A Mission Impossible?

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1 From Business Strategies to Infrastructure Planning: The Challenges of Enterprise Technology Architects Axel Jacobs

2 A Mission Impossible? The enterprise technology architect dilemma: Is it really possible to accommodate the expectations of all stakeholders? "Business": We want all our requirements covered at an acceptable price! CIO: I want to have a payback from our technology architecture efforts and not just "shelfware"! CFO: We need to achieve 10 million in savings from technology consolidation! Vendors: Stay ahead in competition by using our new product! "Experts": What are our technology architecture standards? Why isn't it possible to still use our legacy platform?

3 The Answer Business-IT alignment supported by best practices in Business Strategy Environmental forces Business goals Business policy Resource allocation Business architecture Information architecture Technology architecture Solution architecture Implementation Business processes Information structures Application systems Technical platforms Organizational structure

4 Key Issues 1. How do you achieve a proper business-it alignment? Leaving the ivory tower 2. When developing technology architectures, how do you find a sound balance between effort and output? Preventing overengineering 3. What is the power of a methodology-based approach? Case study material

5 Leaving the Ivory Tower Involve all stakeholders in a joint exercise in creating traceable, auditable links from business strategies to enterprise technology scenarios - Paradigm shift: From "bottom-up" to "top-down" Become the "facilitator" rather than being "just the technologist" - Paradigm shift: From "excusing technology problems" to "explaining the impact of technologies" "I think you should be more explicit here in Step 2."

6 Analyze the Business Context What's in the Business Context? A common requirements vision (CRV): A process for documenting and capturing: - The business strategies of the enterprise - The impact of environmental factors on the strategies of the enterprise - The implications of the business strategy and environmental factors A functional model of the business with high-level business requirements A set of enterprise architecture principles - Defining how the future-state architecture should be designed to best support the business strategy Business strategy Competitive landscape Regulatory concerns Technology trends Market trends Customer expectations Possible disruptions

7 Develop the Common Requirements Vision Discussing, capturing and documenting: CRV Hierarchy - A set of enterprise business strategies Environmental Trends - A set of common strategic requirements derived from enterprise business strategies - The effect of environmental trends on the enterprise Business Change Requirements Business Information Requirements Enterprise Business Strategies Information Technology Requirements Business Solution Requirements Preparing the resulting CRV document EBA EIA ETA ESA

8 Deriving Architecture Principles From Strategies Clearly and demonstrably derived from the business strategy Business Strategy To this point, we have been a company with four completely independent lines of business, which have operated autonomously, on occasion competing for the same clients and business. We will now be "one company," sharing customer information and leveraging synergies across the group. Architecture Principle The architecture must support sharing of customer information across lines of business. Product information can be maintained individually.

9 Preventing Overengineering Keep it simple, just-enough architecture development Don't target a full enterprise technology architecture (ETA) in the first iteration Reduced technology scope (selected domains) Reduced geographical scope No full-size current-state inventory Reduced set of important attributes per technology asset to be considered Liaise with an important business initiative Reduced business process scope Reduced information and data scope Do not "reinvent the wheel" Use ETA pattern and service models in addition to established taxonomies, including domains and components (bricks)

10 Enterprise Technology Architecture Patterns Transact Patterns Publish Patterns Collaborate Patterns 1-Tier Transact Screens and Keystrokes / Publish Rows (SQL) Real-Time Collaborate Text, Audio, Video Stream Data 2-Tier Transact Rows (SQL) Web Publish Pages Files, Rows Store-and-Forward Collaborate Documents, Files Data Web Data Data 3/N-Tier Transact Requests Rows (SQL) Data Stream Publish Audio Video Stream Files Data Structured Collaborate Documents, Files App/Data

11 Enterprise Technology Architecture Taxonomy Structuring the technology infrastructure System Management Collaboration and Electronic Workplace Application Technology Integration Technology Platforms and Storage Data Management Technology Security Networking and Telecommunications

