About ten years ago, Sogeti introduced Dynamic Architecture (DYA). DYA was the start of the focus shift from blueprint architecture to just enough, just in time architecture. The main driver for this shift was the awareness that architecture must facilitate the required speed of change. We are now on the threshold of a new focus shift: instead of focusing on internal efficiency and standardization of technology, architecture is to drive innovation by stimulating diversity and focusing on the interplay of enablers with different rhythms. Organizations are reinventing themselves massively, driven by the rapid succession of technological innovations and their adoption by society. They are experimenting with new kinds of services, new ways of working and new business models. In this way, organizations are building a new us, and they are seeking how to successfully realize this new us.
The existing organization is infused with new initiatives, where old and new are becoming entwined. Whereas standardization has been the magic word for many years now, this is being replaced by differentiation. Important traits for organizations (according to the contingency theory of organizations) are requisite variety, the existence of sufficient variety to quickly adapt, and equifinality – the awareness that different forms can be equally effective. An organization is built on components, enablers, of different natures, depending on their purposes: functionalities that enable the organization to realize its ambitions, such as types of infrastructure, information services or development practices. Whereas traditionally, driven by cost-efficiency, we sought standardization of these enablers, i.e. only one infrastructure, this does not lead to the much-needed requisite variety. Instead, we need various enablers of the same type, each with their own dynamics. And for each solution we want to be able to utilize the right combination of enablers.
To make this happen, we have to embrace diversity and look for the contact points between diverse enablers. This is today’s challenge for architecture. The architect becomes the choreographer who makes the organization dance on different rhythms. That is why we are researching how to achieve this requisite variety and how to define and develop the contact points that enable us to connect enablers. I would like to invite anyone who is interested to join this search. Let’s find these contact points and learn to dance on different rhythms.