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Author's profile photo Frank Schuler

How to build an IT architecture roadmap

In my blog about The business case for IT architecture I did not describe in detail how to build such a Why should you refresh your SAP roadmap?. Therefore this is the topic of this blog. As you can see from the flow chart below, building an IT architecture could be a laborious task if you had to start from scratch.

IT Architecture Roadmap

Fortunately some of the yellow deliverables are usually already present so not all of the red roadmap process steps would necessarily have to be performed.

The necessary starting point of an IT architecture roadmap according to the IT architecture pyramid below are your company’s business and IT vision

IT architecture pyramid 

More often than not these have been developed prior to the IT architecture roadmap endeavour and therefore serve as the starting point. If not or if they needed updating both visions would have to be formulated for which there is no easy or straightforward process since they lay the foundation for your company’s future success.

From the business and IT vision you will then develop your IT strategy if it does not exist yet or needs updating. A best practise way to come up with a sound IT strategy is a strategy workshop with the IT leadership team. You could do that on your own or with the help of an external moderator.

To support your IT strategy you would then formulate your IT architecture principles. Those will be derived from your IT strategy and should cover the following areas according to TOGAF Version 9

  • Business Principles
  • Data Principles
  • Application Principles
  • Technology Principles

From there you develop your IT architecture patterns which are designed to help your organization adhering to the IT architecture principles in that they give guidance what to do in a certain situation, i.e. when a certain pattern occurs.

With these guard rails in place you start the development of your logical IT architecture. Good starting points for this are heat maps that map your existing logical applications to the businesses processes they support. That will give you insight into white spots and areas of possible consolidation leading to your to-be logical IT architecture applying your IT architecture patterns and therefore in accordance with your IT architecture principles.

From there you are able to create your physical IT architecture taking into account non-functional requirements and technical considerations as well.

Placing all the changes that need implementation from your to-be physical IT architecture onto a time line while considering all possible dependencies leads to your final IT architecture roadmap which you can then start executing on.

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      Author's profile photo Luke Marson
      Luke Marson
      A good blog to compliment your other great blogs. Keep up the good work!