Saturday, January 28, 2017

Q&A on Enterprise Architecture and IT careers

Here are a couple of recent question from an online forum that I answered:  

What is enterprise system? What are the differences between digital platform and it?


Let us start with Enterprise system - Wikipedia
“Enterprise systems (ES) are large-scale application software packages that support business processes, information flows, reporting, and data analytics in complex organizations.”
The term Enterprise Systems generally refers to an application platform used across the enterprise. Examples would include systems serving the needs of ERP, Manufacturing and Supply chain, HR, Finance etc used across an organization or by multiple business unites
Wikipedia - Digital platform Integrated Digital Platforms is a generalized term for multimedia platforms that perform various business functions. An example of such a function is collecting and analyzing marketing trends and patterns
Back to your question: What are the differences between digital platform and ES? The differences are subtle, and would vary from one organization to the next. One can argue that all ES are also “digital platforms” However, most business users would think of ES as “internal corporate systems” while “digital platforms” could also be external facing.
ps: check out my Pulse post on the topic of Digital Strategy execution and the Executive update on Cutter (if you have access to it)



How many years a software engineer can survive in IT industry in India?

As for now I haven’t seen any retired software engineers in India. So, I was just thinking, like other jobs(Banking sector, Lecturers, teachers) can a Software Engineer survive in IT industry till his retirement age.


Years ago I worked with Stephen Butler, one of the smartest Software Engineers I have known. He was about 61 or 62 when I met him.
He was the kind of hands-on guy who thrived on challenges like de-compiling complex and obscure code. In my engagement, he was tasked with decompiling an old Forte 4GL application used to run a retailer’s payment engine. He was happy being a hands-on software engineer, happy to learn new languages and platforms while continuing to be updated on newer techniques.
Stephen was also a proud guy. A new new grandfather, proud as hell to be living in a nice single-family home in the Bay Area that he had paid off in three decades spent there.
I got a call from Stephen’s wife one day informing me that he had died. He was 64, and his wife said he died the way he would have wanted to - a sudden cardiac arrest while at his home-office debugging some code!
His LinkedIn profile continues to live in perpetuity.
Have I seen any 50 or 60 year old Software Engineers in India? No.
Does it mean a Software Engineer cannot survive in the same role till s/he decides to retire? One can probably survive if one wanted to, but most opt to follow the Dilbert Principle of being promoted to their level of incompetence.