The idea that the benefits embodied in a microservices approach to solution architecture is relevant to enterprise architecture is a solid one.
In particular, it allows bottom-up, demand-driven solution architectures to evolve, while providing a useful benchmark to assess if those architectures are moving in a way that increases the organization’s ability to manage overall complexity (and hence business agility).
Microservices cannot be mandated top-down the same way Services were intended to be. But fostering a culture and developing an IT strategy that encourages the bottom-up development of microservices will have a significant sustainable positive impact on a business’s competitiveness in a highly digital environment.
I fully endorse all the points Gene has made in his blog post.
Ruth Malan is fond of noting that “design is fractal”. In a comment on her post “We Just Stopped Talking About Design”, she observed:
We need to get beyond thinking of design as just a do once, up-front sort of thing. If we re-orient to design as something we do at different levels (strategic, system-in-context, system, elements and mechanisms, algorithms, …), at different times (including early), and iteratively and throughout the development and evolution of systems, then we open up the option that we (can and should) design in different media.
This fractal nature is illustrated by the fact that software systems and systems of systems belonging to an organization exist within an ecosystem dominated by that organization which is itself a system of systems of the social kind operating within a larger ecosystem (i.e. the enterprise). Just as structure follows strategy then becomes a constraint on strategy…
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