Category

Enterprise Architecture

Thoughts on developing a strategic plan for implementing EA programs, how to provide your teams with the technical skills needed to implement a service-oriented architecture, understanding what’s involved in creating a business architecture, and more.

 
avatar

Cutter Consortium recently published the first installment of a 6-part Executive Update series by Cutter Senior Consultant William Ulrich on Business Architecture. In the piece, Business Architecture – Why it Matters to Business Executives, Bill very clearly lays out just how business architecture benefits the business and why business executives need to sponsor business architecture creation and use. If you’re even thinking about stringing the words “business” and “architecture” together, you should read this (and pass it along to your business partners!). In Part II of the series, Bill will discuss how organizations are shifting planning, strategic roadmaps and funding models to a business-based approach through business architecture. Additional topics will include capability and value …

Read more

May 172011
 
avatar

On one of the LinkedIn groups I belong to, someone just posted this discussion item: “Is Open Compute for Everyone? I guess the cloud is no longer technology’s darling. All the IT buzz now surrounds the Open Compute Project. If you are not familiar with the Open Compute Project, take a quick look at http://opencompute.org. You will see that this is really the brainchild of some bright engineers at Facebook, and the results are impressive.” Here’s the comment I posted in reply, and I think I missed several more points in the heat of the moment: “‘The cloud is no longer technology’s darling?’ Nonsense. If you look at the blogs, the conferences, the papers by …

Read more

Apr 152011
 
Lessons from la Tour Eiffel

Last week, I was visiting Paris and got the chance to marvel at the Tour Eiffel, one of the world’s most well-known and instantly recognizable structures. I also took the opportunity to learn a bit more about its fascinating history. For example, I learned that the Eiffel Tower is the world’s most visited paid tourist attraction, reaching its 200,000,000th visitor in 2002, and having more than 2.6 million visitors in 2010 alone. Built between 23 January 1887 and 31 March 1889, the tower was constructed for the 1889 Universal Exhibition that was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The exhibition committee solicited designs for a “grand tower” and chose Eiffel’s …

Read more

 
avatar

Agile software development and agile project management have shown considerable success in helping organizations develop better software and better manage development projects in the face of changing requirements and evolving technologies. In one sense, agile is about managing rapidly changing project factors and requirements. But enterprises face many other factors that must also be accounted for in project management and development. For example, enterprises need to manage quality, reduce technical debt, and control the total cost of ownership for each individual project. In addition, they need to manage overall IT costs, complexity, and consistency across all projects. These are factors that architecture is in place to address but, unfortunately, these aspects of software engineering and …

Read more

Feb 222011
 
avatar

Architects face many challenges in their jobs. Among them are creating architecture and applying architecture. I’ve said many times that creating architecture alone does not create value. Rather, the value from architecture comes when it is applied. In other words, value is delivered when architecture is used to influence the outcome of decision making, analysis, design, or implementation. Yet another challenge is that architects are often not the people who are responsible for doing the applying. So we face a conundrum: we don’t create value until someone else uses the architecture. That begs the obvious question of how to get other people to use the architecture. The equation itself is really quite simple: if you …

Read more

 
avatar

I was saddened to hear that computer industry pioneer Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), died on Sunday, a few weeks shy of his 85th birthday. Under his 35-year leadership as CEO, Ken Olsen built Digital from US $70,000 in seed money in 1957 to become the world’s second-largest computer company with upwards of $14B in sales and 120,000 employees in more than 95 countries. In 1986, Fortune magazine named Ken “America’s most successful entrepreneur.” Following Ken’s vision, starting with the PDP-1 in the 1960s, Digital created an entirely new segment of the computer industry with its small, powerful, and high-quality “minicomputers.” The minicomputer quickly became an alternative to the multimillion-dollar mainframe and …

Read more

 
avatar

Welcome to the sixth anniversary edition of my Enterprise Architect’s “New Year’s Resolutions.” I hope this article will give you food for thought and some inspiration for architectural growth in 2011. Learn About Business Architecture Many advances in architecture have occurred over the past few years, but one of the most rapidly advancing aspects has been business architecture. This has come from several areas. EA teams have expanded their capabilities in business architecture. Business organizations have experienced the value of an architectural approach to defining the business (analytic, focused, formal, specific, unambiguous). Finally, business architects have been pushing the envelope, illustrated by the growth in business architecture working groups and industry organizations. Business architecture is much …

Read more

 
avatar

Next time you look at an organization’s complicated collection of systems, and the interfaces between them, do a little archeology — and think of an old English hotel.

 
avatar

Starting in 2011, look to a gradual shift away from constraining or contrived architectures, based on outdated analogies with building architecture or the traditional business, application, data/information, technology architecture EA “stack”. Tomorrow’s IT architectures may be more like the analogy where a building is architected in Zero-G (gravity). In such an environment, would we really pour the foundation first, and then establish the support beams and framing to be pre-requisite, dependant, and therefore locked in, for the life of the system? IT architectures — especially application and information architectures based upon emerging Semantic Web-based technologies — are far less constrained, allowing for refactoring, growth, and evolution in a real-time manner. There is no lock-in to …

Read more

 
avatar

This year, rather than predicting what the future will bring, I’m making a wish. Here’s what I’d dearly love to see happen: Today’s major development environments address a wide variety of architectural styles. However, because they don’t address any specific style, developers face a considerable amount of software architecture and technology work in order to design and build to the required architectural style. 2011, however, will see the first development environment equipped to address one or more specific architectural styles. Thus, much of the software technology work required to address the “ilities” (scalability, flexibility, usability, configurability, and so forth) will be pre-packaged, making it hugely more productive for application developers. Such a tool will not …

Read more