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This time I’m sharing a list of EA values of mature EA practice. This customer is a leading company in the utilities industry with aggressive business strategy of merge and acquisition. as a result they have continues challenge of merging IT units together.

 

  1. Creating one common language across IT units
    • Each term is currently used with several meanings, for example the terms system, technology, application and even hardware are being use to describe the same architecture definition across IT units
    • Creating System and technology architecture based on an EA approach will provide XXX one common language with clear definitions will minimize confusions in terms usage
  2. Impact analysis through data and meta-model
    • Data exist in silos (Excel Sheets) without any connections between different definitions in different silos.  In additional to the fact that terminology is  inconsistent, data is stored in many excel sheets with no linkages.
    • Following an EA approach data are collected and related to other relevant data (as defined in EA meta-model) and enable better impact analysis scenarios based on the existing EA definitions, attributes and relationships. This approach will replace the today need to prepare data for each new impact analysis.
  3. Architecture for agility
    • Using best practice definitions to conceptually split monolithic systems into set of components improve reusability and flexibility. Instead of treating IT assets as systems, EA suggest breaking systems into applications, technologies and (as indirect linkage) servers and hardware.
    •  This approach clearly creates boundaries between Business Applications (custom code to support internal business needs), Technology (purchased software to support the business application) and Server/Hardware. By building these “layers” using services, a change/replacement of a layer is much simpler. This type of IT conceptualization provides more agility especially when all relationships recorded can be queried by XXX IT teams.
  4. Alignment to business
    • Using the suggested EA approach, Applications and Technology (with or without Services) are related to specific  business function that they support.
    • This enables the enterprise to see which business function(s) is supported/not supported by IT. Using this data, a long term IT planning can be created to improve IT to Business alignment as well as communications between IT and Business.
  5. Services as a better way to increase reusability and flexibility
    • Services are any predefined endpoints that provide predefine functionality with known inputs and outputs. From the EA meta-model point of view services can be provide in different protocols (API, COM interface, Java/.Net interfaces, IPC, FTP, Web Services, etc’).
    • The proposed EA meta-model suggests using services for technology and applications to simply enable us to expose functionalities that are consumable from applications and technologies that exist currently.

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  1. Jim Spath
    Natty:

      I’ve read your blog several times, and while there are a few sentences that make little sense, I don’t get any sense of practical examples of any business process.  I’m afraid this is going to be a harsh review, possibly longer than your original post, as I try to explain what could possibly be said more clearly.

    “… EA values of mature EA practice …”

    Are the values “enterprise architectures” or are the practices “enterprise architectures”?  This doesn’t make sense.  Are you saying here are some good business practices from a well-established company?  That might make sense, if you shared them with us.

    “This customer is a leading company in”

    Are they your customer?  What difference does that make, unless they are paying you to write about them.  How do they qualify as leading?  Sales?  Numbers of customers?  They acquire and merge with other companies?  That’s not particularly novel.  How does this affect them and not their competitors?

    “they have continues challenge”

    I guess you meant continuous challenges.  I read that to mean non-stop problems, when you probably mean frequent opportunities.

    “… even hardware are being use to describe the same architecture definition”

    So, people use the same word differently, depending on, what?  And what is an architecture definition – something from a dictionary or reference manual?  I don’t follow how you propose to resolve this Tower of Babel.

    “will provide XXX one common language with clear definitions will minimize confusions in terms usage”

    The XXX must have some meaning to someone, but a casual reader would have no clue – does it mask another word you can’t say?  And saying clear definitions will minimize confusion is a tautology.

    “Data exist in silos (Excel Sheets) without any connections between different definitions in different silos.  In additional to the fact that terminology is inconsistent, data is stored in many excel sheets with no linkages.”

    Both sentences say the same thing with different words, other than one adds a claim of inconsistent technology. Either sentence would be understandable with a concrete example of an inconsistency.

    “data are collected and related to other relevant data”

    Here again, with no reference to what data you are talking about, a reader would have no clue what to do.  Since “related” and “relevant” share the same root word, their meanings are nearly identical, making their use together more confusing.  How is one piece of data related to another?  Is is a parent-child relationship?  Or are they simply distantly affiliated?  This connection is vague to the point of distraction.

    “EA suggest breaking systems into applications”

    It’s hardly a new idea that applications run on systems, nor that people relate to the application they use much more definitively than they relate to the system that provides the infrastructure. 

    “This approach clearly creates boundaries”

    How is that clear?  You have said nothing about the boundaries, how they can be established, or how they can be maintained.  You simply claim that applications and infrastructure can be split.  There is no proof, and no examples to verify this.

    “all relationships recorded can be queried by XXX IT teams”

    What does this mean?  Who is XXX?  How would they query a relationship?  Is there no security around who can see what data?

    “long term IT planning can be created to improve IT to Business alignment as well as communications between IT and Business”

    As far as I know, alignment implies communication.  How could you have alignment without it?  And what companies don’t do long term planning, other than the ones destined to fail anyway?

    “Services are any predefined endpoints that provide predefine functionality with known inputs and outputs.”

    How is a service an endpoint?  Aren’t inputs and outputs endpoints with services connecting them?  And do you mean that the inputs and outputs are known in the sense of being visible ahead of time, or known in the sense of having defined parameters and/or units? 

    “simply enable us to expose functionalities that are consumable”

    How are functions consumable?  Aren’t they concepts rather than resources?  And what is simple about this process?

    I’ll stop here.  I’d like to think our project plans are a lot clearer than what I’ve read here.

    Jim

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