HGTV makes remodeling look so easy. Chip and Joanna are always knocking down walls. The Property Brothers seem to come up with a brilliant fix for any problem they encounter. And Nicole Curtis makes us all think we could restore a 100-year-old home with nothing more than a little elbow grease.
But, as anyone who’s gone through a remodel knows, it takes a lot of expertise to make a dream home. Core to this process is a good architect. Someone who can tell you if that wall you want to tear down is load bearing, who has a solution for why your basement floods with every rainstorm and can even help you modernize a 100-year-old home while keeping its traditional style intact.
Now, what if we told you that the same notion applies to IT development, strategy, and modernization? What if we said that, before you tear down that legacy system or redesign the UI of your app, it might be a good idea to consult an IT architectural advisor – someone who can help assess your IT environment and give you a heads up on what’s feasible, what’s best practice and what strategy is best for your desired transformation.
Because, while showcases of successful digital transformations might make the process look easy, we know it’s not. In fact, according to a McKinsey survey of more than 700 technology leaders and C-level executives, only 12% say their IT organizations are very effective at leading digital transformations across their business. This supports the research that shows that 70% of digital transformation initiatives will not reach their stated goals, equating to over $900 billion in corporate loss.
What IT departments need is the same thing home remodelers need: a good architect. If your organization finds itself in need of IT architecture advisory services, here are four things to look for:
You’ll need a partner who…
1. Understands all the nuts and bolts of software engineering
From design and development to testing and deployment, a good IT architectural advisor has a full understanding of the breadth and depth of software engineering, so they can provide comprehensive strategic advice at every step of the process. Make sure they have expertise in:
- Empathic Design or Design Thinking Principles
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment
- Cloud Architecture, Development and Replatforming
- Architectural Refactoring, such as The Strangler Method (see download below!)
2. Can read the old blueprints of your IT environment
A good architectural advisor will have both the technical know-how and also the collaborative spirit necessary to perform a robust assessment of your IT environment, from which they can:
- Identify instances of technical debt
- Determine where risk lies within applications and components
- Delve deeply into the needs of all key stakeholders to understand the needs underlying proposed changes, and
- Identify opportunities to modernize your approach and improve your bottom line
3. Provide expertise in your company’s specific niches
Additionally, you want an architectural advisor who has specific experience in the areas your business depends on. For example, if your brand is all about providing secure IoT solutions, then you might need a partner with experience in PKI security. Conversely, if you want to migrate your application to the cloud, you might want to work with an IT architecture advisory teams that also has partnerships with cloud providers, like AWS and Azure.
4. Deliver strategic consulting to drive your business forward
A good IT architectural advisor doesn’t just help fix what’s broken today, they also have an eye toward the future. Look for a partner that can help your organization develop a long-term strategy for its IT services and products. This could be anything from brainstorming new product features and building in new industry best practices/standards to developing completely new streams of revenue.
Before you start tearing down walls in your IT environment, take a look at the benefits that a little IT architectural advice can bring. Download our whitepaper on IT Modernization strategies. And if you’re ready to learn more about architecture advisory services, we’d love to connect and chat about how this type of service can help your organization level up!
CEO of Dev IQ, triathlete, and technology philosopher.