John McDowall

About Me

John McDowall, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor in George Mason University teaching a variety of graduate courses including Principles of Communication Networks, Introduction to Electronic Commerce, and others. He has published a number of peer-reviewed papers on topics as diverse as architecture, intelligent agents and ontologies. He recently published the book "Complex Enterprise Architecture: an Adaptive Systems Approach."

Learning to harness complexity

Increased access to vast amounts of information, social media, and ubiquitous computing makes it seem as if the complexity of our world is increasing faster than we can comprehend it. But technology is not driving complexity; it is only making complexity more visible. Trying to eliminate complexity is an impossible task, and traditional approaches to enterprise architecture have proven ineffective in dealing with it. By thinking about enterprise architecture in a new way, we can make that complexity work for us, and harness emergent behaviors to help achieve an organization’s goals.

The future of system architecture

The old way of doing system architecture will not disappear entirely, but it is already past time we started thinking about how to improve the efficiency of our system architecture practices so they better support today’s rapidly evolving business climate. The next major effect of networks on the evolution of system architecture was the desire to integrate systems. It did not take long to realize that entering the same data into different systems was time-consuming and error-prone, so we began to try and integrate systems so they could share data. 

The Harvard Innovation Lab

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