Tag Archives: Business Architecture

Architecture Capabilities through Business Models

For some time I have been working with adapting the business model canvas for explaining how an enterprise architecture program delivers value to the it-department. The scope of the model has been on the foundation architecture where the outcome of the enterprise architecture program is mainly used by the IT department.

I am aware of that Tom Graves has done something similar, though he has made a completely different model, and as such his model is fine, but the audience that I intend to communicate with would be more likely that they will understand the value proposition of enterprise architecture through a model designed upon the business model canvas compared to a model based upon Graves’ model.

As you might have guessed then I had to adjust the business model canvas in order to expose the data on how the enterprise architecture program delivers value in the best way possible.

The first seven phases have been renamed in order to adapt the model for how a department or function within an IT department delivers values.

The first phase is about key partners needed in order to produce any form of value by the enterprise architecture program.

The second phase is about how the key activities that are needed in order to produce value. The needed activities would have to be organized around on handling the resources.

The third phase is about the key resources needed to produce the services or products needed by the segments of the it department.

The fourth phase is about the value proposition. In other words its about the initiatives at hand.

The fifth phase is about team relations and they are usually essential for both implementing and producing the services. Especially if we assume that enterprise architecture is about creating value through others.

The sixth phase is about channels. How does the enterprise architecture program deliver resources

The seventh phase is about the segments of the IT department that receives the services from the Enterprise Architecture program.

The eight phase is about the Enterprise IT Investment structure. This particular section of the business model deals with the identification of how the current situation of the IT Architecture the IT organization processes.

The ninth phase is about scenario planning, that deals with planning for a better IT Investments for the IT department.

The tenth phase is about the Improved Enterprise IT Investment Structure that deals with multiple actionable plans for changing and optimizing the total architecture.

All together these phases can present the necessary data to the decision-makers in order to give them an insight on how enterprise architecture delivers value to them. Value is key in situations where organization have limited access to resources.

The Architecture Business Model
The Architecture Business Model.


The foundation architecture is as earlier mentioned scoped on delivering value to the IT department and through to the IT department to the rest of the enterprise. The model is published under the Creative Commons license (share alike).

Week 22 Enterprise Architecture Summer Camp (Day 2)

This blog post deals with the second and final day of the summer school dealing with Enterprise Architecture. The tagline for the summer school is “Scandinavian Design and Oblique Angles”.

The day was characterized as a setup that was dominated by companies and industry professionals who presented topics of a wide variety of topics.

A Next-Generation EA Approach to Modeling the Firm using Capability Sets

John Gotze has in cooperation with Pat Turner written a paper on how to use capability sets in order to make Enterprise Architecture to work, how to sell Enterprise Architecture and what the value of Enterprise Architecture is all about.

The primary problem that the paper is about to answer is what capabilities the enterprise can get and how it can enhance it through shared capabilities.

John Gotze emphasized that one of the problems with the model that Ross and Weill (2006) proposed for Enterprise Architecture is based on that they don’t give a clue on what is their platform for execution and what is a part of the foundation platform.

John Gotze defines a capability as “an Ability or Expertise upon which that the Enterprise relies to fulfill its core functions”. Likewise does Gotze and Turner define an enterprise capability as “A capability that pervades across the whole of the enterprise”.

According to John Gotze, one organization that applies enterprise capabilities, is the U.S. Army. An example could be the tagline “one army”. With this in mind John Gotze made a reference to David A. Clark’s book on world poverty that deals with how to ensure capabilities among other things.

John Gotze later said that a capability set is directly coupled to the execution of the various processes. The second case that John Gotze presented was the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The agency should have one of the biggest Enterprise Architecture programs that John Gotze has ever seen and as such they have articulated a five year plan and roadmaps on how to achieve a better architecture.

In order to achieve enterprise capabilities for the enterprise John Gotze and Pat Turner has developed a rather comprehensive framework in order to achieve a better enterprise.

  • A big part of the value of enterprise architecture program can be traced to the capabilities that the program can aid the enterprise with.
  • The paper investigates case studies on how Enterprise Architecture could generate “enterprise capabilities”.
  • An academic investigation of Enterprise Architecture is all about and how “competitive advantages” can be achieved through the implementation of a Enterprise Architecture program.

Vestas Wind Systems – Windy Architectures

The keynote speaker is Troels Fleckenstein who is Vice President at Vestas Wind Systems.

According to the keynote speaker all windmills from Vestas are equipped with technology that enable the windmills to communicate through the Internet with Vestas. Each of the Windmills communicate with Vestas 512 times yearly. This has created a large quantity of data that the corporation has to deal with in order to ensure maintenance of the windmills. Vestas hasn’t an Enterprise Architecture program, or at least that is what the speaker from Vestas said.

The keynote included a video on what Vestas is all about and Ditlev Engel appeared. Apparently Vestas has a slogan that they apply internally that is known as “people before megawatt” that as such means that Vestas doesn’t have HR-department but a department for people and culture (which I presume is pretty much the same). Vestas’ strategy is based upon that they believe they should be number one in wind energy. As such Vestas claims that 1/3 of all windmills sold on a global scale is produced by Vestas.

For Vestas the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of India represents the key markets due to the development of the various enterprises. Most likely are other countries in the BRIC group also of interest to Vestas Wind Systems.

Vestas has 15 locations around the world that develops on new products. Vestas produce nacelles in 15 locations, blades in 7 locations and towers in 2 locations and as such Vestas is able to deliver “Wind Power Plants” in eight regions of the world, or at least that is what the keynote speaker proclaimed.

Vestas’ current strategy is named the triple 15. The current corporate strategy goes to 2015 and they want to achieve a yearly revenue on 15% (currently it is 8.5%) and an EBIT (Earnings before interest and taxes) on 15%.

The keynote speaker presented the Vestas business model as titled it the strategy for empower the corporate strategy. With this approach in mind I am sure that Vestas applies an idea that is compatible with “Cybernetics paradigm”. Furthermore Vestas applies an approach they have titled “The Vestas’ High Five” that entails that energy should be competitive, predictable, independent, fast and clean. According to the keynote speaker the most important partners for Vestas are their customers. In other words Vestas would like to own the means of production of “wind energy” and thereby be able to set the price(s) for producing Windmills.

Vestas’ enterprise architecture team is located within the department for strategy and innovation and this is located in Vestas’ group IT. Apparently Vestas apply a model that includes four perspectives: 1) Innovation, 2) Roadmap, 3) Projects and last but not least 4) System Portfolio.

The Vestas’ Enterprise Architecture program is about “business and value adding activities”, or that is the opinion of the keynote speaker.

When working with enterprise architecture the keynote speaker presented the Vestas’ value management square, that most of all looks like a strategy map or balanced scorecard as Kaplan and Norton would define it.

“The way I see, we add value to the business is to have insight into what systems that the business would need” – Troels Fleckenstein (Week 22, 2011).

Vestas applies a framework that is known as the BSG-model in architecture. BSG stands for Business Service Group that is a sheet of paper detailing how the enterprise works. The documents details how the processes works in the enterprise. The BSGs are linked to the various enterprises processes in Vestas and as such the enterprise architects are working with modeling the architecture a long side the BSGs.

