6 years, 6 months ago

Are you an Architect or an Engineer?

If you share any of my professional background and work experiences, I am sure this question must have popped in your head a few times! 

Zachman Framework clearly differentiates between the above two perspectives. As a matter of fact, Zachaman Framework clearly distinguishes between six perspectives, namely; Executive, Business Management, Architect, Engineer, Technician and the Enterprise. But I find the differentiation between Architect and Engineer perspective most interesting, probably because I started my professional life as a Software Engineer and then went onto play a range of Architect roles (Business, System, EA etc.) over the last fifteen years. 

I probably can recollect a dozen instances where these roles overlapped and can also recollect may be another dozen when there was a gap between the two. That probably is more a comment on the Operating Model issues! Referring back to Zachman Framework’s definitions, the two perspectives are defined as below;
Architect and Engineer Perspectives – in Zachman Framework
All Copyrights with Zachman International
The Architecture Perspective is about the Business Logic Designers. People who manage this perspective, namely Architect role profile works closely with Business Managers to understand the key business concepts and then turn them into representations. Zachman actually names them as System Entity and System Relationship representations. The Engineer Perspective is about as Zachman calls it, Business Physics Builders. In other words, Engineers work closely with Architects to turn System representations into Technology Specifications. Zachman actually uses an example of Technology Entity Relationship specifications.


TOGAF though defines Architect roles well; it probably does not clearly differentiate between an Architect and an Engineer at a role profile level. But it does offer a good methodical (as you can expect from TOGAF) and well defined classification of view; namely, Business Architecture View, Data Architecture View, Software Engineering View, System Engineering View and so on. In my opinion that works well too as with these views an organisation can then map roles, responsibilities of Architects and Engineers onto its operating model. 

While many readers of this blog may or may not agree with precise definitions, I think this is still a good enough framework for us to start building operating model constructs around how best do Architects work with Engineers? Or vice versa! In some organisation they may be played by single role profile, in large environments it may be spread across say two or three role profiles. In an outsourced environment, Architect role may still be part of the retained IT staff and Engineers (or Engineering Services) may be procured from suppliers. I suppose, individual organisational operating model will dictate the specifics on these.


What is your experience in your organisation? How do architects work with engineers in your organisation?

References and additional reading: 


6 years, 6 months ago

Are you an Architect or an Engineer?

If you share any of my professional background and work experiences, I am sure this question must have popped in your head a few times! 

Zachman Framework clearly differentiates between the above two perspectives. As a matter of fact, Zachaman Framework clearly distinguishes between six perspectives, namely; Executive, Business Management, Architect, Engineer, Technician and the Enterprise. But I find the differentiation between Architect and Engineer perspective most interesting, probably because I started my professional life as a Software Engineer and then went onto play a range of Architect roles (Business, System, EA etc.) over the last fifteen years. 

I probably can recollect a dozen instances where these roles overlapped and can also recollect may be another dozen when there was a gap between the two. That probably is more a comment on the Operating Model issues! Referring back to Zachman Framework’s definitions, the two perspectives are defined as below;
Architect and Engineer Perspectives – in Zachman Framework
All Copyrights with Zachman International
The Architecture Perspective is about the Business Logic Designers. People who manage this perspective, namely Architect role profile works closely with Business Managers to understand the key business concepts and then turn them into representations. Zachman actually names them as System Entity and System Relationship representations. The Engineer Perspective is about as Zachman calls it, Business Physics Builders. In other words, Engineers work closely with Architects to turn System representations into Technology Specifications. Zachman actually uses an example of Technology Entity Relationship specifications.


TOGAF though defines Architect roles well; it probably does not clearly differentiate between an Architect and an Engineer at a role profile level. But it does offer a good methodical (as you can expect from TOGAF) and well defined classification of view; namely, Business Architecture View, Data Architecture View, Software Engineering View, System Engineering View and so on. In my opinion that works well too as with these views an organisation can then map roles, responsibilities of Architects and Engineers onto its operating model. 

While many readers of this blog may or may not agree with precise definitions, I think this is still a good enough framework for us to start building operating model constructs around how best do Architects work with Engineers? Or vice versa! In some organisation they may be played by single role profile, in large environments it may be spread across say two or three role profiles. In an outsourced environment, Architect role may still be part of the retained IT staff and Engineers (or Engineering Services) may be procured from suppliers. I suppose, individual organisational operating model will dictate the specifics on these.


