January 11, 2018

The Arc-E-Tect predictions for 2017 - In hindsight [1/2]

Last year, like every year, I did some predictions on what would be in and what would be out in 2017. But unlike other years, last year I actually posted those predictions on the internet.
Before I start with my predictions for 2018, I will go back to my predictions for 2017 and see how things turned out.

#1: Microservice in, SOA out

"In 2017 people will start looking at Microservices as something that is useful and way better to have in your architecture than services. So a Microservices Architecture will replace Service Oriented Architectures in 2017."

With a massive transition towards agile practices and organisations embracing scaled agile frameworks, it has been inevitable, the Microservice Architecture (MSA) has been broadly embraced. Or has it?
In 2017 I've seen that those organisations that require true agile concepts in practice in order to be(come) sustainable also embraced MSA as the architecture of choice. The change in mindset that is required for MSA to thrive in an IT landscape and an organisation itself for that matter turns out to be more encompassing than mostly thought. I've seen it fail in those organisations that merely do agile, and succeed in those situations that are agile. Yes, MSA and Agile are going hand in hand.

#2: API's in, Webservices out

"Okay, in 2017 we'll feel ashamed when we talk about web-services and SOA. Instead we'll talk about API's. This is closely related to my first prediction on Microservices, which you can read here."

Here I can be short: There's hardly any talk about web-services anymore. It's all about API's nowadays and that has been the case for the better part of 2017. Over the course of 2017 the notion of API's also shifted from merely glorified web-services towards true business services.

#3: Application Architecture in, Application Model out

"Yes, in 2016 I've been confronted with application models. Again and again I have been slapped with models of applications and yes, I've been on the other end of the slapin' stick as well. Shoving application models into other people's faces. Stuffing it down their throats, making them, no forcing them to understand."

Unfortunately this prediction didn't come true at all. Although it depends on how you look at it. In 2017 I've been in more discussions than before about Application Architectures, although in most cases people were actually talking about models. I guess the terminology is out of vogue, but a lot of architects still have a hard time to use the correct terminology. Still, to me the Application Model isn't out and the Application Architecture isn't in. Just yet. Probably with a more widespread adoption of MSA, we're bound to ditch the model and embrace the architecture.

#4: Internet in, Intranet out

"So the internet will be in, and no longer will we consider the intranet as the context in which our software is running. Talk with any cyber security firm and they will tell you that security has become a real issue since computers got connected. Networks are the root of all evil when it comes to viruses and the likes. The larger the networks, the bigger the problems. And with heterogeneity the number of threats only grew, probably exponentially."

This so turned out to be a correct prediction, and like I envisioned, one of the main drivers has been security. And the lack of it, in many cases.
In most environments I've been working in and with over the course of 2017 there was a real notion that no longer was it affordable to not consider security on an application level and assume that applications could be accessed from the internet. Even when that wasn't supposed to happen. Finally we know that assuming the network to be secure is an assumption that really does make an ass of u and me (assume -> ass-u-me)
The good if not best aspect of this is a security-by-design mindset in most if not all people involved in product development.

#5: DevOps in, Scrum out

"I can be very short about this. Business has finally come to understand that IT is not something that enables them to deliver new products to their customers but instead IT is what they deliver to their customers. IT has become a product, and therefore an immediate business concern."

In 2017 it turned out to be not that short, unfortunately. What I've seen happening is that unless agility is a true business concern, a matter of business sustainability, DevOps is not something organisations want to embrace. Although this is primarily a matter of large enterprises, those with seemingly enough money in the bank to linger a while longer before feeling the need of being able to wart of the threads of start-ups and their agility.

This was part one of a two part on a quick glance on my predictions of 2017. In the next couple of days, possibly tomorrow, I will post part two of the series and see about how the remaining 5 predictions turned out. Next week will be about my predictions for 2018.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks once again for reading my blog. Please don't be reluctant to Tweet about it, put a link on Facebook or recommend this blog to your network on LinkedIn. Heck, send the link of my blog to all your Whatsapp friends and everybody in your contact-list. But if you really want to show your appreciation, drop a comment with your opinion on the topic, your experiences or anything else that is relevant.


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