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Application Architecture

Whatever the future holds, we’re ready for it. Here’s why…

EducationWhat’s the next big tech trend? How will the web change in 5 years? Who knows? Sure, people like to speculate and make bold predictions. But, they don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what the future holds. Neither do you.

One thing I do know: Whatever the future holds, we’re ready for it.

How am I so sure?

What is n-Tier architecture, and how does it help you?

EducationHave you ever wondered why your business applications don’t integrate well with other systems or applications? Have you ever wondered why your applications don’t adapt to changing technology? Have you wondered why it takes so long to add new features to your applications?

Chances are, the problem lies in your application architecture.

While often ignored, architecture is the most important aspect of business applications. Applications built on bad architecture will have all sorts of problems. They won’t grow with your company. They’re less secure. They’re difficult to maintain. I could go on, but you can read more about the benefits of good architecture in this article.

So, what makes good application architecture? How can you build applications on architecture that will grow with your business and adapt to future technology? While you have multiple application architecture options, we prefer the n-Tier approach. Rather than list every reason right here, we’ve created a short video that explains n-Tier architecture and how it helps your business.

4 steps to create a more agile IT department

ProductivityMany IT departments have developed a reputation of being slow and difficult. They make users jump through hoops and then take months to deliver requested solutions. The business users often feel like IT stands in their way, or even holds them back.

The problem is, business users now have other options. Many are bypassing IT altogether and using unsanctioned SaaS options to accomplish their goals. If IT can’t (or won’t) deliver solutions in a timely manner, they find another way.

IT departments have no choice: They must become more agile and responsive to the business user’s needs, or risk being bypassed.

The question is…how? How can a slow IT department become more agile and responsive?

We posed that question to a few industry experts, who delivered some excellent advice. You can read their tips below, as well as some of my own. I hope you find them useful:

Application architecture: Ignore at your own risk

EducationI’ve noticed a disturbing trend in the world of business web applications. It seems that emphasis is shifting away from application architecture and shifting towards application design. These days, flashy interfaces beat out well-built web applications.

Why is this happening? I recently read an article over on that highlights a major factor driving this trend: End user’s expectations are rising. They expect enterprise applications to be as well-designed and easy to use as the apps and tools they use every day. After all, if their enterprise applications don’t meet their expectations, there are plenty of other web services they can use.

Now, I get it. I understand the problems this creates for businesses. But, in the rush to please the end users with well-designed interfaces, let’s not forget about the most important aspect of business applications: Architecture.

For business web applications, architecture is infinitely more important than design. While application architecture might be invisible to the business users, the effects of application architecture are clear as day.

Let me try to highlight a few tangible benefits of good architecture, and help you understand why ignoring it might be the worst mistake your business can make. To help drive this home, I solicited feedback from a few experts in the field of application architecture. You can find their responses below, along with 5 big reasons why application architecture is so important.

The big tech trend that you can’t ignore

EducationWhat’s the most important tech trend going into 2013? Some say mobile. Others say cloud computing. There’s also lots of buzz surrounding areas like BYOD, consumerization, shadow IT, and business analytics.

They’re all wrong. There’s one trend that’s more important than all of those trends combined, yet is widely ignored. It’s a trend that determines a company’s ability to take advantage of many of those new “hot trends” (mobile, cloud computing. etc…) that everyone is talking about.

What is that trend? This important, yet widely ignored trend is the shift towards modern application architecture. Yes, I know it sounds boring. Who wants to talk about architecture when they can talk about exciting trends like mobile apps, cloud computing, and analytics? You might…once you see what good architecture lets you accomplish.

What’s driving this trend? Companies are slowly realizing that their outdated application architecture is holding them back. They’re realizing that without modern architecture, they’re not even ready to think about the other new trends of the day.

So, the big questions are: How does outdated architecture hold you back from new trends? How does modern application architecture help your company adapt to current trends? To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the impact application architecture has on a few of the current tech trends.

Weekly recap: Develop applications that empower users, BYOD acceptance, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on the importance of developing applications that empower users, cloud architecture, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Can business embed IT
Like it or not, IT departments are changing. We’re seeing a shift towards the integration of IT and the business. Technology shouldn’t be confined to one department. It must permeate the entire business.

5 big problems caused by bad application architecture

EducationApplication architecture is one of the single most important, yet boring topics you’ll ever run across. You’re not going to make too many friends at a party talking about technology stacks, open frameworks, or any other architecture-related themes. In fact, you’ll probably get a lot of blank stares wherever you talk about those things.

Yet, the difference between good and bad application architecture is mind-blowing. Good architecture is nearly invisible. Everything just works, it’s easy to maintain, and all of your applications operate in perfect harmony.

On the other hand, bad architecture is only invisible at the beginning, but becomes increasingly obvious over time. When you buy a new development tool or begin using pre-built software, the applications may initially work fine. But, if they’re built on bad architecture, problems will quickly arise. What exactly can you expect? Here are 5 costly problems caused by bad application architecture: