Top reasons why enterprise technology roadmaps are important for the success of Digital Transformations

  1. Road mapping communicates business, technology and product plans to
    team members, management, customers, and suppliers.
  2. Roadmaps provide a guide to the team, allowing the team to recognize and
    act on events that require a change in direction.
  3. Road mapping is just good planning.
  4. Roadmaps incorporate an explicit element of time.
  5. Roadmaps link business strategy and market data with product and
    technology decisions.
  6. Roadmaps reveal gaps in product and technology plans.
  7. Roadmaps prioritize investments based on drivers.
  8. Road mapping helps set more competitive and realistic targets.
  9. Sharing roadmaps allows strategic use of technology across product lines.
  10. Road mapping enables a common view for entire development team.

Cloud Migration Considerations

Over the past few years Enterprise Cloud Strategy has become an integral part of IT strategy. There is a growing realization that cloud computing not only represents a set of technical opportunities for efficiencies and cost savings, but also provides the potential to significantly transform the scope of enterprise computing. In fact, many enterprises are finding that cloud computing offers entirely new business models, revenue streams, and vehicles for customer intimacy.

The goal of any enterprise strategy is to create competitive differentiation and advantage, and little doubt remains that IT has become a key element in modern strategy. IT now drives transformative innovation, making it possible for enterprises to compete more effectively by instantiating processes that deliver ongoing competitive advantage.

For any IT organization to be successful in delivering its enterprise strategy it must deliver on its Enterprise Cloud Strategy. There are many areas to be considered when executing a successful cloud strategy. In this blog I will highlight the key areas to be considered when delivering on a enterprise cloud strategy. In the later posts I will explain each area in detail.

  • Define and communicate cloud deployment motivators both business and technical
  • Get cloud readiness & maturity assessment done for your organization
  • Choose the cloud adoption pattern for the organization
  • Define the cloud characteristics
  • Pick the cloud delivery model and workloads
  • Create the cloud adaption strategy and roadmap
  • Gather inputs from across the organization for success (e.g. business strategy, organization, processes,  App portfolio, infrastructure, governance, Fiscal considerations, etc…)
  • High-Level cloud transformation approach including cloud transition or/and transformation approach
  • Define cloud transformation assessment process for continuity of success.

 

 

Enterprise Architecture – Some key points

1)      Key Enterprise Architect Goals:

  1. Business and IT alignment
  2. Long term strategy both for processes  and technology. (Migration path, IT plan, Road map)
  3. Simplify and standardize (Blueprint, Models, Principles Standards, Templates)
  4. Reuse data & processes
  5. Innovation
  6. The big picture
  7. Leadership
  8. Risk management
  9. Governance

2)      Adapt an industry recognized framework: (A good framework is TOGAF. It provides all the tools needed to implement and run a successful EA practice)

  1. ADM – Step by step approach (Objective, Approach, input, steps and output)
  2. ADM Guidance (e.g. scenarios iteration) and Techniques (e.g. GAP)
  3. Architecture Content Framework – Work product (artifacts, patterns  and models)
  4. Enterprise Continuum and Tools – Virtual repository – Classifying architecture and solution artifacts
  5. Reference Models – TRM and III-RM
  6. Architecture Capability Framework

3)      Manage the client (stakeholders in the organization):  Identify the stakeholders and create a communication plan

4)      Assess the organization’s capabilities at all levels – Business and IT

5)      Create document to demonstrate EA value propositions

6)      Always keep an eye on EA goals and objectives

7)      Keep RAID in mind when working on different areas of EA:

  1. Risks must be recognized, managed and taken
  2. Assumptions must be made
  3. Issued must be addressed
  4. Dependencies should be managed

Key Components of An Enterprise Architecture Practice Play book

In this era of technology transformation, corporations need an EA practice to assist its units including IT and business in managing, operating, and extending NEW Context-Rich Systems, Smart Machines, Cloud and Mobile Support Systems, Software Defined Apps and Infrastructure, Risk-based security protection Setup that will be required to support the business. EA practice needs to have well defined mission and agenda. Following are the key areas an EA practice needs to concentrate. I have divided the key areas into four parts. I will cover Part 1 and Part 2 in this blog and Part 3 and Part 4 in my next blog.

