Wanted (or not): new design principles


MarliesI am currently in the middle of a series of inspiring discussions with other architects. The topic of these discussions is the question whether present day technological and social developments should induce new architectural principles. There are two factions: one side argues that technological developments are of all times and so nothing is new, fundamentally. The other side argues that the combination of big data, cloud, internet of things, and especially the use that is being made of them, asks for a reinvention of the architecture discipline, not only in behavior, but also in content.

The jury is still out, but at the moment I tend to support the second faction. From our discussions new design principles start to emerge that to me seem more than worthwhile to seriously consider and elaborate. Guidelines such as:

  • Small;
  • Designed to be disposable;
  • Accessible by a search engine;
  • Allowed to overlap;
  • Transparent in behavior;
  • Defined in terms of use, not reuse.

Whether it will turn out to be the above guidelines or different ones, an architecture paradigm shift is required. Because society is changing. It is not about the new technologies in themselves, there always will be new technologies. It is about the new rules of the game their widespread use generates, with new players in the field and power shifts between existing players. Especially, the new balance of power between customer and business. The game is afoot.

Marlies van Steenbergen


Marlies van Steenbergen started her career with Sogeti Netherlands in the role of service manager enterprise architecture in 2000. After working as a consultant for a few years, she became Principal Consultant Enterprise Architecture in 2004. In this role, she is responsible for stimulating and guaranteeing the development of the architectural competence of Sogeti Netherlands. Since 2012 she is the main proponent of enterprise architecture and DYA within Sogeti Netherlands.

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  1. Jacques December 5, 2014 Reply

    Hello Marlies, Nice article. regarding the DevOps approach described using CALMS concept and could be a kind of Umbrella for you regarding Business/development/Operation
    C – Culture
    A – Automation
    L – Lean
    M – Measurement
    S – Sharing