Besides the enterprise architects Vestas applies the title “domain architects” for individuals who have a specific knowledge on how the enterprise applies.

Vestas have made use of IBM, Accenture and other consultancies in order to develop their framework. In other words Vestas Wind Systems have developed a synthesis that hey apply in order to enable the systems.

According to the keynote speaker there aren’t any off-the-shelves process frameworks that Vestas was able to make use of.

“We are not such a box” – Troels Fleckenstein (Week 22, 2011).

Vestas applies Aris as a tool for modeling, but the keynote speaker has a rather controversial view on how the tool works which is represented in the quotation below:

“When speaking of Aris it is quite clear it has been developed by German engineers. It is not made for white people” – Troels Fleckenstein (Week 22, 2011).

Vestas’ IT fundamentals deals with providing fast prototyping, innovation lab, enabling agility, “show me – do it”, safeguard end-to-end transparency of business processes, partnering with the business and providing enterprise architecture to guarantee reliability.

It seems like the approach to Enterprise Architecture that Vestas makes use of, is dealing with communication on how the enterprise can deal with the problems and how the enterprise is able to deal with the problem.

When it comes to the focus on governance and advice Vestas have applied boards for processes, BPS community, Vestas Government and SteerCo where a representative from Group IT (and thereby a representative for the Enterprise Architecture group) is represented. The boards usually handles investments, strategy and innovation, program and projects. One of the many interesting things that Vestas works with in their Enterprise Architecture program is “the line of sight”.

“I’m not a particular big fan of frameworks since they tend to distract us from the communication side of EA and the value adding part of EA” – Troels Fleckenstein (Week 22, 2011).

While educating the enterprise architects Vestas applies an approach where they send their architects to Gartner summits and certification modules. However they haven’t made use of TOGAF or other approaches to Enterprise Architecture.

When Vestas works with IT forecasts they usually take in consultants from Gartner and other consultancies to give the various stakeholders in Group IT ideas on what kind of IT the enterprise should invest in.

Obviously Vestas experiences situations of when and where to break away from their own Enterprise Architecture standards. The way the keynote speaker presented the issue it seemed like that it is based on “intuition” and what the “business” defines as a necessity to cope with. The keynote speaker used an example from the implementation of the windmills and how the various committees dealt with the particular problem.

  • Vestas’ is a rather complex enterprise that have developed its own framework to deal with its architecture.
  • The Enterprise Architecture program is owned by the IT department, or at least it appeared that way while the VP presented the situation.
  • The IT and EA agents are represented in various investment and governance boards in Vestas Wind Systems.

Qualiware Enabling Positive Change

The CEO of Qualiware, Kuno Brodersen, acted as keynote speaker on knowledge management and modeling.

The keynote speaker was of the opinion that the modeling of the change processes is a vital key to success, since the model can help the decision makers and individuals in the enterprise to focus on particular areas of attention.

The keynote speaker was of the opinion that many modern enterprises shares the same view on how the management model. In Denmark most enterprises agrees upon that the Scandinavian management model is the best way to achieve.

A fundamental part of the Scandinavian management model. According to Kuno Brodersen, social capital is what enterprises gains when the social systems solves problems.

There are several factors that impacts the concept of social capital e.g. the individual factors, job factors, group factors, company factors.

In reality these factors have to be included when you measure enterprises and their ability to deal go beyond the expected approach to achieve their individual goals.

“The point of modeling tools is that knowledge from the individual actors in the enterprise are modeling and archived in the model” – Kuno Brodersen (Week 22, 2011).

While implementing the modeling tools it becomes a necessity to involve all of the employees, understand knowledge sharing, we have to focus to create transparent management systems and the system has to facilitate distribution of decision making.

It seemed like that CEO Kuno Brodersen was a bit skeptical about the Gartner Group and their approach to information technology and Enterprise Architecture, though he chose to apply one of their models in order to define the “new way of thinking” in Enterprise IT and Enterprise Architecture.

In the future it becomes a necessity to know how the social networks and the way people interact in social networks in order to facilitate knowledge sharing.

Technology trends will have an even greater impact on how knowledge sharing can be facilitated. In the future modeling software trends like the “Like” feature or comments on the various artifacts. Likewise will the concept of rating most likely be implemented in modern modeling tools.

Features from the social networks will in time be incorporated in to the modeling tools, or this is perspective that Kuno Brodersen presented. The reason for this is that it can be used as a form for “information filtering” and “quality insurance”.

“One of the best qualities of an Enterprise Architecture program is that the various models can be viewed by various stakeholders in the enterprise, and as such this can be used to define the enterprise ontology” – Kuno Brodersen (Week 22, 2011).

The QualiWare EA Framework is an organization of artifacts, but according to Kuno Brodersen, graduate students who are about to start writing on their master thesis could or should think on how the Enterprise Architecture framework represents the “social capital”, social networks, and social knowledge.

Kuno Brodersen presented the QualiWare analytics approach to artifacts and modeling that was build like a balanced scorecard that could be used in order to define how KPIs are aligned with the various processes. As such the data that should be represented in the QualiWare models should be collected from the data warehouses and business intelligence systems, this should add value to the platform for enterprise ontology. His approach to business intelligence and knowledge sharing, Kuno Brodersen, applied a rather positivistic approach and as such this seemed slightly in contrast to his initial approach on the Scandinavian management school; however he did emphasize that the business intelligence approach should be used with caution.

Gamification is “the new black” and it will become part of the modeling tools, or at least this is the views that Kuno Brodersen presented. E.g. Qualiware as a modeling tool has a “treasure hunt” game embedded in the modeling tool in order to train or motivate people in order to make people learn about the new models, processes and activities.

  • New tools are needed to document and deal with knowledge.
  • Enterprise ontology is a part of knowledge management.
  • In engaging the various stakeholders in learning more about the enterprise’s architecture the concept of gamification should be introduced into new products.

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating

Olov Östberg was the keynote speaker. As such his presentation dealt with e-government and changing social and technological systems in Sweden.

In his presentation Olov Östberg showed dias that stated that only 18% of IT projects are delivered on time and that are succesfull and he put this in light of the Swedish approach to e-government.. Through time (about 300 years) the Swedish approach to government has resulted into very independent public agencies.

There have been different approaches in order to deal with the data that the Swedish government has collected over time. In the 90s and the early 2000s the focus was onto developing portals.

From his experience there are three levels of e-government that should be dealt with in the future. Government 1.0 is the classical approach, the second level is dealing with more communication and at some point slightly more openness and the third and last level deals with engaging the citizen as a co-creator.

The Swedish approach to e-government includes a rather liberal approach to how the local agencies handles its processes. As such it can become increasingly difficult to implement one approach to Enterprise Architecture. Likewise did the national authorities (the Swedish government) refused to install a national CIO, national roadmap or for that matter a national portal for data and information sharing.

Olov Östberg presented various initiatives on how the Swedish approach to e-government dealt with common problems like insufficient road maintenance, electricity etc.

“We have to realize that the foundation of Swedish society is changing.” – Olov Östberg.

Week 22 Enterprise Architecture Summer Camp

This blog post deals with first day at the summer camp for Enterprise Architecture in Week 22 that was held in Denmark at the IT University of Copenhagen. The participants were mostly students. The tagline for this event is “Scandinavian Design and Oblique Angles”. The summer school had five keynotes that mainly dealt with how Enterprise Architecture could be applied under various conditions like everything from contract negotiations to Enterprise Architecture in the arctic circle to the concept of developing models for an Enterprise Architecture program.