What is your experience in your organisation? How do architects work with engineers in your organisation?

References and additional reading: 


6 years, 7 months ago

The Zachman Framework – The Perfect Tool for Operating Model Management

I have written previously on this blog about leveraging Enterprise Architecture as a methodology for the Operating Model creation and management. In this blog post I will briefly outline mechanism and benefits of using industry leading Zachma…

6 years, 7 months ago

The Zachman Framework – The Perfect Tool for Operating Model Management

I have written previously on this blog about leveraging Enterprise Architecture as a methodology for the Operating Model creation and management. In this blog post I will briefly outline mechanism and benefits of using industry leading Zachma…

8 years, 2 days ago

Enterprise Architecture – A Perfect Tool for Operating Model Management

On this blog I have covered the discipline of Enterprise Architecture from a number of perspectives. Enterprise Architecture (EA) can be effectively leveraged as a foundation for Industry Reference Architectures e.g. The Retail Reference Architecture. Equally effectively EA can also be leveraged as the mechanism for Business and Technology Governance as well as Technology Performance Monitoring. In this article I would like to propose that Enterprise Architecture is also an effective tool for the Operating Model management, both for the definition as well as the ongoing lifecycle management. 
It may be worthwhile visiting some industry definitions for Operating Model before we explore how Enterprise Architecture can be effective here. The definition of Operating Model varies based on the Organisational and Operational context in which it is applied and hence probably one definition may not fit all Operating Model scenarios. However if I had to choose one definition, I would like to refer to the IBM’s definition of the Operating Model (see the picture below)
IBM Target Operating Model (TOM)

IBM proposes that a Target Operating Model (TOM) helps determine the best design and deployment of resources to achieve an organization’s business goals. It provides current operational maturity assessment and roadmap to defining and/or improving organisation’s Operations Strategy. Key deliverable include business review, current operating model assessment, desired future state and change management plan roadmap.
The TOM essentially is seen here as the mechanism to link the business goals and strategy of the organisation with the roadmap for change to achieve those goals. TOM then holds together various organisation concerns such as processes, technology, capabilities, customer view, governance and partners in a single cohesive fashion.
 
Now that we have briefly summarised an illustrative Operating Model definition, let us explore how Enterprise Architecture as a discipline or practice can be leveraged as a tool for its management. There are a number of good Enterprise Architecture Frameworks available for this purpose and recent revisions of certain frameworks have further established them as leading candidates for this purpose. I do not advocate or support a specific Enterprise Architecture Framework on this blog however for illustration purposes I am going to be using the TOGAF 9 as the tool for Operating Model Management. I would like to also mention the Zachman EA framework as the other leading framework which may be equally effective or in some application scenarios it may be a better fit. 
The purpose of this article is not to explain or define the TOGAF 9 and I would highly recommend visiting the OpenGroup website for relevant documentation. However for the ease of reference, I am going to share the TOGAF ADM which is the process for Enterprise Architecture Management in TOGAF. 
The process links the Vision and Strategy of the Organisation and its business / functions with a portfolio of change programs which realises this Strategy. TOGAF uses various architecture disciplines such as Business Architecture, Information Architecture (Data and Application) and Technology Architecture as mechanism for linking the Strategy with Implementation and Governance of Change programs to deliver on the Strategy. 
The central argument which I am now going to make is that such a process of Enterprise Architecture can be seamlessly deployed and leveraged to manage the Organisation Operating Model. A number of Enterprise Architecture Frameworks and especially Zachman categorically state that the application of Enterprise Architecture should not be restricted or limited to the Information Technology systems. It is a true framework for organisation and business management. For instance applying the TOGAF to manage the IBM TOM will result in following steps / mapping. The key here is to use tools, processes, approach, templates and constructs from each of the TOGAF ADM stage to define and develop the TOM stages as seen in figure – 1. 
  1. The business goals and strategy can be defined by the Preliminary phase while the vision underpinning this is defined in Phase A. Architecture Vision
  2. The Assets and the Locations of the TOM along with key processes can be captured and defined during the Phase B. Business Architecture
  3. Certain aspects of skills, capabilities, culture and processes too can be captured in Phase B
  4. The Technology, Processes, Performance Metrics can be captured through phases C and D while defining the Information and the Technology Architecture.
  5. The sourcing options and alliances can be identified and shortlisted in phase E. Opportunities and Solutions
  6. The phase F of migration planning can be used to identify the roadmap for change through what TOGAF calls as transition architectures
  7. Finally culture which is central to TOM needs to be constantly be a driving force as well as the recipient for the requirements for change
I would like to again highlight that this is simply an illustration of managing a view of Operating Model with a particular EA approach. However a number of other variations can be equally effectively managed by similar approach. It will probably make sense to present an illustration and mapping using other EA framework such as Zachman…may be a topic for next post on this blog!

