Why Do We Need Software Architects


Why do we need software architects?  In the book Software Architect Bootcamp (2nd Edition), Raphael Malveau and Thomas J. Mowbray, Ph.D. write about three key reasons why we need software architects.

Separate Complex Concerns

Malvaeau and Mowbray write the following:

First, architects need the ability to separate complex concerns, in particular to separate concerns about business-application functionality, from concerns about distributed-system complexity. … By separating concerns, developers can focus on the business functionality that is the true purpose of the information system.

Future-Proof the Information Systems

Malvaeau and Mowbray write the following:

Software architects also need the ability to future-proof the information systems that they are planning.  … Future-proofing also requires the ability to adapt to new user requirements, since requirements do change frequently and account for a majority of system software costs over the life cycle.  It is important to plan information systems to support the likely and inevitable changes that users will require in order to conduct business.

Increase the Likelihood of System Success

Malvaeau and Mowbray write the following:

A third need for software architects is the ability to increase the likelihood of system success.  Corporate developers to date have had a very poor track record of creating successful systems.  The software architect is responsible for planning systems with the maximum probability of delivering success and key benefits for the business.  Through proper information technology planning, it is possible to increase the likelihood of system delivery on time and on budget.


  1. I thinik one of the problems is that “architect” is overloaded so people don’t know what to expect. There’s lots of flavors (Solution Architect, Enterprise Architect, Software Architect, … etc.) At patterns & practices we ended up using a distinction between “blue-collar architects” that are still hands on and “white-collar architects” that are no longer hands on.

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