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The Role of the Architect(ure) in the Digital Product Development

The Role of the Architect(ure) in the Digital Product Development

Das Informationszeitalter hat vieles auf den Kopf gestellt, unter anderem auch die Anforderungen an Unternehmen. Um für Kunden relevant zu bleiben, müssen sich diese kontinuierlich neu erfinden. Dieser stetige Wandel hat nicht zuletzt auch Einfluss auf die Software und Systeme sowie die Personen, die diese entwickeln. Eine dabei bedeutende Aufgabe kommt den (Software-)Architekten zu. Der Vortrag geht auf die Besonderheiten der Produktentwicklung in Digitalunternehmen ein.

Ausgehend davon, was dieses Umfeld auszeichnet, wird die Rolle des Softwarearchitekten abgeleitet und zu gängigen Rollendefinitionen sowie anderen Industrien abgegrenzt. Dabei wird auch darauf eingegangen, mit welchen modernen Methoden Unternehmen (und insbesondere die Produktentwicklung) diesen Anforderungen begegnen, warum sie selbst für dieses Umfeld oft nicht weit genug gehen.

Anhand von zwei Praxisbeispielen wird die Theorie auf die Realität angewandt. Dabei wird jeweils auf die spezifischen Problemstellungen, Lösungsansätze sowie die Rolle des/der Architekten in diesem Kontext eingegangen.


André Neubauer

April 26, 2018


  1. The Role of the Architect(ure) in the Digital Product Development

    André Neubauer, JAX, 2018
  2. “Tech' enthusiast, advocate on modern leadership and opponent of standstill.

    Shaping tech env' for more than a decade. Love to work at @Misterspex, acting as CTO” @devpg
  3. My Journey so far Dream job when I started my

    professional career : (Software) Architect Professional stations: • data experts (Consulting) • ImmobilienScout24 (Software Engineer) • DPDHL, E-POST (Manager) • Mister Spex (Manager) Target missed? Actually not!
  4. What’s an (software) architect(ure)?

  5. "The highest level concept of a system in its environment.

    The architecture of a software system (at a given point in time) is its organization or structure of significant components interacting through interfaces, those components being composed of successively smaller components and interfaces." – IEEE Recommended Practice for Architectural Description, IEEE Std P1471 "In most successful software projects, the expert developers working on that project have a shared understanding of the system design. This shared understanding is called ‘architecture.’ [...] These components are usually composed of smaller components, but the architecture only includes the components and interfaces that are understood by all the developers." – Ralph Johnson "Architecture is about the important stuff. Whatever that is." – Who needs an architect?, by Martin Fowler "Stuff that's hard to change later." – Neal Ford Software Architecture
  6. The Role of an Architect (so far) 4 fields of

    expertise: • Design • Technology • Domain • Methodology Source: Information Technology Architecture Body of Knowledge (ITABoK) Purpose: • Reduce cost of change • Minimize impact • Ensure long-term maintainability • Make it easy to understand
  7. Understanding Then and Now

  8. Then Industrial age • Mass production • Standardization • Automation

    (replacement of co-worker by machines) • ...
  9. Now Information age • Discontinuous change • Short product life

    cycles • Continuous price declines • Little customer loyality • Based on knowledge work
  10. Discontinuous Change 2005 2013 Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/vatican-square-2005-and-2013-2013-3?IR=T

  11. Discontinuous Change Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQB2NjhJHvY

  12. Short product cycles I - VII: 39 years I -

    X: 10 years Source: http://pngimg.com/download/1806 Source: https://pixabay.com/de/iphone-[...]
  13. The Fundamental Change

  14. • Focus on through-put and time-to-market • Culture of continuous

    discovery • “Digital Business” • Context: Unknown unkown Discover Optimized Stable Complaint Economy of Speed Economy of Scale • Focus on utilization • Costs advantages via scaled operations with less costs per unit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economies_of_scale
  15. The Known/ Unknown Matrix aka. “The Rumsfeld Matrix” Source: https://medium.com/[...]/known-unknown-matrix

  16. The Issue with (Un)known Unknowns! Time/ Continuous discovery Window of

  17. What’s the Answer on the Economy of Speed?

  18. What’s the Architectural Answer on the Economy of Speed?

  19. Evolving Architecture & Emergent Design Source: https://www.ibm.com/[...]/j-eaed10/

  20. Evolving Architecture & Emergent Design evolve: To move in regular

    procession through a system. [de]: sich entwickeln emergent: emerging; coming into view or into existence; nascent; new. [de]: entstehend
  21. Spectrum of Architecture BDUF Cowboy hacking Some DUF EA+ED Waterfall

  22. Economy of Speed is about ... • Speed (obviously) •

    Change • Decision-Making → ?? → EA/ ED → ?? You need to have an answer for that. Business will probably not wait for you!
  23. EA/ ED is just not enough! Well then?

