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Is your composable enterprise project working or causing tech debt?


This panel was moderated by John Dages, Technology Solution Director at Fusion Alliance (left) and features Ryan Shondell, Executive Director of Data Services at OCLC (center) and Jeremy King Chief Enterprise Architect at NetJets (right).

How many meetings do you have with Amazon when you want to use S3 to move a workflow into the cloud?  

None, of course. Amazon makes its S3 service easy to find, understand, and consume. 

And how many meetings do you have to have when you add an API to your own organization’s technology ecosystem? 

The “how many meetings” test isn’t a trick question. It’s a good rule-of-thumb metric to judge whether your service is driving value or contributing to tech debt.  

Bottom line up front: APIs must be consumable to add value. If you’re building an API and you have to have a meeting before someone can use it, something has gone wrong and you may need to reconsider your composability approach.  

If you build an entire composable ecosystem that works the same way the world used to work 20 years ago, you’re cruising for tech debt rather than ROI. A functional composable enterprise requires components that are discoverable, with documented constraints and functionality, so that operators can find what they need and put it into place without a lot of hand holding. This discoverability could come from traditional documentation, or effective use of introspection endpoints to allow for programmatic, systemic discoverability.  

Either way, to reduce your tech debt and boost the ROI of your composability, be sure to ask yourself: how many meetings did we have before we could offer or consume this product? The closer that number is to zero, the better. 

About our panelists:

Ryan Shondell is currently the Executive Director of Data Services at OCLC, responsible for developing and executing the company’s data strategy and aligned technology. This includes technical product management, data operations, data quality, and development of AI/ML capabilities, analytics, search, and all customer-facing data applications and APIs across a staff of 300. Prior to joining OCLC, Ryan held multiple senior engineering leadership positions at VMware going back to 2010, most recently as Senior Director of Engineering, where he helped to lead global development on products like Skyline and VMware Cloud. And now, he’s actually headed to Path Robotics to start his next adventure.

Jeremy King has been working in Technology for over 20 years and is currently the Chief Enterprise Architect at NetJets. He started his career designing and developing embedded systems and has worked in many industries, including banking, health care, travel and transportation, and integration tools. His background includes distributed cloud-native architecture, data structures and modeling, enterprise integration patterns, event-driven architectures, and API design. As a Software Architect, Jeremy has faced the challenge of making disparate systems exchange data in consistent, performant ways. His current passions include technical innovation, graph databases, and emerging API standards.

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