1 What is architecture modernization?


This chapter covers

  • Modernizing for competitive advantage
  • Adopting a holistic approach to architecture
  • Connecting architecture modernization to business outcomes
  • Architecting with independent value streams
  • Approaching modernization as an evolutionary journey

Antiquated legacy architectures are a business risk and a competitive disadvantage. They are difficult and slow to change, more expensive to maintain, and prone to unreliability, handing the advantage to your competitors. Southwest Airlines demonstrated this during its 2022 scheduling crisis caused by a decades-old scheduling system. In one week, 14,500 flights were canceled, and its brand suffered stinging damage as it became a top international news headline for all the wrong reasons.

In contrast, carefully designed modern architecture is a powerful competitive advantage. Cazoo, a UK-based startup, built an online car dealership in just 90 days and became the UK’s fastest-ever unicorn. A key factor in Cazoo’s ability to innovate at speed was having no legacy to constrain them. As a result, it was able to use technologies like Serverless, which provided higher levels of productivity with leading-edge capabilities like elastic scalability as standard.

1.1 Architecture is more than technologies and patterns

1.2 Independent value streams: The building blocks of modern architecture

1.2.1 Minimizing change coupling with well-defined domain boundaries

1.2.2 Architecting at multiple scopes for global optimization

1.3 Modernization as a portfolio-driven evolutionary journey

1.4 Topics not covered in this book