12 Use Road Maps on Timelines to Relate Current-State to Future-State Content Current Intermediate Future Exit From Environment Baseline Environment Retirement Targets Tactical Deployment Mainstream Standards Strategic Direction Containment Targets Emerging Standards Enter the Environment Life Cycle View Rejected Trends and Technology

13 CASE STUDY MATERIAL Modeling Based on the Business Context Development of a Technology Architecture Blueprint The client: An IT service provider within the financial services industry (FSI) Objectives: To develop a blueprint outlining the technology standards within selected domains Requirements and principles were identified based on the business context Project duration: 3 months Example: Application server brick Organize Architecture Effort Approach: Gartner's Enterprise Architecture Methodology and Process Model Environmental Trends Develop Requirements Architecting Develop Principles Future-State Architecture Govern and Manage Current-State Architecture Document Business Strategy Develop Models Closing the Gap

14 CASE STUDY MATERIAL Understand Trends and Develop Conceptual Architecture Application Brick Trends - Increasing importance of "open source" technology within the application and Web server domain - Emerging trends: Event-driven application platforms, grid-based application platforms Conceptual architecture - Software architecture design requires the deployment of the "N-Tier Transaction" pattern - Overall enterprise technology architecture design Browser Pages Browsers Web Requests Storage Network Load Balancing Firewall Network App. Scale Out Rows (SQL) App. s Web s DB DBMS s Scale Up

15 Identify Relevant Requirements and Principles CASE STUDY MATERIAL Application Brick Logical architecture - Promote usage of open-source products whenever appropriate - Prevent vendor lock-in - Deploy robust "state-of-the-art" technology - Provide adequate performance, availability and reliability while ensuring high security standards - Allow for cost-efficient and simple administration and maintenance - Provide integration with system management tools - Support common data interchange standards - Promote reuse and optimized interoperability - Ensure horizontal server scalability ("scale out")

16 CASE STUDY MATERIAL Prepare the Evaluation Application Brick Determine the functional characteristic for the evaluation - Execution container, service containers and programming model - User interface (UI) capability - Coding and life cycle management - Orchestration Select possible products/vendors - Gartner "Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for New Service-Oriented Business Application Projects, 2Q07"

17 CASE STUDY MATERIAL Evaluate Products/Vendors Excellent Good Medium Low Poor How well are the architecture requirements covered? How strong is the compliance with the architecture principles? Application Brick Evaluated Scenarios Main Criteria Vendor 1 Product 1 Vendor 2 Product 2 Vendor 3 Product 3 Vendor 4 Product 4 Vendor 5 Product 5 ARCHITECTURE REQUIREMENTS - Modular and interoperable product offerings - Flexible deployment of infrastructure components - Ensure appropriate performance (and bandwidth) - Enterprisewide integrated collaboration - Stack conformity ARCHITECTURE PRINCIPLES - Simplicity and transparency of architecture - Harmonized and standardized solutions - Minimization of dependencies - Maintenance and level of automation - Innovation and investment security OVERALL

18 CASE STUDY MATERIAL Communicate Current Two Years Five Years Baseline List all current installations with basic counts, if simple. Tactical Deployment Use SOA/Web services to isolate applications from the underlying platform technology. Strategic Direction Track emerging opensource solutions for application servers, and review potential application. Retirement Targets Product A Mainstream Standards Product B Containment Targets Product C Emerging Trends Product D Product E Implications and Dependencies Criteria for platform selection should align with those used for the selection of component model/programming language.

19 Best-Practice Recommendations Analyze the business context Develop the common requirements vision Derive architecture principles from strategies Model (done by technology domain/brick) - Understand trends - Develop conceptual architecture (ETA pattern) - Identify relevant requirements and principles - Determine the functional characteristic for the evaluation - Select possible products/vendors - Evaluate products/vendors, and define "the standard" Communicate, communicate, communicate

20 From Business Strategies to Infrastructure Planning: The Challenges of Enterprise Technology Architects Axel Jacobs

21 From Business Strategies to Infrastructure Planning: The Challenges of Enterprise Technology Architects Axel Jacobs

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