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Why (or Why Not)?

No silver bullets exist, including in architecture. We don’t recommend that every project take on the extra cost and effort of evolvability unless it benefits them.

Why Should a Company Decide to Build an Evolutionary Architecture?

Many businesses find that the cycle of change has accelerated over the past few years, as reflected in the aforementioned Forbes observation that every company must be competent at software development and delivery.

Predictable versus evolvable

Many companies value long-term planning for resources and other strategic matters; companies obviously value predictability. However, because of the dynamic equilibrium of the software development ecosystem, predictability has expired. Enterprise architects may still make plans, but they may be invalidated at any moment.

Even companies in staid, established industries shouldn’t ignore the perils of systems that cannot evolve. The taxi industry was a multicentury, international institution when it was rocked by ride-sharing companies that understood and reacted to the implications of the shifting ecosystem. The phenomenon known as The Innovators Dilemma predicts that companies in well-established markets are likely to fail as more agile startups address the changing ecosystem better.

Building evolvable architecture takes extra time and effort, but the reward comes when the company can react to substantive shifts in the marketplace without major rework. Predictability will never return to the nostalgic days of mainframes and dedicated operations centers. The highly volatile nature of the development world increasingly pushes all organizations toward incremental change.

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