Building Effective IT 101

Evaluating technical architecture: 11 key criteria and how to apply them

Building effective IT 101: Knowing what you have is a good first step. But knowing whether what you have is what you ought to have is a different matter.

Evaluating technical architecture: 11 key criteria and how to apply them
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Technical architecture provides a way to describe, evaluate, and plan the evolution of the information technology that IT manages and the enterprise relies on.

The previous installment of this series on building effective IT provided a framework for describing technical architecture, breaking it down into portfolios and sub-portfolios, including applications (systems of record, integration, and satellite apps), data (both structured and unstructured), and technology (facilities, infrastructure, and platforms).

This framework enables you to identify and categorize what you have. So far so good.

But it doesn’t tell you whether what you have is what you ought to have. That’s the challenge this article deals with, outlining how to look at your technical architecture, now that you’ve defined it, and offering key criteria for evaluating your technical architecture, now that you’ve categorized it.

The two perspectives of technical architecture

Descriptions of technical architecture fall into two complementary perspectives: holistic design and the portfolio view.

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