Looking for architects and cleanness

Published in Manager Express, 26 December 2015

Are you not upset with the lack of style and harmony of the buildings in most of our cities? Don’t you have the feeling that you live „after typhoon” moments when you walk the patched, dusty and rubbish streets of the city you live in? Do you remember the thousands of homes built in the north of Bucharest which, until recently, had no roads and utilities? Have you wondered how come that a new road, bridge or underpass only last a few weeks, after which bumps, cracks, potholes and trash “integrates” in what appears as “normal” every day?

Don’t you feel the need for more involvement and discipline around you? I do … And every time I walk down the street, I build a real estate or infrastructure project in my mind. Talking with my clients or my own team about transport and communications networks, infrastructure, “warehouses” of data, systems and applications, access and security rules, interfaces, maintenance etc., we found a lot of common points between the construction world and the IT world.

Besides project management, which will spur the society to move from a culture of leaders to one of projects, I want to bring to your attention two acute needs: the need for architects and … cleaning.
Before legitimately ask it from the public authorities, each of us can do it: first, to the ideas and values ​​that we produce, live on and pass to those around us, and then, in our house, around us, on the streets we walk every day. IT is the same: databases have to be “cleaned”, networks systems should be released in order to avoid traffic jams…

Undoubtedly, technology, Internet and more recently social networks and digital platforms have revolutionized the economy, culture and work methods. “Cloud Computing and Big Data” are part of this irreversible phenomenon. We are absorbed by these systems which „scan” lives, identify “individual profiles” and “build” behaviors.

Companies are also included in this riot, where the connections rule the industry. It happened in the organizations where I have worked to identify redundant, inconsistent, dysfunctional, expensive and useless functionalities, estimative interfaces or databases similar to trash bins. All these things say a lot about the history of those companies, the difficulties they encounter, their culture. But it brings out as well an acute need that most corporations have, least identify and fewer manage to cover: the need for information systems architects.

We should look for architects, challenge them, and appreciate them. Like many construction or infrastructure projects, IT projects are often minimizing the role of architects. Thus, problems begin to occur: the coherence of the overall architecture, the connections / interfaces with other systems, under sizing the infrastructure and overloading the communication networks. Do you remember how tens and hundreds of projects for electricity (especially aeolian and photovoltaic) were validated without anyone asking himself seriously if the national system for electricity transmission can face the amount of energy that will be produced?

The architectural harmony in construction is given by the unity, complementarity and continuity of styles, efficient use of space and perspectives, the integration into the landscape and the good combination of infrastructure, shapes and chromatics. So is the world of digital and IT.

Taking an urban architect as a model, the informatic systems architect can quickly find the answer to: “How do we create value by designing and making architectural platform that meets the needs of a business or a company?”. Without an answer to this question, the talented builders and software engineers are useless.

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