Why good architecture is a synonym of cost reduction


These days, it doesn’t matter where I go or which media channel I watch, I hear about the same thing: cost reduction. From governments to households to companies, budgets are on a diet -- saving is the new sacred word. Therefore, everyone must do more with much less. When it comes to companies, the first budget to shrink is usually the IT budget. But what can be cut, and how?

Sometimes, entire projects are stopped. With luck, maybe only features will be abandoned.

Sadly, lowering the cost to develop or maintain a project doesn’t lower customers’ expectations. In fact, those expectations increase as time passes and customers’ needs stay the same: They want better, faster, and more complete applications. And it goes without saying that the application has to be rock solid, because a deceived customer can quickly turn into an ex-customer.

But the “fat” has to be cut somewhere. Some would cut the budget on the lower elements of an application -- the ones that the customers never see. But this is wrong. You see, an application is like a house. Skimping on the foundation creates an enormous risk of everything else collapsing.

So if you can’t save money on the foundation, you have to remove features. But, what is a house without rooms? Doesn’t removing features also remove the meaning of the project? As you can see, it is difficult to lower a project’s budget without putting it into jeopardy. So what is the miraculous solution? Unfortunately there’s no such thing.

A good start though would be minimizing the cost of heavy maintenance. This can be done by putting a lot of thought into what architecture would be the most efficient from the beginning.

That’s easier said than done! Firstly, defining what architecture is needed is difficult enough. Secondly, it is also difficult to respect the architecture when it comes time to code it. Sometimes, circumventing the architecture permits you to deliver a feature faster. But it defeats the purpose of the architecture and creates flaws in the software. To make sure that doesn’t happen, you need a tool where you can check that your delivered code respects the architecture model.

This tool is delivered by CAST and is called Architecture Checker.

Using CAST Architecture Checker gives a lot of benefits. With it, you will be able to validate the architecture of your application from the moment it’s thought up while choosing the level of detail you want.

And you will be able to validate how good your defined architecture is respected in the developed code whenever the code is modified using the generated set of quality rules. Every time a new feature is coded by the developers, you will make sure that your architecture is respected, permitting your applications to remain robust and easily maintainable. And you will keep your costs low.

In the end, an application is like any other thing. When you ensure that it stays intact during its creation, it doesn’t require costly down the road.

  This report describes the effects of different industrial factors on  structural quality. Structural quality differed across technologies with COBOL  applications generally having the lowest densities of critical weaknesses,  while JAVA-EE had the highest densities. While structural quality differed  slightly across industry segments, there was almost no effect from whether the  application was in- or outsourced, or whether it was produced on- or off-shore.  Large variations in the densities in critical weaknesses across applications  suggested the major factors in structural quality are more related to  conditions specific to each application. CRASH Report 2020: CAST Research on  the Structural Condition of Critical Applications Report
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Narcisa Zysman
Narcisa Zysman Senior Product Manager at CAST
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