The Agile Standard Contract

Kasper Hoegsberg, a student at the e-business line at the IT University of Copenhagen, presented his views on how the public standard contract for IT purchases could be updated.

His reasons to start investigating with standard contracts are based on that the new project models are with in the sphere agile development which is a change from the old approach to the contracts that emphasized the old waterfall model. While conducting his project he found out that the current approach for developing a contract was to fill out 10 documents before the contract could be considered value.

According to Kasper Hoegsberg the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency tried to combine the waterfall approach and the agile approach to develop a system that doesn’t seem that particular smart. Hoegsberg referred to the British DSDM – Aterm contract framework and the Norwegian agile standard contract PS-2000 as examples that in his opinion could outmatch the current approach that the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency has applied.

According to Hoegsberg the focus of the Norwegian contract doesn’t include a particular methodology and as such only includes an agile contract.

In his opinion further studies on how to make better contracts for development and delivery can be developed.

Complexity and Enterprise Architecture

Peter Flemming Teunissen Sjoelin presented some of observations he had made during the time he worked with his master thesis. The presentation had the tagline “Complexity in Development of Models for Enterprise Architecture”. In the presentation Peter Flemming Teunissen Sjoelin explained the concept of complexity, Enterprise Architecture, knowledge management and the mad scientist syndrome.

The focus that Peter Flemming Teunissen Sjoelin applied was that repositories, process models and a like are only representations of reality. The ideas presented in the presentation was based on the concept that the students and later on the future Enterprise Architects should thinking that social-constructivist paradigm might aid them with the investigation of how the various stakeholders in the enterprises thinks and acts.

  • Probe your view of the things.
  • Act upon the stakeholders suggestions.
  • Keep your models simple, you shouldn’t assume that your models or repositories can be understood by all of the stakeholders.
  • Models can’t contain reality. Models are just simplified representations of how the world works.

Value Estimation of Enterprise Architecture

Mikkel S. Holst and Tue W. Steensen works with their master thesis that deals with the value estimation of Enterprise Architecture. Their hypothesis is “How Enterprise Architecture becomes successful” and as such they base that further three hypothesis on how the Enterprise Architecture program can be aligned with the corporate strategy and corporate process.

Their theoretical approach to their master thesis has been based on Ross & Weill, Hoogervorst, Kaplan and Norton and many others.

Their master thesis includes three cases studies that the two students are conducting. Two of the case studies are within the public sector and one is the private sector.

In their approach to explore the value of Enterprise Architecture the students have made use of an article by Toomas Tamm et al. from 2011.

John Gotze advised the students to investigate how to “show the value” of the Enterprise Architecture program and how this impacts the organization. The two students plan to hand in their master thesis in August 2011.

Systems Thinking for Health – IT

The two students Linda Praestholm and Rasmus Frost have a loosely coupled approach to collaboration on the topic systems thinking in the public sector, or what is to be known as “Health – IT”.

The two students chose to work with the National Electronic Patient Journal systems and how these where implemented in the capital region of Denmark.

According to Linda Praestholm who have worked with Enterprise Architecture from a positivistic approach and she has come to conclusion that EA is a driver for making rational decisions, being more effective and effectiveness. As such these are the goals for the management and governance method for the enterprise.

Their investigation have included the Hilleroed Hospital, The Kingdom Hospital (Rigshospitalet) and Bisbebjerg Hospital. Their approach to Enterprise Architecture has mainly been based on that the various hospitals should have implemented new business processes in order to achieve some synergies with IT.

Soeren Duus advised the students to investigate what particular perspective to put onto their ideas of what Enterprise Architecture is all about and how it has been applied, or how it could be applied in order to achieve some of the goals that the regions have defined for the various hospitals.

Enterprise Architecture on Greenland (Arctic Architecture)

The three students Lars C. Meden, Soeren Tams and Fredrik Krog have visited Greenland in order to collect data on how to deal with the concept of Enterprise Architecture in a country that is significantly different from the industrialized part of the world. The focus of their thesis has been on how to improve the service the public sector provides to the population on Greenland.

The situation on Greenland includes the focus on few resources e.g., few employees and economy, a big diversity between the organizations and a big IT architecture related diversity.

According to the three students the autonomous government of Greenland should have the resources to implement a functional approach to Enterprise Architecture.

One of the challenges in governing Greenland is that it very expensive for the population to travel from one part of Greenland to the other, and likewise does it make communication among the various local authorities rather difficult. As a result of this the autonomous government of Greenland has started a process of implementing video conferencing.

The students focused on how to deal with the municipalities of Greenland and how their particular strategies could be dealt with through applying Enterprise Architecture.

Another barrier for implementation of Enterprise Architecture on Greenland is the lack of a competent local workforce. If the public sector on Greenland has to be able to identify how the various artifacts and as such it doesn’t seem like the local workforce have access to the particular education, or training in the moment. The three students questioned the suitability of implementing an Enterprise Architecture program across the various organizations in the Greenlandic public sector due to the resistance among the local organizations, that might feel that their independence is threatened by a centralized approach to Enterprise Architecture.

Holistic Management in a Context of Enterprise IT Management and Organizational Leadership

An Approach to Sense Making and Intelligent Business

There are probably many different ways to gain sense in each of the many different enterprises and organizations across the planet. This particular paper investigates one particular approach question the validity of the data and the selected approaches to articulate strategies and plans. This should give you (the reader) an idea on how to develop better plans that in turn would give the enterprise a better system.

In order to make proper decisions on how to develop the enterprise it becomes a necessity for the enterprise to deal with the question of sense making. How does the specialists and systems that have been applied in order to analyze data from the enterprise’s environment? How does the systems adapt to the trends the data indicates might be developing? How do the specialists question and tests the data they have collected and analyzed?

The three step approach to organizational learning and data collection is in its origin based on Weick’s approach, though I’ve taken some liberty in order to create a synthesis in order to specify the ideas that Weick presented in his book (Making Sense of the Organization, 2000) to an Enterprise Architecture approach in order to enable enterprises with crystallizing competitive advantages. By crystallizing competitive advantages the enterprises could avoid situations that in other cases would have forced out of business. This leads to the first part of the process that Karl Weick introduced in his book.

Scanning for Data

It is of importance of all enterprises to scan its environment in order to gain an understanding of how the stakeholders (competitors, suppliers, government etc.) will be acting in potential future scenario. This is usually a rather good component in articulating a corporate strategy and all of the subsequent strategies like the IT strategy, financial strategy, organization planning etc.

The scanning process includes the situation for the internal environment and for the external environment. The internal environment consists of an other set of stakeholders than with the external environment, but these are just as important. Likewise is the internal environment connected to the the external environment.

The data is usually based on several different sources and as such the data that the specialists and systems collects are of different qualities and as such the data and their sources have to be questioned. The questioning is in a way a process to ensure that the specialists who collects the data should question the ways they identify the data and how to be able to deal with the way the data is analyzed. This is discussed in detail in the interpretation.