Part 1: EA Practice Competency

Part 2: EA Charter

Part 3: Formulating The Practice

Part 4: Areas of Concentration (Business, Portfolio, Solution, and Technical)

  1. Part 1: EA Practice Competency
    1. Strategy and Business Alignment
    2. Customer and Partner Relationship
    3. Architecture Excellence
    4. Financial Acumen
      1. App Rationalization Opportunities
        1. Forecast, Accurate and Quantifiable Savings
    5. Communication and Collaboration
    6. Leadership
  2. Part 2: EA Charter
    1. Introduce the EA Function
      1. Define EA Mission, Planning Horizon, Scope of EA Activities and Span of control
        1. Areas
          1. View Technology Components Holistically
          2. Evaluate Solutions
          3. Communicate Technology Direction
          4. Integration and Enterprise Collaboration
          5. Reusability  and Standards
    2. Defined EA Deliverables
      1. Describe Short Term and Long Term work that EA will complete
          1. Short Term
            1. Assessment of IT portfolio
            2. Define Future State Architecture – Requirements, Principles, and Models
            3. Architecture Roadmaps (Tactical Alignment)
            4. Communication Plan
          2. Long Term
            1. Business Strategy Alignment
            2. High Value Projects
            3. Capability Enablement
            4. Operating Cost
            5. Architecture Roadmaps  (Strategy Alignment)
    3. Identify Objectives and Metrics
      1. Define EA’s Measures of Progress and Success
    4. Define EA Roles and Organizational Structure
      1. Describe EA’s Role in Strategic Planning
      2. Architecture Review Board
      3. Core Enterprise Architecture Team
    5. Describe EA Governance and Communication
      1. Define the Architecture Review Process
      2. IT Change Management
      3. Communication of EA information

Key Concepts and Terminology behind Cloud Computing

1)      Business drivers or motivation for Cloud

  1. Capacity Planning
  2. Cost Reduction
  3. Organization Agility

2)      Organization’s Goals and Benefits

  1. Reduced Investment and Proportional Costs
  2. Increased Scalability
  3. Increased Availability and Reliability

3)      Risks and Challenges for the organization

  1. Increased Security Vulnerabilities
  2. Reduce Operational Governance Control
  3. Limited Portability Between Cloud Providers
  4. Multi-Regional Regulatory and Legal Issues

4)      Cloud is the main beneficiary of the following technology Innovations

  1. Clustering
  2. Grid Computing
  3. Virtualization

5)      Cloud Main Characteristics

  1. On-Demand Usage
  2. Ubiquitous Access
  3. Multitenancy (and Resourcing Pooling)
  4. Elasticity
  5. Measured Usage
  6. Resiliency

6)      Cloud Delivery Models

  1. Infrastructure-as-a –Service
  2. Platform-as-a-Service
  3. Software-as-a-Service

7)      Cloud Deployment Models

  1. Public Clouds
  2. Community Clouds
  3. Private Clouds
  4. Hybrid Clouds

8)      Cloud Patterns

  1. There are about thirty eight Cloud Patterns

9)      Cloud Technology Pillars

  1. Broadband Network and Internet Architecture
  2. Data Center Technology
  3. Virtualization
  4. Web Technology
  5. Multitenant
  6. Service Technology

Key steps for a successful cloud integration

1)      Create a clear vision for the cloud usage for your organization

2)      Define clear business goals (growth, revenue, improvement, and/or differentiation)

3)      Get agreement from the Leadership

4)      Define a clear business case and link it to opportunities in areas like business-process improvement, business intelligence, and innovation

5)      Define cloud deployment road-map

6)      Define ROI in terms of revenue, expenses, growth potential and  market share

7)      Get detail cost analysis for the potential cloud solution for your organization’s environment

8)      Communicate the road-map to internal groups involved in cloud deployment

9)      Do pilot programs for cloud deployments

10)  Create quantifiable metrics for cloud usages

11)  Do an agile approach and improve release cycles

12)  Adapt policies to ensure consistency in procurement, data usage, and integration.

A view from the Top

Goal: IT leadership goal is to get fast access to technology insight so they can quickly transform their IT assets for greater value to the business.
Technologies: Key technologies driving the changes are Cloud Computing, Virtualization, Big data, Mobility and consumerization.
Challenges: Some of the key and common challenges facing the organizations today are Smaller IT budgets, Lack of skill set, Legacy integration, Deployment time, Transformation of big data into strategic assets, Security, Cloud approach, Mobile and consumer empowerment strategy.
Expected Results: IT is looking ways to transform these technologies into business insights so they can give their organizations the competitive advantage.

