It’s great being an IT architect-cum-techie today. Lots of stuff and technology to mess around with. It does mean I have more tools in my tool belt to spin my craft. It’s pretty gratifying, especially when clients as well as colleagues get your ideas, your thought processes. It’s especially rewarding when I am able to successfully shape and re-shape my client’s thinking around technology. It’s really about the thought processes and approach, and the outcomes they drive.

To me, if ever technical IT professionals need a reboot in thought processes, it is now! Here’s why.

1. Mode 2 IT is happening now. For those who are new to “Mode 2 IT”, it is Gartner’s way of representing the new wave of IT brought about by the 4 forces – Cloud, Mobile, Social and Insights. Mode 2 IT brings about a vastly different outcome for the business, reaches a vastly different market space, and hence requires vastly different technology. Mode 1 represents the client-server / mainframe era.

2. Mode 2 IT is forcing businesses to simultaneously juggle both Mode 1 & 2 investments. This means businesses will revise and re-establish how IT should be run. It can be quite a stretch, and businesses will behave differently towards technology.

3. The impact of Mode 2 can easily invalidate Mode 1 know-hows. The Mode 1 era has almost always rewarded a “know-more equals have-more” human-capital environment in South East Asia. This is where many great Mode 1 techies will run the risk of being left-behind.


As such, technical IT professionals need to shed their muscle memory (thought processes that have been used again and again and again, and harden …. like muscles) and adopt different thought processes. And one key approach is being outcome-focused. It’s an age-old architectural thinking, found in frameworks like TOGAF. It emphasizes the following :

1. Understanding the current state of the business.
2. Establishing the outcomes that the business requires.
3. Beef up on the new tech, and instead of mugging reams of tech books, let the outcomes lead you on discovering the new tech. Start with next gen app development, PaaS, infrastructure for bi-modal IT, in-place analytics, and intelligence-based security.
4. At this stage, you would be ready to define how the landscape looks like, the expected outcomes.

Let me know your thoughts!