Interpretation

While analyzing the data the specialists works with a validation technique that in turn tries to investigate how or if the enterprise can make use of the data. The interpretation is likewise a fundamental element in the way the data is applied in the strategy development process.

The interpretation can be used to ensure that the strategies could be easier to implement, and as such the strategies could lead to the desired state of the enterprise. As such the focus of the planning would have to avoid what Mintzberg (Mintzbegr 2009) defines as the planning school, that is characterized by applying a lot of resources to the articulation of planning but as such it usually emphasize planning too much and implementation too little.

Learning

The specialists and the systems would have to learn from the articulated strategies, otherwise will they fail in adapting to the new situations of the environment that they analyze.

The learning process is likely the most important step of the entire process since the enterprise’s specialists would have to adapt their analytical models to understand how the environment.

The result of the learning phase is in itself a form of knowledge sharing and it impacts the framework of how the enterprise operates.

Learning and knowledge sharing are two sides of the same issue and as such the specialists and decision makers have to think in how to transfer the knowledge to one another. For this a specialized repository can be applied. In order to share knowledge across the enterprise the individuals would have to a common understanding of what knowledge is about and who to interact within in order to gain access to the information and knowledge that they assume they would need in order to make better decisions and better plans for how the enterprise can gain competitive advantages.

In order to gan a further understanding of how the enterprise can create value through planning it becomes a necessity that the cycle is documented and the cycle is transparent for all of the stakeholders that interacts with top level planning.

The Cycle

The process is cyclic and that is essential that it is build upon a cyclic structure in order to the specialists to make their predictions more reliable. More reliable plans can be used by the decision makers to enable the enterprise to achieve its goals.

Furthermore can cycle be enhanced with the enterprise, if an Enterprise Architecture Program is established and that the decision makers makes use of the data that the Enterprise Architecture program has been able to produce.

The illustration below shows how the enterprises can make use of the sense making process to achieve a more coherent, better aligned and more agile enterprise. As it is illustrated the Enterprise Architecture Program is used to enable the decision makers to align the various conceptual sections of the enterprise. In the diagram below there are three conceptual sections of the enterprise. The decision makers articulate a strategy.

The experienced reader would note that the definition of what Enterprise Architecture impacts is derived form the EA3 Cube framework that Bernard (2005) proposed. The approach is based on the concept of Enterprise Engineering (Sjoelin 2011a) and as such it is the opinion of the author that the focus of the .

Assessing the Business Processes

The chief architect should evaluate the business processes, and it is a necessity to evaluate the primary business processes, business model/operating model (Ross & Weil 2009, Ross et al. 2006, Ross & Weill 2004, Finkelstein 2006) and support processes (Porter 1985).

In this particular paper the concept of primary processes is defined on what processes that are essential in order for the enterprise to deliver value to its customers. The chief architect should naturally apply a multi perspective analysis method to understand the underlying principles of the enterprise and its social systems. For this the chief architect and his associates (the enterprise architects, solution architects, business architects) should investigate the operating model and business model of the enterprise in order to gain an understanding of how the enterprise’s internal environment will change in the near future. The scanning of the internal environment should uncover the processes that aren’t fully supported by IT and the processes of which the enterprise would be able to identify a series of projects that could change the enterprise to a desired and more competitive enterprise.

The chief architect or one of his or her associates have identified which of the business processes that do support the business in achieving its goals. He or she would have to go into a process of identifying those processes that would have to be obliterated (Hammer 2000) (re-designed completely). In the process the chief architect and associates would have to re-thing the support processes in order to avoid the pitfalls of an unstructured and incoherent enterprise architecture.

The chief architect and his associates would have investigate how the various processes could be grouped and how the various projects can be implemented in order for the enterprise to harvest synergy. The primary business processes should be organized into “clusters” along side the support processes that clearly can be associated with each of the primary processes and as it has been mentioned earlier in this paper it is a necessity to organize the various business relates activities and processes in order to maximize the potential synergies. However there are some pitfalls that the chief architect and his associates might fall into for example is complexity a factor that can’t be ignored. The more complex a particular segment or domain of the enterprise is the more likely it is that the particular system in the enterprise can’t be generalized into an “Enterprise-Wide” platform, or rather the meaning of doing so is lesser relevant in the sense of information systems design.

Connect the Business Processes and the Information Systems

The chief architect and his associated would have to apply a structured methodology in order to ensure that the enterprise is able to establish and understand how the enterprise and its underlying architecture works. In this paper the author assume that this can be done through the establishment of a formal group that is in charge of investigating and defining the enterprise’s architecture. The method can be based on formal Enterprise Architecture framework and as such be a part of the structured methodology that the decision takers decides to apply.

The author’s definition of Enterprise Architecture is:

Enterprise Architecture is a set of principles, standards and methods for achieving informed governance. The models derived from the standards and methods have an impact on how the enterprise is able to align each of the elements of the enterprise with one another. The alignment will enable enterprise governance and agility for adaption and assurance.” – Peter F. T. Sjoelin (2011a)

It is the author’s opinion that the framework is the set of standards that dictates how the various artifacts that would be documented and stored in the repository are to be defined. In other words the framework is alpha – omega in order lay the foundation for an enterprise ontology (Dietz 2006, Bernard 2005, Hoogervorst 2009).

The framework could eventually give the chief architect the advantage of winning over stakeholders that are skeptical towards the concept of Enterprise Architecture, and likewise does the author assume that the framework would have a significant impact on the value of the repository that contains the descriptions of the artifacts. The value is derived from how well the various stakeholders in the enterprise are able to connect to the repository and understand the value of these.

As earlier mentioned the author expressed his views on that business processes and IT rarely generates synergies due to the lack of obliteration of processes that were designed for the pre-computer and Internet age. It is necessity for the chief architect and his associates to investigate the enterprise’s current usage of information technology and information systems. The chief architect and his associates should be working with a methodology that documents the various information systems, platforms, applications, devices that the enterprise applies in order to provide the various stakeholders (executives, middle managers and employees) the proper information in order to make them understand how the social system works. The chief architect would have to make sure that the business processes and the information systems are evaluated before and after the change process has been initiated in order to give the decision makers the best possible overview of how the enterprise has changed after the implementation of the new approach to business processes and information systems.

It is the opinion of the author that in order to ensure that the enterprise would be able to gain an advantage in governance by focusing on the enterprise’s approach to investing in its technology, assets, people and systems (Potts 2008). The investment process is essentially the embodiment of both the corporate strategy, the IT strategy, the financial strategy etc. After the chief architect and his associates have worked with their analysis of the enterprise’s corporate strategy it is almost certain that a road map should be articulated so the focus could be shared among the members of the Enterprise Architecture group and later on among the various decision makers in the particular enterprise.

It is the author’s opinion that the investment approach would have to be connected with the the enterprise’s program management. It will become a necessity for the enterprise to deal with its approach to enterprise investments and program management since it is the decision makers who are responsible for the allocation of resources to the projects and systems that the enterprise are able to invest in the projects that will change the enterprise. According to Bernard the the enterprise would have to change by the many different projects alter and mature the architecture of the enterprise.

The author is of the opinion that the desired architecture (TO – BE) should be described in a transition plan that should be used as a document to communicate with the stakeholders and the decision makers in order to communicate and evaluate the each of the projects that would have to be allocated resources to and implementation of projects. Likewise is it the author’s opinion that the transition itself has to be guided by the principles that the chief architect and the decision makers have articulated.

