Anne Thomas Manes highlights the importance of adapting to the current trend marked by the convergence of mobile, social and cloud, moving away from app-centric design to service-based solutions.
Anne Thomas Manes is a VP and Distinguished Analyst with Gartner, Inc. She joined Gartner via the acquisition of Burton Group and continues to direct research for the Application Platform Strategies (APS) team in the Burton research division. Anne leads research on application development and delivery strategies, with a specific focus on BPM, SOA, and cloud computing.
I felt you guys could have gone a bit further in your analysis. What you have presented is of course foundational. But to a certain degree, it is lacking a key evolution that needs to be baked in your architecture today, unless the model you are suggesting would also become excruciating legacy by 2016.
What is missing in your analysis is the fact that Mobile, or more exactly, "The Platform" is opening an ocean of 1B+ end users. You don't write software for potentially 1B+ users, like you built software for a 10 M user market.Your architecture needs to be ready to create "multidimensional solutions".
Paradoxically, standardization in large end user market, is the best way to never find your market. As the cost of acquiring customer goes down significantly, and so does the cost of building solutions for what they are trying to accomplish, you are facing a mosaic of optimized solutions for everything type of customers.
To reuse a Blue Ocean term, you need to build an architecture that can support as many "puddles" as possible. In a multidimensional world everything becomes Core (there is a least one dimension where, what would have been considered context, has the opportunity to create a competitive differentiator). rCommerce (Relationship-Commerce) is a great example how extremely dull MRO or logistics processes could help Amazon weaken retail.
The software industry has been accustomed to Economies of Scale and Scope. "The Platform" is introducing now Economies of Variety.
The emergence of this economy of variety is accelerated by the "decoupling" of processes. What I mean by that, is today most companies are organized around a strong coupling of a few processes, their value is actually based on having optimized that coupling. Take the hospitality industry and look how airBnB is using that decoupling to create a major disruption, or retail, which has optimized inventory, catalog and order/payment processes. In the platform world, retail will evolved to focus on "catalog" (and product experience) and less on inventory and order/payment.
With the kind of architecture you presented, you just can't be ready for a world where you decouple your processes to reintegrate them opportunistically to support the variety of what customers are trying to accomplish, while lowering your margins (because your customers are just a thumb away from your competitors). You need a multidimensional solution architecture. Just ask Netflix, "Why REST keeps me up at night".