Three and a half Roses

Quantify the complexity of your application landscape

In the dynamic realm of modern business, comprehending the intricate webs of enterprise application architecture has become increasingly significant. Yet, quantifying this complexity remains elusive for many organizations. Fortunately, research offers insights into this quandary, presenting methods to demystify these architectural mazes.

Complex Application Landscape

Complexity Metrics

A study proposes a spectrum of metrics tailored to measure the complexity of enterprise application architectures, which can be broadly categorized into three groups:

Heterogeneity-focused Metrics: These metrics offer a lens to view the diverse technologies within an organization’s systems, including:

  • Different technologies
  • Programming languages
  • Middleware solutions
  • Database systems
  • Data exchange protocols

Recognizing such diversities can spotlight areas that might benefit from standardization.

Topology-based Metrics: These delve into the structural makeup of an organization’s systems, considering:

  • Application count
  • Information flow paths
  • Overall functional scope
  • Levels of customization

Through these metrics, one can identify segments of the architecture that may be streamlined.

Common Industry Metrics: Generally accepted across the software realm, these metrics touch upon the following:

  • User base
  • Transaction volume
  • Reports
  • System interfaces
  • Batch processing tasks
  • Database tables

Using these, organizations can gauge their system’s complexity relative to general industry benchmarks, potentially highlighting improvement areas.

Metrics in Practice: A Closer Look

Two enterprises – a telecommunications provider and a biopharmaceutical company – served as test cases for these metrics. For the former, the metrics underscored a notable heterogeneity in its systems, suggesting that standardization might be a route to explore. Conversely, the biopharmaceutical firm showed marked customization, indicating opportunities for system consolidation.


Introducing these complexity metrics has provided a fresh perspective on deciphering and managing enterprise application architecture. With these tools, organizations are better equipped to navigate, understand, and optimize their infrastructural labyrinths, enabling them to adapt and thrive in today’s challenging business environment.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About Me

As an experienced enterprise architect with a deep-rooted passion for cloud, AI, and architectural design, I’ve guided numerous companies through the management of their existing application landscapes and facilitated their transition to a future state.