Warning Signs of Bad IT Architecture – Part 1

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.

Manual re-keying

While the biggest cost companies pay from bad architecture, manual re-keying is certainly the most obvious one. It is expensive as well as de-humanizing to hire human beings to serve as the interface engine connecting incompatible applications.

Architectural impact: Keying errors result in inconsistent data.

Direct business impact: Manual re-keying drains business resources away from value-creating activity.

Collection of point solutions

Everyone wants their work supported by a “best of breed” solution but once the work is defined narrowly, everyone has to visit so many applications to get their work done that there isn’t enough time to get their work done. Meanwhile, you’re back to re-keying again unless IT spends a lot of time building interfaces to connect all of these point solutions.

Architectural impact: Point solutions drive the need for system interfaces and the number of platforms that must be supported. Need for manual re-keying is also often created by collections of point solutions.

Direct business impact: In addition to re-keying issues, collections of point solutions slow down business processes and drive up training costs.

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