘cost’. With expertise and effectiveness, and presentation of alternate solutions through considerable experience, through simple and straight forward collaboration, precious time and quality is saved ‘upstream’. People miss the point when the struggle to meet a user requirement is discovered at the fag-end of development cycle, and the entire work has to be reinvented. The opportunity cost, morale, time, reputation that is lost and the effort to salvage a project under pressure costs much more than a straight forward, foresighted collaborative approach. That is, with a simple design buy in, followed by collaborative design, and a handshake, followed by periodic reviews solves these problems. Such red herrings are inherent factors when we start work with customers. But the solutions, as stated above, makes outsourced solution architecture, a value for money option for the typical Information Technology Company.