As the author has mentioned earlier in this paper the complexity is a barrier that can’t be ignored if the synergies of enterprise architecture and enterprise governance should be harvested.

Group the Business Processes and the Information Systems

The social systems have to be identified and as such it becomes a necessity to group the systems into various domains of specialisms. Each of these domains would have to generate synergy among the social systems and the information systems in order to justify their existence. The domains are a necessity in order to cope with the question of complexity.

Complex organizations can very well own processes and departments that are specialized to the degree that it constitutes a silo. In those cases, the silos can’t be viewed as negative issue, as long as the employees, middle managers and executives in charge of the various processes communicate and interact with one another on regular basis.

In order to ensure that the changes by grouping the various information systems and social systems, the managers would have to allocated resources in order to facilitate communities of practices that would enable the stakeholders in the enterprise with understanding and adapting to the new situation in the enterprise. It is pivotal that the decision makers allows the various members of the enterprise to make use of their time at work and in the change process to form such social networks.

A community of practice is defined by Wenger (1999, p. 47) as Such a concept of practice includes both the explicit and the tacit. It includes what is said and what is left unsaid; what is represented and what is assumed. It includes the language, tools, documents, images, symbols well-defined roles, specified criteria, codified procedures, regulations, and contracts that various practices make explicit for a variety of purposes.

It is likewise a necessity to make use of the social networks to create an understanding of how the enterprise works since that would add value to the ontology of the enterprise.

The social networks are likewise pivotal in order to enable the change process that occurs within the enterprise, and as such the chief architect and the decision takers who are in charge of the enterprise have to identify change agents and motivate the various social networks to adapt to the changes and work alongside the goals that the decision takers have articulated for the enterprise. In this light the decision takers would have to trust that the members of the enterprise works for the best of the enterprise and to some extend allow the employees to self-organize and prioritize the various tasks at hand.

I would recommend a form of hybrid of a top down (Kotter 1995) and bottom up approach (Hamel 2007) to solve the problems with anchoring the changes in the enterprise. The approach is dealt with in detail in table 1: The suggested approach to change management.

Step

Description

Impact

1

Establishment of the an active network within the executive group.

The executive group and middle managers (who aspire to become executives).

2

Identification of change agents in the enterprise that would stay among middle managers and employees.

The entire enterprise and on all levels of the enterprise. There should be found agents as many places as possible.

3

Establishment of an office or department for internal communication in the enterprise. This office has to be located close to the change leader and his position so it is clear that what is sent to the employees in the organization is the words and intentions of the leading coalition.

The upper end of the middle management. Eventually it will impact the rest of the enterprise since the communication from this office should be directed to all parts of the enterprise.

4

Establishment of scope, goals and mission clearance. Stakeholder alignment is a necessity to create the proper dynamics.

The change coalition (all agents on all levels of the enterprise should be involved in this).

5

The change leader should make sure to attend meetings and conferences with the other managers on how the change effort is planned to impact the enterprise.

Executive group and middle management.

6

Plan workshops with employees that focus on identifying issues that needs to be dealt with in the particular devisions, departments, processes and projects.

All members of the enterprise.

7

Enable feedback channels where the executives, managers, and employees can report if departments or processes don’t work as intended. In this case IT / IS is a part of the concept of processes.

It will impact all levels of the enterprise in order to achieve that all members of the enterprise are able to add information to what needs to be re-configured.

9

Initiate the implementation process.

All members of the enterprise will be impacted as a result of the change program.

10

Keep on changing the architecture in order to achieve agility and adaption the changing environment of the enterprise.

In the long run it will impact all members of the enterprise on all levels. In the short run small sections of the enterprise will be changed.

Table 1: The suggested approach to change management.

The managers needs the information that they can gain access to in the social networks through their insight to the networks. When it comes to the diffusion of knowledge it is very likely that the segments of the enterprise that are too complex. If the knowledge is too complex it is evident to investigate if the particular domain can be handled by enterprise-wide systems or for that matter enterprise-wide business approaches. Nonetheless the most important thing is that the any new employees, managers or executives can be introduced to the persons who have some idea on how to deal with the problems, tasks, activities and processes in each of the domains that are likely to be too complex. What is important for the enterprise is that the executives, middle managers and not to forget the employees support a culture of knowledge and information sharing. The IT systems should be developed to support their particular processes. These information systems could eventually be connected, but there is as such no need for enterprise-wide information systems that standardize the workflows. Knowledge can be hard to standardize and as such the various stakeholders of the enterprise can’t be expected to know everything about the same topic. In other words it is very likely that the chief architect and the decision takers would have to challenge their assumption on process standardization.

Create Value Through Grouping of IS and Business Processes

The chief architect and his associates would have to investigate how the enterprise can generate value through grouping the social systems and information systems.

The approach that the chief architect and his associates should work with a projects that will enable change for the various projects that would change the enterprise.

The progress for each of the projects will be impacting the enterprise’s architecture and thereby transform the architecture from the AS – IS situation (Bernard 2005)which is the current state for the enterprise’s architecture to the desired state which Bernard names the “TO-BE” state. The transition plan is the document that communicates what kind of projects that would have to be initiated and implemented in order to mature the enterprise’s architecture and through that enable the enterprise to reach its goals. The transition plan also works as a kind of plan that can be communicated to the various stakeholders who would have to back the enterprise in the maturation of the particular situation. The maturation process has to be evaluated before the chief architect and his followers initiates the change program. It is very likely that the stakeholders will be easier won over if they can see a logical plans that includes economical estimation of how the plan impact the enterprise’s economical situation. It is needless to say that the enterprise’s decision makers would have to have an insight on how well the enterprise can process the various resources it has at hand and thereby produce the products and services that its customers want to purchase.

The evaluation process is likewise a part of how the enterprise scans its internal and external environment and as such the Enterprise Architecture program should work as the platform for the construction of a shared ontology across the enterprise. The chief architect should keep in mind that in departments or segments that can be characterized as being characterized as complex it is rather likely that their particular views can’t be generalized into an enterprise ontology if such can be formulated.

In order to get the information that the chief architect and the decision makers need in order to plan and allocate resources to the transformation the enterprise would have to go through. They would have to go into detail with how the various social networks and communities of practices and search for the information and knowledge in order to gain a firm understanding of how the enterprise works and thereby how it can be changed. In this light the chief architect and his associates would have to decide if they should apply a top-down or a bottom-up approach. The approach chosen would eventually become a part of the debate that the members of the enterprise on what has to be done. Will the decision makers tolerate increased autonomy or if they would prefer increased centralization. As earlier mentioned it seems like that the tendencies for the development organizations.

Change the Enterprise

The chief architect and the decision makers would have to go further with the change of the enterprise. The change process would have to be a part of the overall Enterprise Architecture program and it will certainly impact the enterprise and how it works. In order to do so the chief architect would have to influence the stakeholders (decision makers, the middle managers and for that matter the employees). The changes are caused by the the questioning of the how the enterprise is able to collect the data needed in order to take the decisions needed to achieve the goals that was set for the enterprise. The author is of the opinion that the grouping of information systems and social systems in order to harvest the synergies with each one of them and among each of the clusters The clusters can most likely produce synergies for each of the areas that shows the amount of gravity that produce a barrier of complexity.

