The IT Architecture Dimension

The IT Architecture Dimension

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6469-2.ch007
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Abstract

The main purpose of this chapter is to present some important aspects of a complementary domain of the concept of architecture: the Information Technology (IT) dimension of the enterprise, or its “IT architecture.” There are several ways to reveal the elements and importance of information and communication technologies (the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data, often in the context of a business or other enterprise). A simple and straight description is offered by Englander (2009). Therefore, a proper understanding of the concept of IT architecture as a complement of the corporate dimension is what this chapter is about.
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2. Background

Perhaps the best way to start this chapter is to present a definite and very revealing argument (concerning the digital age) advanced by Prof. Hal Varian, formally from the University of California at Berkeley, USA, and now Chief Economist Officer of Google Inc.: “Nowadays, most economic transactions involve a computer” (Varian, 2010).

In his article published at the American Economic Review, Varian (2010) observes that now that computers are everywhere, they can be used for many purposes. He explores some of the ways that computer mediation can affect economic transactions. He argues that these computer mediated transactions have enabled significant improvements in the way transactions are carried out and will continue to impact the economy for the foreseeable future.

Another recent account which also reveals important characteristics of the current digital age, is that one provided by a persona who is shaping the recent history of the global IT industry. In an article published at The Wall Street Journal in August 20, 2011, Marc Andreessen (an American entrepreneur, investor, software engineer, best known as co-author of Mosaic, the first widely used web browser, co-founder of Netscape Communications Corporation, and co-founder and general partner of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz), wrote:

This week, Hewlett-Packard (where I am on the board) announced that it is exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I've observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market. In short, software is eating the world.

If ‘software is eating the world’ and if ‘nowadays most economic transactions involve a computer’, then it is possible to argue in this chapter that ‘nowadays no enterprise can emerge, operate and be economically sustainable without the help of information and communication technologies’.

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