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The Essentials of A Well Architected Solution

By Kong Yang

Well architected solutions are the gold standards that guarantee excellent end user and business experience. There are a multitude of solutions that an architect can design and deliver that would functionally satisfy the technical requirements; but the number of solutions creates complexity in deciding on people, process, and technology needed to deliver the solution. The right choice can create business transformation, industry disrupting innovation, and new revenue streams.

What constitutes a solution?

Any solution has three common denominators – users, apps, and data. To seamlessly connect all three is a primary objective of IT as it strives to meet the need and speed of business in order to successfully deliver positive business outcomes. Unfortunately, organizations generally choose the path of least resistance when designing and delivering solutions. Therefore, the onus is on vendors to help make the path of least resistance also be the best solution aka a well architected solution.

What are essential qualities of well architected solutions?

Well architected solutions start with a solid foundation. The essential qualities of well architected solutions are simplicity, stability, scalability, and world class support aka the 4 S’s of well architected solutions.

Simplicity is a way of life. Less is more.

Simplicity abstracts complexities out of systems. With IT solutions, there are many moving parts across the entire stack making it hard to manage and maintain throughout the solution lifecycle. Simplicity in IT means a single point of truth at any given time.

Stability is essential when moving fast. Control the roll.

Stability consists of these core elements: security, high availability, resiliency, redundancy, and recoverability. Stability enables organizations to smoothly navigate the ever-changing landscape of people, process, and technology with agility and confidence whether they integrate and deliver new services or handle business continuity and recovery issues.

Scalability is required to meet the business’s needs. Normalize excellent experience.

Scalability delivers the same excellent user experience for any given user, application, and data set without worrying about performance issues or refactoring a solution’s architecture. Without scale, expect the organization’s growth to slow. Without the normalization of excellent experience at scale, expect an increase in helpdesk tickets and the eventual rise shadow IT.

Support because the only IT guarantee is that people, process, and tech will fail. IT happens.

Support means having a partner that when failures/disasters/issues happen, you are not alone. They are present and accountable to help you fix it fast. Remediation needs to happen quickly because money is at stake and if too much money is lost, then someone’s job becomes the table stake.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

Organizations transform their business with technology to try and win more business. If IT can’t keep up with the pace of business, then they will be replaced because the business will soon be out of business. If you need evidence, look at any brick and mortar only store or service provider. They are losing business and closing their business because they are inefficient at scale, at speed of service integration and delivery, and at delighting their customers – both their workforce and external customers. They need the right solution to digitally transform their business practice, create innovation opportunities, and develop new revenue streams. So a solution with the path of least resistance must become the right solution. And the right solution is always well architected.

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