Before the chief architect and the executives commit themselves to changing the enterprise they would have to understand how the enterprise and its architecture works. In order to achieve this the chief architect would have to choose an Enterprise Architecture framework, adapting the framework to the particular enterprise and implement the framework. Thereafter should the chief architect and the enterprise architects work with identifying the various artifacts, and organizing them in an Enterprise Architecture repository. While working with the identification of artifacts and organization of artifacts in the EA repository it is important that the chief architects understands that there might be barriers to create define an unified ontology and as a result of that there might be a necessity to create several different sub-units of the EA repository. The chief architect work with an assumption that each of the specialized operations of the enterprise should be mapped as a separated entity and as a separate mini architecture of the enterprise.

The author is of the opinion that it is possible to convert extremely specialized knowledge for each of the specialized processes to other parts of the enterprise without a lot of the meaning of each of the artifacts is lost. It is better that there is a platform for informed governance for each of the segments than a system that doesn’t adapt to the entire enterprise. The managers of each of these segments should in the long run participate in the community of practice that shares knowledge and know how with one another. The chief architect can at some extent work as the change manager would would have to convince the various stakeholders in the enterprise to support the changes and in the same time enable them to take the changes even further.

The change manager would have to ensure that the office of internal communication is located and positioned as a part of management and it symbolizes the foundation of management for all other segments of the enterprise. It is pivotal that the change efforts are supported by the middle managers since they act as the approvers of each of the employees time and effort to commit to the particular change system. If the middle managers ignore the call for change and disapprove of the changes that the employees suggests then it is very likely that the changes will come to a still and eventually fail. Likewise would the commitment of the employee be of great importance since it is likely that each of the employees have specialized knowledge of how the work processes interacts.

Conclusions

The author is of the opinion that the organization have to work with several different approaches to challenge their particular views on how the enterprise collects the data that are used by the decision makers. Likewise is it likely that the various decision makers of the enterprise would have to deal with identifying segments of the enterprise that are too complex to be adapted to generalized business processes. The author is of the opinion that the chief architect and his associates would have to deal with the challenges of adding value to the enterprise by applying the standardized business activities and business processes, but in the same time be able to identify where it wouldn’t make sense to apply standardized systems since that wouldn’t provide the enterprise with any kind of advantages.

The focus of the members of the Enterprise Architecture team would have to include the concept of complexity to the concept of enterprise ontology and as such should the repositories that would be able to connect the various sections of the enterprise and communicate the meaning meaning of how the enterprise works to the decision makers and other stakeholders who would have to make use of the knowledge that is represented in the repositories.

Likewise is it a necessity for the decision makers and the chief architect would have to investigate the various elements of the enterprise in order to achieve better insight into how the enterprise works and from that enable better decision making in order to achieve the objectives for the enterprise.

Bibliography

Bernard, S., A., 2005. An Introduction To Enterprise Architecture: Second Edition 2nd ed., AuthorHouse.

Dietz, J.L.G., 2006. Enterprise Ontology: Theory and Methodology, Springer.

Hamel, G., 2007. The Future of Management, Harvard Business School Press.

Hammer, M., 1990. Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate. , Harvard Business Review no. 68.

Hoogervorst, J.A.P., 2009. Enterprise Governance and Enterprise Engineering, Springer.

Kotter, J.P., 1995. Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, (March – April 1995), p.9.

Wenger, E., 1999. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity New Ed., Cambridge University Press.

Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, P.B. & Lampel, J.B., 2008. Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management 2nd ed., Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.

Porter, M.E., 1985. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, New York: Free Press.

Potts, C., 2008. fruITion: Creating the Ultimate Corporate Strategy for Information Technology illustrated edition., Technics Publications, LLC.

Ross, J.W., Weill, P. & Robertson, D.C., 2006. Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution illustrated edition., Harvard Business School Press.

Weill, P. & Ross, J., 2009. IT Savvy: What Top Executives Must Know to Go from Pain to Gain, Harvard Business School Press.

Weill, P. & Ross, J.W., 2004. IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results, Harvard Business School Press.

Weick, K.E., 2000. Making Sense of the Organization, WileyBlackwell.

The paper can be downloaded here or read at ISSUU.

The Fractal Organization: From an Enterprise Architecture Point of View.

Enterprise Architecture

Patrick Hoverstadt started the lecture by saying that he had never heard of Enterprise Architecture before he ran into John Gotze but of what he has learned it is about making sense of the organization and creating a conceptual model for the enterprise.

Build Models

In Enterprise Architecture modeling is a corner stone and the models serve to create an idea on what we are trying to manage and how well to understand the model. The model has to be based on real life data and it has to represent reality in the best way possible. The models provide both a simplified version of reality but it does also provide a usable representation of reality. This representation gives the members of the enterprise an ability make decisions on how to design the various business processes.

our ability to manage an organization is based on how well we understand it, and our understanding depends on how useful & appropriate are the models we use” - Patrick Hoverstadt (2010)

When working with this approach it becomes clear that the Viable Systems Model in some form can be identified as a part of the school of enterprise engineering. The school of enterprise engineering is characterized by the idea that enterprises can be defined and designed by models and meta-models.

The Viable Systems Model

Usually the organization diagram has been the model that most enterprises relate two when they delegate blame and responsibility. However the viable systems model is slightly more complicated.

In the viable systems model operations and environment is linked. The first part that needs to be done is separating the primary activities. Through this process then the focus should be what activities provides value to the customers. The reason for this is that it is the customers who finance the activities of the enterprise (at least from cash flow perspective. For the public sector it is the tax payers who pay for the particular services through the tax bill).

 

When the first two processes have been taken into consideration then you would have to go up through the model. The primary assumption is that the various primary activities can be broken down into smaller steps in the process. This means that the enterprise works with an assumption that the sup processes can be reconstructed and create synergy.

 

The same approach can be used for the enterprise e.g., the operations that are organized around the concept of the co-ordination and the lines of co-ordination. However it is clear that most enterprises are products of randomly available components that likewise have been deployed randomly and one of these components is the management component. The management component is according to Patrick Hoverstadt that component that undermines the core of the enterprise, and that in some way undermines the enterprise’s ability to adapt, adopt and act according to the changes in its envirornment.

 

Most organizations are rubbish since most managers are promoted by putting fires out” – Patrick Hoverstadt (2010).

 

Management and especially delivery is an important task for the executives and the middle management to deal with. They work in particular to ensure that operations delivers what the management has specified what they should have done.

 

Likewise does it include decisions of what the management has been located in the delivery service. “This is the spine of the hierarchical organization” – Patrick Hoverstadt (2010).

 

The spine is building the conversational loops. The conversational loops deals with creating this focus on working with building the conversations on what we need to produce and when we should deliver it.

According to Hoverstadt this deals with specific (specifying), agreeing on performance, measuring performance, resource bargaining and fragmentation. In other words should the managers (including the executives) work with understanding on how the employees and the managers under them interact with the everyday demands and processes. In most cases will the various levels in the enterprise contribute to both a positive development and the negative cycle.

