Trends Report

Architecture And Market Success Are More Closely Related Than You Think

Meeting Future Market Demands Requires An Open Product Architecture

September 4th, 2007
With contributors:
Thomas Mendel, Ph.D. , Reedwan Iqbal


Innovations in information systems result in process improvements and are judged on their economic advantages for the enterprise or the IT organization itself. Often, a single process is improved and determines a single market segment: The solution architecture, which was a key differentiator at the time of innovation, becomes a moot point when the technology is adopted. It is then replaced by user value and overall cost considerations. In some instances, the initial technology blossoms into several potential applications that will improve different processes for different users and result in different market segments, each with its own set of economic advantages. Many innovators are then tempted to address only the one specific segment that seems the most promising and lock their product architecture onto this segment. This is a viable strategy up to a certain point: In IT, IT operations must install and operate everything. The value proposition for IT operations is based on resource consumption for installation and support, and here, product architecture becomes a strong differentiator again.

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Thomas Mendel, Ph.D.
and Reedwan Iqbal