Is it time for a Well-Architected Pivot?

Executing a Well-Architected Pivot

A well-architected pivot is the best way to describe our decision to join the Amazon Partnership Network. I’ve always subscribed to independence when it comes to enterprise architecture. However, I think that Amazon’s Well-Architected Framework provides a great foundation for the future.

Welcome to the SubscriptionMaker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander, Enterprise Architect at SubscriptionMaker.net. Please hit the subscribe button where ever you get your podcasts so that you won’t miss any new episodes.

For the record, I’ve always considered enterprise architecture a foundation of business innovation and nothings changed. On the other hand, my more practical side finds that it’s much easier to explain the need for a well-architected solution than to explain the benefits of enterprise architecture. And there comes a point when the subscriber’s needs must come first.

What is a pivot?

For our purposes, you can think of a pivot as the act of unlocking additional value for your subscribers. It generally involves some form of technology innovation. For example, you currently sell widgets. You shift to selling subscription services that not only provide access to the most up to date version of those widgets. It monitors the widget’s current health.  

What is the Well-Architected Framework?

The Well-Architected Framework is Amazon’s version of an enterprise architecture framework. It provides guidelines for how to run and build computer systems. What’s different is the concept of architecture as code. Generally, you can’t go directly from architecture to working service.

You can think of the Well-Architected Framework as Amazon Web Services (AWS) best practices for using cloud technology. The project started by asking the simple question, “Are your services well-architected.” The answer has grown into a program based on five pillars.

Operational Excellence

You can think of operational excellence as the act of monitoring current systems and ensuring they are performing within the target range. Lessons learned from these activities provide the impotence for future growth.

Security

This pillar is about protecting sensitive data while providing continuous value. You can make the case that the most secure systems are ones that are powered off, shrink-wrapped, and buried under a mountain of dirt. The trick to provide a high level of protection while delivering business value.

Additionally, this pillar covers your efforts to respond to breaches and other forms of malintent. It’s not enough to protect the data because there are a lot of opportunities to break complex systems. You’ve got to plan and practice for what comes next.

Reliability

You can think of reliability as another way of saying sustainability. Things break. They ware out. There are fires in computer centers, and they lose power. Reliability is about limiting the downtime to recover from these eventualities.

Performance Efficiency

This pillar is about responsiveness. Does the system respond in a timely manner when you make requests? Do you have to wait longer than you expect? Performance efficiency is not static. What is great today will be okay tomorrow and less than average next week.

Cost Optimization

You make the case that this is the reason that most organizations invest in enterprise architecture. Cost Optimization is the effort required to ensure that you are spending the least amount of money when delivering the desired level of service.

For a lot of management teams, it’s aspirational. However, it’s a matter of habit for organizations that subscribe to the guidelines in the Well-Architected Framework. As a rule, I am always looking for ways to reduce cost and complexity.

What is a well-architected pivot?

A well-architected pivot draws on all of the pillars of the Well-Architected Framework to unlock value for the subscribers. Generally speaking, you can expect that most organizations will concentrate on one or two of the pillars. However, successful subscriptionmakers need to be concerned with all five of the pillars.

What does this mean for the SubscriptionMaker Podcast?

Making the pivot from an enterprise architecture company to AWS Managed Service Company is a big deal. You can expect more segments on our AWS journey. There are a lot of boxes to be checked in the form of certifications and the need to learn how to navigate the AWS ecosystem.

For the record, we will not be neglecting our mission to help people who want the freedom and security of recurring income. You can expect a deeper conversation about how to architect services. We will simply use the well-architected framework as a foundation.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander. “Something Crazy” by the Particle House is the music track. You can find it at Epidemic Sound. Finally, you can contact me on SubscriptionMaker.net.