Radically Simple IT

This weekend Columbus Ohio was hit by the largest snowstorm in 98 years, 20.5 inches of snow in just over 24 hours.  As a result, everything is closed, my back is sore from shoveling, and I’ve had time to catch up on a bit of reading.

I ran across an interesting article in Harvard Business Review (www.hbr.org) called “Radically Simple IT” by David M. Upton and Bradley R. Staats.

The authors discuss Japanese bank Shinsei and its concept of “Path based Development.”  Essentially, the approach advocated building needed new banking infrastructure by building modular functionality that would function alongside of existing infrastructure but would eventually replace it.

Other practices advocated by the bank included:

  • Don’t just align business and IT strategy – forge them together.  This goes beyond the traditional Enterprise Architecture approach by ensuring that IT leadership take a central role in the management of the business.
  • Strive for extreme simplicity – selecting and sticking with a chosen technology infrastructure, keep solutions simple utilizing modular and reusable designs (SOA).
  • Give (some) power to the people – get the users involved up front and get them excited about the new application.

Sound familiar?  Indeed, the bank is using a combination of Agile development methodologies and concepts to deploy systems built via Service Oriented Architecture.

Clearly HBR is not a technology publication, but I found it very odd that neither Agile or SOA were mentioned.  Nevertheless, a good article that provides yet another data point on the validity of these approaches.

I welcome your comments.
Mike Brannan