I’ve thought and asked this question a number of times in the past year. In the technology or software architecture space, is it possible for a solution to exist that doesn’t require an architect?
The question stems from the concept of "solution maturity" or can a solution mature to the point where it no longer requires guidance or integration?
Let’s start with the three tenets I am proposing:
1. Solutions in and of themselves have no integration points. They merely take a set of functional components and "join" them into a coheasive structure.
2. Architects provide or repret the glue between the "solution" and the "organization."
3. There are/are not mature solutions.
Number 1 represents a lously coupled definition of solutions. They, solutions, represent a series of component pieces that have "integration" points within the solution. I like to think of this as making home made ice cream. You add all the components together for the ice cream. Then you add a third party component (the churn) that represents the integration tool. Within the solution (ice cream) the components are integrated. Separatly they are not integrated. Additionally the solution "ice cream" may not be compatible with other desert solutions. It may not even be compatible with the consumer (diabetics etc or those who are lactose intolorant).
Architects (or in this case chef’s) ensure that the overall solution "ice cream" is compatible with the overall organization (ie don’t use sugar for the diabetics), (don’t use milk for the lactose intolorant).
The last components or tenet is the concept of the existence of a mature solution. In the case of ICE cream we could in fact argue that as a mature solution (it’s been around a long time) we should be able to say "anyone" can consume it. But we have the two groups above upon which the consumption would have an adverse affect.
The tenet then would be, would the mature solution "new ice cream" be able to on the fly deploy itself for people that like Ice Cream, diabetics and lactose intolorant people, taking the shape their specific infrastructure requires?
It’s a question that troubles me…
Sadly after nearly 20 years in the IT world, I hope the answer is yes a solution could mature to the point where it no longer required an architecture.
I also know that it isn’t viable right now.
Gotta run – my ice cream is melting.