Or conceptual architectures? This question – and my answer – was prompted by Peter Bakker‘s post Factual Architecture! Basically, my understanding of Peter’s criticism is that he thinks that concepts are too abstract – don’t connect with audiences, and don’t connect with reality. He contrasts this with “factual architectures” – whatever they are. I’ll respond directly to Peter’s post on his site, but here I’d like to defend the notion of conceptual architectures and conceptual analysis in more detail than I have done in my two other posts.
I’m thinking hard about desktops, desktop technology and desktop architecture at the moment. With some of the key technology trends of the next few years being the increased power and ubiquity of mobile devices, the post-PC era and the consumerisation of IT, everybody working in IT strategy and architecture should be. What I have found interesting, however, is the lack of a common understanding of what a desktop is. (In fact I’m fairly sure that “desktop” is the wrong term. Perhaps I should be talking about “end user computing”, or “client computing” or “workspaces”. I’ll stick with “desktop” for the moment though). As we move from traditional physical desktops running operating systems and installed applications towards virtual desktops with virtualised applications to Desktop-as-a-Service it helps to have a conceptual framework to discuss these models and understand where they are the same and where they are different. In this post I want to describe the conceptual components of a desktop architecture, and then build on this in subsequent posts to analyse the different ways we can implement desktops and desktop architectures.
If you are thinking about the future of technology, IT in general, or your organisation’s IT in particular, are you thinking about the implications of global phenomena? When formulating IT strategy (i.e. planning with a 3-5 year time horizon or longer) I believe that this is a necessity. The IT strategies that I have seen usually focus on only two things: (1) the current business strategy; and, (2) technology change. This strikes me as being far too narrow. The global and local trends that are all around us will have a tremendous impact on what we are able to achieve in business and with IT and I think that our strategies will be stronger for taking them into account. One of the largest and most important global phenomena that should affect our strategies (because it will affect everyone on the planet) is climate change.