A Chief Architect's Journey

This book helps architects, CTOs, and CIOs drive large-scale enterprise IT transformation.

Many large enterprises are feeling pressure from the rapid digitalization of the world: digital disruptors attack unexpectedly with brand-new business models; the "FaceBook generation" has dramatically different user expectations; and a whole slew of new technologies has become available to everyone with a credit card. This is tough stuff for enterprises that have been, and still are, very successful, but are built around traditional technology and organizational structures. "Turning the tanker", as the need to transform is often described, has become a board room-level topic in many traditional enterprises. Not as easily done as said.

Chief IT Architects and CTOs play a key role in such a digital transformation endeavor. They combine the technical, communication, and organizational skill to understand how a tech stack refresh can actually benefit the business, what "being agile" and "DevOps" really mean, and what technology infrastructure is needed to assure quality while moving faster. Their job is not an easy one, though: they must maneuver in an organization where IT is often still seen as a cost center, where operations means "run" as opposed to "change", and where middle-aged middle-management has become cozy neither understanding the business strategy nor the underlying technology. It's no surprise then that IT architects have become some of the most sought-after IT professionals around the globe.

This book supports IT architects with the skills necessary to become effective not just in systems architecture, but also in shaping and driving the necessary transformation of large-scale IT departments. In today’s world, technical transfor­mation and organiza­tional transformation have become inseparable.

Organized into 37 episodes, this book explains:

  • The role and qualities of an architect in a large enterprise
  • Architecture at enterprise scale
  • Communicating to a variety of stakeholders
  • Understanding organizational structures and systems
  • Transforming traditional organizations

Armed with these insights, architects and CTOs will be able to ride the Architect Elevator up and down the organization to instill lasting change.

Praise for 37 Things One Architect Knows:

"As a Business executive and former CTO, this is an enjoyably readable description of an IT Chief Architect’s role and practical methods of influence. I recommend this book to technical staff aspiring to become Chief Architect or CTO." -- Matthew Rawlings, Head of Middle Office and Operations, Bloomberg LP

"Great architects have battle scars and stories to tell. 37 Things reveals a journey that gives character to Gregor’s battle scars and demonstrates how to achieve architecture awesomeness." -- Alexandre Lopes Global Head of Architecture and Service Design, Zurich Insurance Company Ltd

"Gregor shares his hard-learned lessons about enterprise IT using a witty pen. 37 Things has the potential to become a classic for those who need to understand the forces surrounding the IT function in large enterprises. It deserves to be read by an audience far larger than those working on the inside of IT." -- Einar Landre, Leading Analyst IT, COO CIT DIG, Statoil ASA

Gregor Hohpe

In his role as Chief Architect at a major insurance corporation, Gregor Hohpe is drawing on 15 years’ experience in Silicon Valley to drive the digital convergence of insurance. Previously he spent 5 years in Tokyo optimizing mobile advertising and merging online and physical worlds into a seamless user experience for Google.

He is widely known as co-author of the seminal book “Enterprise Integration Patterns” and as frequent speaker at conferences around the world. His accessible, but technically accurate essays were republished in “97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know” and “Best Software Writing”. He is an active member of the IEEE Software editorial advisory board.