If management is aware of the problems in the hierarchy it can be assumed at least some of them will do something about it in order to optimize the enterprise or at least do an attempt to enable that the enterprise will survive both in the long and the short run. The usual problems with management and the subunits they manage are conflicts over resources, turf wars, conflicting orders and conflicting messages from the customers (internally and externally) of the enterprise and weak planning for the operational core of the enterprise.

A classic situation is that something changes in the operations section and that impacts the rest of the organization and in response to that is that the senior management demands more and more control over the operation. This is done through reporting (setting up a bureaucracy).

 

… they try to micro manage the local managers, and that turns into a vicious cycle” – Patrick Hoverstadt (2010).

 

When the vicious cycle has started then it becomes a problem dealing with problem solving, and instead it becomes a show for managers to exercise control. This will eventually turn into a disastrous path.

The turf wars for managerial control leads to sub-optimization and it becomes an anti-thesis to efficiency and it will eventually lead to trouble and act as resilient barrier for accomplishing the goals of the enterprise.

 

Another factor that is of great importance for any enterprise is that its executives (executives, managers etc.) are well informed on the environment (customers, competitors and government), and the organization. If it happens that the executives aren’t informed about the environment, or for that matter they don’t understand the activities or the structure of the organization then the executives will start to develop an assumption of how the enterprise and the environment works. This assumption can very well be very far from what really happens in the enterprise and therefore it becomes dangerous develop this form of groupthink (a state of which the executives continuously will put pressure on one another in order to take more extreme) in the top of the enterprise.

The enterprise’s decision makers needs the right information at the right time and at the right place; however it doesn’t enforce sanity and a sense of reality.

To make some sense of reality basic systems of allocation of resources and responsibility e.g., a basic but functioning management accounting system that is build upon activity based costing.

The Monitoring Loop

In management situations proof and trust are the two most important factors. Can the manager trust the information, and can use the information to guide any form of guiding principle?

If the information isn’t valid then it is very likely that the decisions made will not be in alignment with the continuous change in the environment that the enterprise works in.

 

The loop needs to bypass at least one level of management. It has to ensure performance reports are accurate and the monitoring loop should ensure the manager’s understanding of operations.” – Patrick Hoverstadt (2010)

 

The monitoring loops should be generating qualitative data that the managers (delivery) can trust. According to Hoverstadt the only way to measure the conflicts among the managers and the various units dealing with operations have to be qualitative due to you can’t measure the conflicts in a management group through quantitative data.

Usually do middle managers co-ordinate with one another in secrecy to avoid the micro-management-syndrome.

It becomes a necessity to link operations to decisions and agreeing and measuring performance, and agreeing to the resource allocation.

Intelligence

The intelligence section in the management framework is doing surveys for technical, competitive and market developments that occurs in the environment of which the organization (enterprise) operates. The intelligence section is one of the most important sections in the enterprise, if the enterprise hasn’t access to accurate and sufficient information then the enterprise will experience problems with qualified decision making. Nonetheless most enterprises are not particular good in dealing with this important segment of the enterprise.

Usually organizations are catastrophically bad at this” – Patrick Hoverstadt (2010).

Thereto does the intelligence deals with identifying the R&D potentially and planning how the enterprise should overcome the obstacles in its way.

Governance

This is the section of the Viable Systems Model that handles the governance and makes the balance between the external and internal social systems in the enterprise and likewise does it handles the AS – IS and the TO – BE state of the enterprise.

According to Hoverstadt then the performance measures have to be designed as inputs to strategy not seen as outputs.

Likewise does the governance and decision making have to be articulated throughout the organization.

Decision making can’t really be set into a particular process and can’t be organized around a linear path since there would be a need to be able to adjust to changes over time.

Enterprise Architecture and VSM

Doucet et al (2009) argues that all enterprises have an enterprise architecture regardless of how the enterprise approach it. Enterprise Architecture has in reality three levels that depends on how the enterprise acts according to Enterprise Architecture and what it can gain from Enterprise Architecture. According to Bernard (2005) Enterprise Architecture deals with both the documentation of the enterprise but it also works as a form of management (what is later defined as integrated governance which Enterprise Architecture is an important part of).

Enterprise Architecture with bringing the information to the decision makers at the right time and the right place. Op’t Land et al (2009) argues that Enterprise Architecture is giving the decision makers the proper information to executive and adopt to the changes in the environment in the enterprise.

There are many different views on what Enterprise Architecture is and the various views have been crystallized into various different frameworks that tries to catch the complexity of the enterprise into a so called meta model that can be communicated to the individuals of the enterprise.

There are many communities that practice Enterprise Architecture sees the foundation for enterprise architecture differently e.g., is Enterprise Architecture as a process (or set of processes) or is it enterprise engineering or something in between. If Enterprise Architecture is seen as a set of processes then the viable systems model can be applied in order to achieve an understanding of how each of the teams, groups and devisions of the enterprise architecture works. If the chief architect sees the concept of enterprise architecture as enterprise engineering then it is likely that the viable systems model can be used as a blue print that the organization can be designed upon.

The ideals of the VSM is to create a resilient organization, and it can be enabled through the implementation of Enterprise Architecture since it enables the executives to audit how the enterprise operates. The Viable Systems model and the concept of Enterprise Architecture has something in common in addressing the problems that the enterprise faces and attempting to establish a resilient organization that should enable the enterprise with achieving competitive advantages. From this point of view should the chief architect at least think on applying the Viable Systems Model when he or she designs the Enterprise Architecture approach.

 

Bibliography

Bernard 2005, An Introduction To Enterprise Architecture, AuthorHouse

Doucet, G. et al., 2009. Coherency Management: Architecting the Enterprise for Alignment, Agility and Assurance, International Enterprise Architecture Institute.

Patrick Hoverstadt, Fractal Organization: Creating Sustainable Organizations with the Viable System Model (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Martin Op’t Land et al., Enterprise Architecture: Creating Value by Informed Governance (Springer, 2008).

The OIO-Framework: The EA Framework Designed for the Danish Public Sector.

The Public Sector has to take Charge of its IT Architecture

The public sector has had a sector wide view on IT investments (that includes investments in information systems and architecture) that they should focus on purchasing the cheapest and most relevant solution.

The cheapest solution has often led to that the solution has been developed with in a narrow scope. This has had an impact on the IT architecture since it has been optimized for the local department or unit. The result of this is in general not desirable since the government in 2003 articulated goals for that the architecture should be scalable and reusable.

The suppliers to the IT architecture are still in charge of developing components and implement the business logic. The public sector then have to demand a common set of standards to enhance interoperability.

The reason for the public sector should promote these demands are that the level of competition will become more intense which will be an advantage for the public sector.

The public sector has to realize that if it wants to be ahead of the suppliers and thereby gaining a competitive advantage then it should focus on developing its employees in the skills of Enterprise Architecture or IT Architecture Management.

According to John Goetze the reason for why the public sector (the ministry of Research and Science) chose to name the concept IT Architecture due to the secretary of Research and Science preferred the name “IT architecture” compared to the title “Enterprise Architecture”.

A common IT Architecture Framework

The framework focuses on coordination, a common set of methods, a common choice of methods, systems and principles, and common tools.