References:

Strategy and transformation for a complex world, IBM Global Services, Mar 2011

The TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM)

The Zachman Framework

8 years, 2 days ago

Enterprise Architecture – A Perfect Tool for Operating Model Management

On this blog I have covered the discipline of Enterprise Architecture from a number of perspectives. Enterprise Architecture (EA) can be effectively leveraged as a foundation for Industry Reference Architectures e.g. The Retail Reference Architecture. Equally effectively EA can also be leveraged as the mechanism for Business and Technology Governance as well as Technology Performance Monitoring. In this article I would like to propose that Enterprise Architecture is also an effective tool for the Operating Model management, both for the definition as well as the ongoing lifecycle management. 

It may be worthwhile visiting some industry definitions for Operating Model before we explore how Enterprise Architecture can be effective here. The definition of Operating Model varies based on the Organisational and Operational context in which it is applied and hence probably one definition may not fit all Operating Model scenarios. However if I had to choose one definition, I would like to refer to the IBM’s definition of the Operating Model (see the picture below)
IBM Target Operating Model (TOM)

IBM proposes that a Target Operating Model (TOM) helps determine the best design and deployment of resources to achieve an organization’s business goals. It provides current operational maturity assessment and roadmap to defining and/or improving organisation’s Operations Strategy. Key deliverable include business review, current operating model assessment, desired future state and change management plan roadmap.
The TOM essentially is seen here as the mechanism to link the business goals and strategy of the organisation with the roadmap for change to achieve those goals. TOM then holds together various organisation concerns such as processes, technology, capabilities, customer view, governance and partners in a single cohesive fashion.
 
Now that we have briefly summarised an illustrative Operating Model definition, let us explore how Enterprise Architecture as a discipline or practice can be leveraged as a tool for its management. There are a number of good Enterprise Architecture Frameworks available for this purpose and recent revisions of certain frameworks have further established them as leading candidates for this purpose. I do not advocate or support a specific Enterprise Architecture Framework on this blog however for illustration purposes I am going to be using the TOGAF 9 as the tool for Operating Model Management. I would like to also mention the Zachman EA framework as the other leading framework which may be equally effective or in some application scenarios it may be a better fit. 


The purpose of this article is not to explain or define the TOGAF 9 and I would highly recommend visiting the OpenGroup website for relevant documentation. However for the ease of reference, I am going to share the TOGAF ADM which is the process for Enterprise Architecture Management in TOGAF. 
The process links the Vision and Strategy of the Organisation and its business / functions with a portfolio of change programs which realises this Strategy. TOGAF uses various architecture disciplines such as Business Architecture, Information Architecture (Data and Application) and Technology Architecture as mechanism for linking the Strategy with Implementation and Governance of Change programs to deliver on the Strategy. 
The central argument which I am now going to make is that such a process of Enterprise Architecture can be seamlessly deployed and leveraged to manage the Organisation Operating Model. A number of Enterprise Architecture Frameworks and especially Zachman categorically state that the application of Enterprise Architecture should not be restricted or limited to the Information Technology systems. It is a true framework for organisation and business management. For instance applying the TOGAF to manage the IBM TOM will result in following steps / mapping. The key here is to use tools, processes, approach, templates and constructs from each of the TOGAF ADM stage to define and develop the TOM stages as seen in figure – 1. 
  1. The business goals and strategy can be defined by the Preliminary phase while the vision underpinning this is defined in Phase A. Architecture Vision
  2. The Assets and the Locations of the TOM along with key processes can be captured and defined during the Phase B. Business Architecture
  3. Certain aspects of skills, capabilities, culture and processes too can be captured in Phase B
  4. The Technology, Processes, Performance Metrics can be captured through phases C and D while defining the Information and the Technology Architecture.
  5. The sourcing options and alliances can be identified and shortlisted in phase E. Opportunities and Solutions
  6. The phase F of migration planning can be used to identify the roadmap for change through what TOGAF calls as transition architectures
  7. Finally culture which is central to TOM needs to be constantly be a driving force as well as the recipient for the requirements for change
I would like to again highlight that this is simply an illustration of managing a view of Operating Model with a particular EA approach. However a number of other variations can be equally effectively managed by similar approach. It will probably make sense to present an illustration and mapping using other EA framework such as Zachman…may be a topic for next post on this blog!

