One of the proven tools to translate vision and strategy into reality is depiction. Translating abstract ideas into simple visuals that can be handed over and displayed in any cube and office are very helpful for understanding and adoption of the vision when your teams are creating the new reality.
The IT architecture direction is a depiction of the main challenges that we are dealing with in our daily work, where we want our new architecture, what will the platforms and solutions look like in the future, and what are the main tasks and frameworks that we are going to adopt and use for the transition.
Our (Friedkin Companies) architecture direction depicts five main challenges:
- One single tenant platform which supports multiple businesses regardless of the part in the value chain played by the solution and its criticalily
- Unclear boundaries between applications (spaghetti syndrome)
- Tightly coupled integrations
- IT focus on getting data from data storage, users directly manipulating data and IT inserting data back to data storage (performing just Create, Read, Update and Delete functions)
- Huge stack of IT solutions for each IT functionality (for example, more than 10 reporting solutions)
We want to do the transition using:
- Data architecture to understand all of our data entities and define our Enterprise Business Objects (EBOs)
- Common SOA interfaces and functions to expose EBO data and reusable business functions and processes
- TOGAF, ITIL and COBIT as reference models, and using IT repository to store all of our IT assets
- Data owners, Data validations, business processes and automation.
Our goals are:
- Creating a multi-tenant platform based on private and public cloud to segregate between business units and solution criticality
- Clear definition of applications based on business processes and reusable business functions
- Enable loosely coupled integrations
- Providing the business end to end business process support and ability to get insights out of the collected data
- Reduce our IT stack
Using the following image in a manner I described above has already helped us to achieve part of our goals.