Adriaan Vorster

Adriaan Vorster's picture
Specialist Trainer - Real IRM

Topic: Architecture: The Language of Complexity - A System Engineer’s View


Adriaan Vorster will discuss the use of architectural models to help us understand and communicate complexity. This is based on his experience and observations in working with high power electronics, pulsed power systems, systems analysis, financial software, ERP applications and in enterprise management.

Every field has its own vocabulary, but there is a unifying concept in capabilities that transcend the boundaries of these different fields. For example, he found that the concepts associated with “impedance matching” in electrical systems are applicable to marketing strategies. Thus the impedance matching capability model becomes a cross domain reference architecture for that particular capability. Architects help to build organisational capabilities using these and other kinds of reference models.

Alvin Toffler’s 1990 book Power Shift suggests that a dissipation of information will result in a dissipation of power. In essence, Toffler predicted that future conflicts will be between those who are quick to manage information and those who are slow. The more informed people are, the quicker they are positioned to act on that information.   

This is evident now in our current business environment. The convergence of IT and telecommunications has allowed organisations to quickly share information within and between networked partners. In addition, market pressures are prompting organisations to develop both digital and organisational capabilities that will allow them to respond to these pressures rapidly.

Adriaan will show how architecture provides a language to describe the evolving complexity of the IT systems that support business and their response to pressures for change. 


Following a successful career in Electrical Engineering Research, Adriaan Vorster moved  into the ICT field, where, for 23 years, he has been involved in business systems analysis, design, development and implementation.

Through his involvement with Graphic Mining Solutions International (currently MineRP), Adriaan worked with most of the gold, platinum, manganese and iron miners in South Africa on the development and implementation of Master Systems Plans. During the latter part of 1999 he developed the first value chain-based mining architecture for the Mineral Resource Management division of AngloGold. This work formed the basis for The Open Group EMMM Business Process Reference Model for Exploration and Mining.

From 2003 to 2011, Adriaan was Chief Information Officer at the University of Johannesburg and was subsequently Chief information Officer of the Mvelaserve Group. In both positions, he was responsible for the entire ICT domain, ranging from the implementation of world-class data centres through networking and basic services to information provision and business intelligence. He also led the implementation of an ERP system in the midst of a merger, meeting the functionality targets on time and within the set budget.

Adriaan is TOGAF® 9 certified and holds B.Eng (1989) and M.Eng (1991) degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Rand Afrikaans University, as well as a post graduate Certificate in Data Resource Management (2000) from the University of Washington, Seattle.