Practical approach for Cloud adaption to drive Social, Mobile and Analytic initiatives in an Organization

Many organizations big or small are struggling these days on how to transform their organizations including people, processes, and technologies. The transformation is due to this new disruptive technology stack which includes Social, Mobile, Analytic and Cloud (SMAC).  These technologies and concepts have been around for a while but their usage in this combination is new.

All over in the media the advantages of this stack have been advertised with great promise. There is no shortage of articles in the media on how organizations in every industry have started using these technologies and their business units are benefiting from the value these technologies are providing both in agility and cost. Irrespective of this hype many organizations are having a hard time in understanding the applications of this technology mix in their organizations. It is very hard to look at this technology stack holistically from an implementations perspective and not worry about the cost.  The cost alone is not justifiable and the risks are too high because some aspects of this technology are still maturing.

There are innovative ways in which this problem can be addressed.  Different organizations have different strategies, people, processes and technology mix. These corporations have different positions in the market they compete.  All these companies have one thing in common they are all facing similar challenges when it comes to transformation of their organizations to this new disruption. These challenges can be met and solved in a very systematic way so that their impact on the organization both from the cost and culture perspective can be absorbed.

Organizations can take certain steps to approach this problem.  They can start with their corporate strategy.  Some of the questions to ask are what are the capabilities the organization is looking to create and improve? Is the corporate strategy is mapped to the IT strategy? How much of this strategy is being followed? If there is no clear corporate strategy the organization should create one and map it to its IT strategy. If the initiative can’t be taken at the company level, the department(s) can create their department(s) strategy. This approach if taken and communicated in successful manner can become the catalyst for the change in the rest of the organization. Other questions to ask are what business and technology capabilities the current IT organization supports? What are the current systems in place that support different business units? What are the programs and projects in flight or in plan to be delivered?

The Corporate strategy, IT capabilities, business priorities and current programs will determine what approach the organization should take to start consuming the SMAC stack (Social, Mobile, Analytic and Cloud). Most all organizations have legacy infrastructure with huge investment and cannot be converted into the Cloud. Now a days vendors are offering cloud-based Services for almost all the services traditionally offered by the internal IT. For example there are Cloud-based back-up Services, Cloud-based Disaster Recovery Services, Cloud Gateways and Connections for Cloud storage, Cloud-based Automation tools. There are so many choices of services available in the market for organizations to pick. Some of these services are new and some have matured. All these services provide a good business case from cost and time perspective.  Organizations can subscribe to these services based on their needs. The main factors to look at when deciding to use a cloud based service are the cost, time, impact on current systems and the risks. All these variables are manageable. Corporations can start collecting data on their implemented cloud based services both for efficiency measuring and cost benefits.  They can use this data to build their case for transformation of other IT services into the Cloud.

The bottom line is that all organizations need to find ways to get into the cloud game otherwise they will be playing catch-up with their competitors and their business will lose out to new opportunities that are being presented due to this new distributive technology mix.

Top ten key items on Enterprise Architect’s (EA) “To-Do” list – Goals and deliverables

1)      The main driver for Enterprise Architect’s (EA) work should be the alignment of organization’s business with IT

2)      EA should work on long term strategies both for processes and technologies

3)      EA”s deliverable must have road maps, migration plans, IT plans, stakeholders management plans and communication plans

4)      EA deliverable should simplify and standardize the corporate enterprise architecture (blueprints, models, principles, standards, and templates)

5)      Re-usability of both data & processes should be a high priority

6)      EA should find innovative ways to integration new technologies to the IT organization

7)      Always keep the big picture in mind

8)      EA should show leadership

9)      Risk management should be done at all levels in business and technology architecture, portfolio management, and migration planning and execution

10)   Governance structure should be implemented and contracts should be complied.

When applying Architecture Framework key areas that require careful tailoring

  1. Select and modify the architecture methodology that will meet the organizations needs
  2. Choose the architecture contents (deliverables and artifacts) that are most relevant to the organization
  3. Select and configure the EA tool set based on the organization’ s resource limitations
  4. Make sure selected architecture methodology can interfaces with the following governance models, processes and frameworks:
    1. Enterprise Architecture Management Frameworks
    2. Capability Management Frameworks
    3. Portfolio Management Frameworks
    4. Project Management Frameworks
    5. Operations Management Frameworks
    6. EA and IT Financial Management processes