37 Things One Architect Knows About IT Transformation
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37 Things One Architect Knows About IT Transformation

A Chief Architect's Journey

About the Book

Note: This book has evolved into The Software Architect Elevator, which contains 5 new chapters and many edits. It's available from Amazon and the O'Reilly Learning Platform.

The Changing Role of IT

Many large enterprises are feeling pressure from the rapid digitalization of the world: digital disruptors attack unexpectedly with brand-new business models; the "FaceBook generation" has dramatically different user expectations; and a whole slew of new technologies has become available to everyone with a credit card. This is tough stuff for enterprises that have been, and still are, very successful, but are built around traditional technology and organizational structures. "Turning the tanker", as the need to transform is often described, has become a board room-level topic in many traditional enterprises. Not as easily done as said.

The Changing Role of Architects

Chief IT Architects and CTOs play a key role in such a digital transformation endeavor. They combine the technical, communication, and organizational skill to understand how a tech stack refresh can actually benefit the business, what "being agile" and "DevOps" really mean, and what technology infrastructure is needed to assure quality while moving faster. Their job is not an easy one, though: they must maneuver in an organization where IT is often still seen as a cost center, where operations means "run" as opposed to "change", and where middle-aged middle-management has become cozy neither understanding the business strategy nor the underlying technology. It's no surprise then that IT architects have become some of the most sought-after IT professionals around the globe.

What You Will Learn

This book supports IT architects with the skills necessary to become effective not just in systems architecture, but also in shaping and driving the necessary transformation of large-scale IT departments. In today’s world, technical and organizational transformation have become inseparable. Organized into 37 episodes, this book explains:

  • The role and qualities of an architect in a large enterprise
  • Architecture at enterprise scale
  • Communicating to a variety of stakeholders
  • Understanding organizational structures and systems
  • Transforming traditional organizations
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    • Software Architecture
    • Computers and Programming
    • Digital Transformation
    • Enterprise Architecture
    • Business and IT Alignment
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About the Author

Gregor Hohpe
Gregor Hohpe

In his role as Chief Architect of a major insurance corporation, Gregor is drawing on 15 years’ experience in Silicon Valley to drive the digital convergence of insurance. Prior to joining Allianz, he spent 5 years in Tokyo optimizing mobile advertising and merging online and physical worlds into a seamless user experience for Google.

He is widely known as co-author of the seminal book “Enterprise Integration Patterns” and as frequent speaker at conferences around the world. His accessible, but technically accurate essays were republished in “97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know” and “Best Software Writing”. He is an active member of the IEEE Software editorial advisory board.


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Reader Testimonials

Alexandre Lopes
Alexandre Lopes

Global Head of Architecture and Service Design, Zurich Insurance Company Ltd

Great architects have battle scars and stories to tell. 37 Things reveals a journey that gives character to Gregor’s battle scars and demonstrates how to achieve architecture awesomeness.

Matthew Rawlings
Matthew Rawlings

Chief Data Officer, Bloomberg LP

As a business executive and former CTO, this is an enjoyably readable description of an IT Chief Architect’s role and practical methods of influence. I recommend this book to any technical staff aspiring to become Chief Architect or CTO.

Einar Landre
Einar Landre

Lead Analyst IT at Equinor

Gregor shares his hard-learned lessons about enterprise IT using a witty pen. 37 Things has the potential to become a classic for those who need to understand the forces surrounding the IT function in large enterprises. It deserves to be read by an audience far larger than those working on the inside of IT.

Table of Contents

    • About this Book
    • Fifty Shades of IT
  • Architects
    • The Architect Elevator
    • Movie Star Architects
    • Enterprise Architect or Architect in the Enterprise?
    • An Architect Stands on Three Legs
    • Making Decisions
    • Question Everything
  • Architecture
    • Your Coffee Shop Does Not Use 2-Phase Commit
    • Is this Architecture?
    • Every System is Perfect…
    • Code Fear Not!
    • If You Never Kill Anything, You Will Live Among Zombies
    • The IT World is Flat
    • Never Send a Human to Do a Machine’s Job
    • If Software Eats the World, Better Use Version Control!
  • Communication
    • Explaining Stuff
    • Writing for Busy People
    • Emphasis over Completeness
    • Show the Kids the Pirate Ship!
    • Sketching Bank Robbers
    • Diagram-Driven Design
    • Drawing the Line
  • Organizations
    • Control is an Illusion
    • They don’t build’em quite like that anymore
    • Black Markets Are Not Efficient
    • Scaling an Organization
    • Slow Chaos is not Order
    • Governance Through Inception
  • Transformation
    • No Pain, no Change!
    • Leading Change
    • Economies of Speed
    • The Infinite Loop
    • You can’t fake IT
    • Money can’t buy Love
    • Who Likes Standing in Line?
    • Thinking in Four Dimensions
  • Architecting IT Transformation
    • All I Have to Offer Is the Truth
  • Notes

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