Top 5 areas where senior architects can make the biggest difference

Billy Lo
2 min readSep 15, 2021
Photo by Lex Photography from Pexels

Think of your technology systems as a car: a tool that your company’s leaders use to get to their destination.

When designing and building this car, critical elements must receive sufficient focus. Here is my Top 5 list.

  1. The engine and the drivetrain: The operating platform must be reliable and adaptive so we can drive on highways, city roads and suburb trails. Cloud native is definitely the prominent trend here.
  2. Speedometer and brakes: To be able to drive fast without going out of control, we need to have good sensors and control systems. In the context of software systems, these are your application performance & management (APM) components.
  3. Drivers’ manuals and training: Drivers come from different backgrounds and we cannot assume they understand how the car can be used optimally. Systems are the same. Education, communication and coaching are high value areas. Architects can make a big difference because of their strong understanding on how systems support business processes.
  4. GPS and on-dash displays: Road conditions are dynamic and we cannot stick to the same route every time. Analytics and reporting components is always worth your senior architects’ time. We need to get to the right place after all.
  5. Driver’s comfort: The journey is measured in years not minutes. If you want your system to be successful, it has to feel comfortable. But how do you architect systems that feel right? There is no magic formula here. Ensure you have a good feedback gathering mechanism: something that you can use to make adjustments. The ability to observe how applications are used (e.g. tools such as HotJar, Google Analytics) is a good start.

You may notice that security is not on this list because it really is a given. If you have a Ferrari with no locks, you are not going to find it again for your 2nd trip. :-)

Focus means saying no to good, but less important things. I hope this can help you prioritize projects that need to be worked on.

Safe travels! 🚗 🚗 🚗