Friday, July 20, 2012

The New Generation IT Operating Model

– The Service Oriented IT Operating Model

Martha Heller at Heller Search Associates brought my attention to the discussion on The New IT Operating Model, which is mostly associated with the current trend of Service Orientation. It is a good topic to discuss, especially in a more comprehensive manner for its practical reason. Also, during current economic downturn, this effort can get folks prepared for the upcoming leap. Mark Settle, CIO of BMC Software presented a Broker/Integrate/Orchestrate model at Forbes online, and Richard Barton of PA Consulting presented a Service-Based IT Operating Model at @CIOPortfolio with emphasis on Service Portfolio. These are good stimulation to the discussion, and both articles contributed as a part of the story for the Service-Oriented IT Operating Model.
My take is: A Service-Oriented IT Operating Model should be based on a Service-Oriented Enterprise IT Architecture, more precisely, it should be part of the architecture. We know that models are what architecture creates, which include static models for the descriptions of components, structures and relationships; and dynamic models for the descriptions of operations and processes, where the dynamic models are built and operated on top of the static models. This new IT operating model is part of the "new paradigm" or "paradigm shift" in IT that we are talking about these days.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Enterprise Architecture vs. Collection of Architectures in Enterprise - Presentation Summary

My presentation went well yesterday. Quite a few audience expressed interest afterwards, and some asked for a paper. I guess I can share some key points made in the presentation here. The full presentation can be found at:

Architecture Concept

·        Original definition of Architecture by Sir Henry Watton: “In architecture as in all other operative arts, the end must direct the operation. The end is to build well. Well building has three conditions: Commodity, Firmness and Delight”
·        This definition is applicable to EA as well: EA is an operative art, the EA products must direct the effective enterprise operation
    • Commodity: EA should serve all its relevant audience and stakeholders, should be consistent and understandable by them (e.g. via multiple views)
    • Firmness: EA products should be solid and practicable enough for implementation
    • Delight: EA has to be well appreciated and accepted to be adopted and be effective in implementation

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Enterprise Architecture and SOA

1.0.      Introduction

SOA is an architectural style that emphasizes well-defined, loosely coupled, coarse-grained, business-centric, reusable and shared services, as well as associated infrastructure. The relationship between enterprise architecture (EA) and SOA has been a hot topic. While there is no question that these two topics are related, the question is how. Some writers and conference presenters have suggested that SOA is replacing EA, but that is not the case. What is true is that SOA brings new agility to EA practice, helps EA realize broader acceptance, and makes EA more usable. Conversely, EA provides SOA practice with enterprise views. The combination of the two can benefit both EA development and SOA practice.

2.0.      Current Enterprise Architecture Practice

The purpose of enterprise architecture is to provide a blueprint and long-term guidance for the enterprise in terms of structure and operation for its business and IT. It can help in facilitating decision making and supports enterprise modernization efforts. It can enhance collaboration and interoperation across an enterprise and can promote enterprise efficiency and effectiveness by streamlining business process and technology implementations. It enables resource sharing and increases cost efficiencies by identifying common and sharable components and services.

The challenges to current enterprise architecture practice can be organized into four categories:

             1.      Stakeholder participation
             2.      Architecture modeling
             3.      Architecture usage
             4.      Architecture maintenance and program management.

 We will discuss each category in the following sections. We will address, as well, how SOA can enable effective EA practice.