Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Foundation-Based Approach for the Evolution of IT Enabled Business

Big change is ahead of us after the current economic downturn. Businesses and governments are adopting SOA and cloud computing, which implies a paradigm shift in how IT can impact business opportunities, performance, processes, and organization dynamics.  Businesses increasingly rely upon IT to achieve its goals and to implement its strategies. With technologies and products of many generations, and with stove-piped implementations, current IT complexity is growing faster than ever in replying to the required changes and integrations. IT costs are increasing exponentially.  Enterprise architecture, SOA, and Cloud Computing are aimed at meeting these challenges. Our service is to use a Foundation-Based Approach with an Enterprise Foundation Framework© to provide a cohesive practice of EA, SOA, and Cloud. This solution will be essential in providing a disciplined and systematical way to achieve the modernization and evolution objectives for IT enables businesses.
For instance, cloud computing will contribute to the content of Enterprise Architecture, but will not change the way how enterprise architecture should be approached and adopted.  Cloud computing is not a new technology, but suitable new technologies can help cloud computing to be more effective and efficient. While cloud computing may be over stated with its indirect influences during the hype, it is a practical implementation mechanism for Service Oriented Infrastructure, which is a subset for Service Oriented Architecture adoption.  Business advantages are gained mainly via Service Orientation, i.e. common service sharing in many different ways. Our service will clear the road, and enable our clients to move forward in a more effective and efficient manner.
Please contact us if you are interested:

Monday, March 28, 2011

About Master Data Management

Got an email from a friend, talking about the Master Data Management (MDM) is a growing popular topic now. I believe there is no doubt about that, with the velocity of data we are producing and the tendency of increased data production. However, I think the key for the solution is beyond MDM domain. It is about how and what data should be collected.
I still remembered the raw data collection from web sites for data preservation. The amount of data growing makes me wonder even we can store them, how we can catch up in processing them to make them meaningful, e.g. to transform the data into information, let alone transform information into useful knowledge.  If data processing speeds continue leg behind data collection speeds, the data collected will not be useful, but add burden to the slow process. If more meaningless data involved, it’ll add more burden to the process. Therefore, we need to improve the data collection process, to collect the data with purpose, e.g. a Service Oriented Data Collection and Management Process, and collect the data cleanly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thoughts during OMG Business Ecology Initiative Day

I went to the OMG Business Ecology Initiative Day yesterday, and involved in very interesting discussions. Also, there are many other OMG meetings happening in the same venue.

Here I have some thoughts:

The term of Business Ecology sounds like to address business environment not limited to inside organizational boundaries. It indeed would be more meaningful in such extended business scope, due to the collaboration environment introduced by Internet, and even more by cloud computing, common service commoditization, social networking, etc.

Also, it would be good to address the challenges in business strategies, such as the pursue of process-driven, maturity, evidence-based management that lead to high productivity and cost reduction contradicts to the culture of innovation. We can see that innovation is increasingly moving to small businesses, and being acquired by the big ones after getting mature. At the meantime, common service providers are forming another separate line of business. This is becoming an ecosystem. Businesses are more correlated than before and with more mutual dependencies as well. The Inter-Enterprise Architecture I mentioned earlier was trying to describe this picture.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Enterprise Architects are Domain Dependent or Not

There is a discussion on: Can you apply sound EA practices across any domain or market?
One analogy I can think of is that a great landmark architect can accept architecture projects in different environment with different requirements, and do a good job in each case. The critical trait he/she has is the creativity combined with well-trained skills to come with a unique architecture solution that meets the requirements and fit the environment well. I believe this is the trait we need to have to accomplish any type of architectures successfully.
If we can handle an architecture assignment successfully or not, either in enterprise scope, a solution domain, or in architecture sub-domains, depends on if we can understand the requirements well for the required domain, scope, and environment. As we know, enterprise architecture has many components (or sub-domains), e.g. business, applications, information/data, infrastructure, technologies. How much each enterprise architect can handle depends on his/her background knowledge, experience, and skills let alone the creativity trait.
The easy acceptance of Big 5 is the repeatable processes (I don’t want to comment on if they are really the best practices or not) they tend to use with replaceable resources, which create similar results with less risk. This is a productivity-driven approach. The analogy is that the experienced architects produced “model home” architectures, while others go out to build many of those for their customers. However in reality, the production level “home building” approach does not fit everyone, which is one major reason for lacking of success stories. Each individual architect does make difference. In software industry, it tends to say, behind each successful product, there is a superstar architect. I believe this applies to architecture in any domain and any level.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Evolution associated with IPv6 in China

It seems a new development associated with IPv6 is growing rapidly in China, which is 物联网(Internet of Things). It was drafted into national plan about two years ago, as one of the five focused new strategic development areas, which are prospering. This is another concept being hyped in China now, along with Cloud Computing. The concept of "Internet of Things" was originally published by Sean Dodson in 2003 based in MIT. However, it neither works well in IPv4 environment, nor in the combination environment of IPv4 and IPv6. It'll be very interesting to see new opportunities and potential applications in this area. We should act on this now, and increase IPv6 adoption speed. The major impacts of both Cloud Computing and IPv6 are not on IT infrastructure and service operations, but the new generation applications associated with them.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

IEA - Architecting Cloud by Intention, not by Accident

The IEA can guide enterprise transition to the new paradigm, which enables inter-enterprise architecture to be formed by intention instead of by accident from stove-piped implementations bounded inside each organization. It can make cloud computing and social media adoptions more effectively by identifying inter-business solutions and adapting to new inter-business relationships and dynamics by design and by the effective usage of social media.

The examples of IEA for cross-enterprise cloud service adoption include: Shopping Mall on Cloud for cross-retailers efforts and Library on Cloud for cross-libraries efforts. Also, it can guide the solutions for business domain oriented cloud. A public cloud implementation should be guided by an IEA, not other way around.