  24. #2 Examples to Enable Speed and Decision Making

  25. Many obstacles • Legacy systems • High dependencies • Cash-cow

    driven business Challenges • Lot’s of new product ideas ◦ 80-90% (urban legend) 40%* will fail ◦ High costs for integration but also for de-integration #1: Architect(ure) as Organisation Designer * Based on: https://newproductsuccess.org/white-papers/new-product-failure-rates-[...]
  26. Use powerful architectural concepts like isolation, interfaces and cohesion also

    on organisational level • Don‘t mix ideas with core business (turning off something is easier than removing a feature from the core) • One team, one topic aka. focus ;-) • Provide simple environment and data access #1: Architect(ure) as Organisation Designer
  27. #1: Bimodel IT “Bimodal IT is getting a lot of

    focus as CIOs and IT leaders strive to build IT organizations capable of responding to the threats and opportunities of the digital economy, while maintaining and enhancing traditional infrastructure and services… Mode 1 is traditional IT; Mode 2 is agile IT.” Source: https://www.gartner.com/doc/2901217/[...]-bimodalaware-it “Classic” Business • Industrial speed • Stability • Good at conventional processes Digital Business • Digital speed • Agility • Good at innovation
  28. #1: Pioneers, Settlers, Town Planners Source: http://blog.gardeviance.org/[...]/on-pioneers-settlers-town-planners-and.html Source: http://blog.gardeviance.org/2012/06/pioneers-settlers-and-town-planners.html

  29. #2: (Foresighted) Architecture Alignment Ever got overrun by the business?

  30. #2: (Foresighted) Architecture Alignment Possible technical concepts you therefore need

    to have in place: Personalization, Recommendation, Apps, Skills, A/B testing, IoT, ... Sorry for the buzzwords What the business requests: Cloud, Micro-Service, API, Big Data, ML, AI
  31. #2: (Foresighted) Architecture Alignment Most architectural changes require time (for

    conception, S/CPoC, …)
  32. #2: Business Vision and Beyond Time/ Continuous discovery Window of

    opportunity Understand the future ... … to take the right decisions now Weird but true: In a fast environment you have to take possible future even more into account.
  33. Architectus Reloadus*, really? No, but … → Source: https://juristr.com/blog/2015/06/guide-as-in-mountaineering/ *

    Based on: http://files.catwell.info/[...]-martin-fowler-who-needs-an-architect.pdf
  34. #2: The last responsible moment Benefits of deferring the decision

    Cost of change Sad but true: Too late decisions with pressure on time-to-market often results in legacy software/ systems. Don’t take decision upfront but latest at …
  35. Need More Input? Source: https://www.gartner.com/[...]gartner-hype-cycle[...]-2017 Source: https://www.thoughtworks.com/de/radar

  36. Anti-Pattern: Going Fast Without Having a Plan Source: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/[...]-am-ber-funktioniert-nicht-mal-was-fertig-schien/20619992.html

  37. Long Story Short ... Source: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/17/bd/64/[...].jpg

  38. The Digital Architect “A digital architect is a modern business

    and technology architect that is driven by customer experience to utilize technology to transform business, increase revenue and profitability and improve the competitive position of a business. Digital and quantum architects focus on the synergy and cross discipline integration of the following disciplines: (1) customer experience; (2) cloud, webscale, iot; (3) data science including analytics; (4) business, application, information, technology and security architecture; (5) artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, robotics and artificial creativity; (6) traditional science and mathematics including physics, quantum physics, chemistry and biology; and (7) digital 3D printing and nano-manufacturing (source of definition: Gary Trenchard).” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_architect
  39. The Role of the Architect(ure) in the Digital Product Development

    The Architect(ure) plays an even more important role in the Digital Business. • Strong connect with business strategy and vision • Responsible to provide a powerful environment on technical and organizational level • Not only about sustainability anymore but speed and changeability • Not just focussed on technology and operational level • Tactic and strategic architecture management is key