Warning Signs of Bad IT Architecture – Part 2

At some point in time, someone must have spent countless brain cycles planning your organization’s IT architecture before handing the grand plan off to someone else to build it out. Afterwards, it would have been handed out to someone else to maintain it as your computing environment inevitably grew. Best intentions faded in the face of expediency, departmental politics, and general mismanagement somewhere along the line. This eroded what was once a coherent architecture management strategy into an ongoing series of independent, case-by-case decisions about each technical component. Here are some of the ways to know if your organization has strayed from the path and bad IT architecture has taken hold of your organization.

Redundant data

Different applications often need the same information to get their jobs done. So you can either point them all to the same underlying database, which isn’t always possible or synchronize their separate databases, which is often pretty messy. Otherwise, there’s always that manual re-keying option.

Architectural impact: Redundant data drives a need for system interface, often creating the need for manual re-keying.

Direct business impact: It is difficult to maintain data synchronization across multiple databases which leads to effort wastage in reconciliation activities and getting wrong answers depending on which database is queried.

Too many interfaces

You need to build an interface when you have redundant data and you decide to keep it synchronized. Even if you don’t, you often have to feed one system with results from a different one.

The more systems and databases you have, the more interfaces you end up building. Though we can o better without them, as they accumulate, your architecture becomes more and more fragile, and you spend more and more time managing the interfaces instead of building new functionality.

Architectural impact: More interfaces means your system becomes more fragile and harder to maintain.

Direct business impact: Building consecutive interface drains IT resources away from value-creating activity.

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