The common coordination deals with that the public sector should establish a committee that create the common IT architecture that public sector should mature and develop. The common frame of method is a common standard of processes, concepts and processes. The common choice of systems and principles deals with the public sector should deal with standards and infrastructure that should led to a reference profile and a Service Orientated Architecture.

The common set of tools deals with establishing common databases, libraries, contracts, description of processes, definition of data, software components including descriptions of infrastructure solutions.

Consequences

To promote the usage of IT and the be able to scale the systems across several departments, ministries, counties, communes and other public administrative sectors and institutions can make use of the stored data.

The public sector will experience that the costs for developing the IT architecture and the costs of the processes will also diminish over time.

However when the organizations within the public sector in one way or the other invests in a new information system then the specific organization has to apply specific controls and methods to ensure that the systems are designed and optimized for the specific processes (of course build the reference public reference profile).

The new repository and framework will give the public sector the benefits of organizational change and the understand of systems changes as well since they are build around the same systems and principles of management and Service Orientated Architecture. It is notable that the implementation of the IT architecture will be a hugh investment and the investment can result in big benefits and opportunities as well.

The Background for the OIO-framework

The reason and background for the development of the public IT architecture (and the OIO-framework) is to establish a foundation for Enterprise Architecture to ensure maturity in the common enterprise architecture to enhance and develop public services to citizens and customers.

The government has established a vision for what is known as digital governance & management. The vision is based on four goals (principles) that needs to be taken into consideration:

  1. The digital governance & management has to empower the citizens and corporations to the network society.

  2. The public sector has to work and communicate digitally.

  3. The public sector has to provide coherent services and products to the citizens and the corporations.

  4. The tasks in the public sector has to executed where the tasks can generate the largest benefits.

The above mentioned goals have to be translated into processes and these will be implementing over several years and with different development logic.

  1. Goal two to four deals with that the IT architecture should better public support through higher quality in the IT foundation.

  2. Support the development of innovative cross governance processes through greater coherence in the informations.

  3. Achieve a more effective governance through larger efficiency in IT usage.

  4. Gain access to rapid support of new or changed governance processes and organization changes through tested infrastructure solutions.

  5. Give access to public information through open to citizens, corporations and public institutions and authorities.

  6. Give sufficient protection of public information through secure solutions to manage and communicate data.

  7. To create more successful IT solutions through larger predictability of the results of IT investments.

  8. Give the public sector access to stabile IT systems with sufficient capacity.

Experiences that can be Crystalized from the OIO-framework

There are several other countries that have made an effort to implement IT architecture (Enterprise Architecture) and these countries have gained some experiences.

These experiences are as follows:

  1. Commitment has to be on government level.

  2. A cross government institutions and departments collaboration is needed.

  3. Standardization of data structure and functional data interfaces has to be implemented.

  4. Choice of technical standards are needed.

  5. A common infrastructural platform has to be implemented.

  6. Anchoring the knowledge and change through certifications and common shares of practice have to be implemented.

Guiding principles

The OIO-framework emphasizes 10 principles that the Coherency Architect has to take into consideration when the government of one reason or the other implements a new IT architecture:

  1. The Service Orientated Architecture is a paradigm of which the government has to invest its resources so a coherent digital governance can be applied.

  2. The prospect is that the government will take an active role in the service orientated architecture.

  3. The national common IT architecture has to be the lowest common standard that in the same time enables the ability to add to it (a kind of dogma architecture).

  4. The IT architecture should reflect the vision of the business side and there should be a consensus regarding the choices the business side has committed itself to.

  5. The national IT architecture should be applied in those cases where there is a business needs and business analysis should support the usage of the usage of the IT architecture.

  6. Legacy systems shouldn’t be scraped or for that matter be converted to run on the same platform. In the other hand none of the legacy systems should be spared in advance of the implementation.

  7. The implementation should focus pragmatic assumptions and the implementation should be done in iterations.

  8. The IT Architecture should be based on the lowest possible political foundation to ensure that those persons who know about the situation locally can take the proper responsibility and accountability for the situation and implementation.

  9. Denmark is not the only country on this planet and therefore should the work with the architecture be coordinated with international players.

  10. The work with the IT architecture and the standards should be published on a public website http://www.oio.dk.

The IT Architecture Process

The white book is based on two cycle processes that enriches each other while they are executing. The two processes are iterative which means that these have to be executed continuously.

Since the public sector is rather decentralized and therefore is the principles and concepts discussed in the white book based on the idea that these can be dragged down onto the various self-governing institutions and their contexts.

Strategy Process.
Strategy Development Process.

It is worth to mention that the upper circle is the strategic process and the lower circle is the implementation process.

  1. Vision and goals describes the strategic business goals and that will be with a special focus on those that are related to Information Technology. It is a necessity to keep a dialog with the top management of the enterprise and the political side of the business is a necessity as well.

  2. The Business Architecture describes those processes the IT system has to support both when it comes to functionality and procurement. This state is a result of an analysis and an optimization of existing work related processes.

  3. The Information Architecture describes the business strategy and its demands to the organization of information. This contains both the high level description and low level technical description.

  4. The Technical Architecture is based a common shared systemic description of the demands which can be categorized with the high level part of the systems and modules and the low level description of each of the modules.

  5. The Conceptual Architecture Principles is a rule set that handles the initiation of the IT solutions so these are within the demands presented in the “Conceptual Architecture Principles and former mentioned architectures”.

Besides the strategical architecture process the practical implementation process will be executed.

  1. Document the existing situation (AS – IS).

  2. The Gap analysis deals with identifying the identifying what legacy systems that fit into the conceptual architecture principles.

  3. Prioritization and planning. This phase deals with the planning the technical change that is needed to bring the “AS IS” to the desired state “TO BE”.

  4. Implementation projects deals with implementing the changes through a series of projects.

The Three Layer Model

The three layer model can be utilized and linked directly to the architecture model.

  1. The user interface layer (3-layer) that is directly linked to API & Services and Presentation.

  2. Business Logic Layer (3-layer) that is directly linked to application server, integration server and database sever.

  3. Storage Layer (3-layer) that is linked directly to server hardware and operating system, data layer, and network.

When the public sector starts the redefinition of its “Enterprise Architecture” (IT Architecture) then it should focus on to break down the known barriers and not just enabling old government procedures or processes. This means that the old processes should be supported with new technology since they often just led to the same result as the old processes and these rarely enables the true potential of the technology.

Principles

The foundation of work with IT Architecture (Enterprise Architecture) is based on the principles developed by the chief architect and the EA team.

On the lowest level of principles we find the principles that are focused on a specific system where we in the highest level is based on the idea that the entire enterprise should align their decision making with.

The principles should be build upon:

  1. Interoperability is a necessity to enable the usage of and recycle the data. However interoperability can also be viewed as a way to create coherence in new ways.

  2. Security is a paradigm and an imperative. If the system is not based on the

  3. Openness is based on the idea that the interfaces have to be open so the can ensure communication and interoperability among the systems components.

  4. Flexibility is based on the idea that the system has to be build so it would be easy to modify to the system (enterprise architecture will be suited to its surroundings).

  5. Scalability deals with how the system will be working when there is a greater demand for its features and usage.

Sources

Gotze et al, 2003, Hvidbog om IT-arkitektur, Copenhagen.

Download the blog post from here.