References:

Strategy and transformation for a complex world, IBM Global Services, Mar 2011

The TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM)

The Zachman Framework

8 years, 1 month ago

The Rise and Rise of BYOD

Amazon Kindle V Apple iPad
As the festive and gift season approaches, our favourite consumer technology vendors are gearing up to release a range of new gadgets and consumer devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod for instance have dominated many a wish lists and gift lists for the past years. And Apple competitors are not far behind with Google, Samsung and lately Amazon with Kindle trying to steal the market share from Apple in this lucrative and ever-increasing consumer technology segment. This year in particular the tablet segment is abuzz with not one not two but three high-profile product launches just weeks ahead of the festive season. Apple iPad mini, Amazon’s new Kindle and the eagerly anticipated Microsoft tablet, all are slated to make blockbuster debut and coming after our share of gift season wallet. 
Apple iPhone V Samsung S3
And many of us, technology geeks or not are eagerly awaiting release and availability of such devices along with new smartphone models from Samsung’s new small S3 and Apple’s new big iPhone 5. But not everyone is happy with this onslaught of new consumer technology devices. And its not just the print media who is worried about losing yet another batch of potential traditional readers to these new breed of ebook and emagazine readers. A couple of my CIO and CTO friends who look after a large number of IT users for instance, are not particularly happy at these developments and the new flood of such devices. Why? The answer is simple….the rise and rise of the phenomenon called BYOD!
The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace, according to Gartner. So really what is BYOD? Gartner defines BYOD as an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use personally selected and purchased client devices to execute enterprise applications and access data. For most organizations, the program is currently limited to smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs and may include subsidies for equipment or service fees.
A recent survey of 578 senior-level executives commissioned by Cisco found that despite concerns from corporate officials, companies increasingly are allowing, in varying degrees, employees to use their own mobile devices – in particular, smartphones and tablets – in the workplace, and to access the corporate network and data. “Overall, the results found that although many executives are uneasy about the security of corporate information on mobile devices, the trend is largely unstoppable and proper policies must be initiated to underpin access to this sensitive information,” Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s newly promoted senior vice president of worldwide sales, wrote in an 10 October post on Cisco’s blog.
Tablets are fast becoming media consumers
The rise of smartphones and, more recently, tablets – fueled by Apple’s wildly popular iPad – have been the key drivers in the BYOD trend, where rather than accepting company-issued technology, workers have pushed to use their own devices for work. Cisco and a host of other vendors have for more than a year been rolling out solutions designed to make it easier for businesses to identify and manage employee-owned devices on the network, and to secure the companies’ information.  
According to the Cisco survey, conducted last month by Economist Intelligence Unit, most executives are uneasy about their companies’ mobile data-access policies, and while 42 percent said that C-level executives need secure and timely access to strategic data, only 28 percent said it’s appropriate to access this information from mobile devices. Forty-nine percent said that the complexity of securing so many different devices and a lack of knowledge about the security and risks involved with mobile access are top challenges for their firms.
This trend is set to grow exponentially next year – whether businesses actively manage it or not, according to a latest industry report published in IT Business Canada. Two-thirds of businesses already are seen some form of BYOD phenomenon in their office, but just one in four have actively created a policy that allows for consumer devices to be used in the workplace. The report quotes the findings of an Info-Tech Indaba survey sponsored by Telus Corp. This could cause problems raising security issues and complicating IT environments with multiple devices and operating systems. For 2013, the most popular technology for BYOD efforts is smartphones with 72 per cent of firms expressing at least some interest, according to Info-Tech. The next most popular is tablets with 64 per cent of businesses expressing interest, and then laptops with 59 per cent showing interest. 
As a recent CIO article has articulated, the best practice seems to be to centralize the purchase and deployment of tablets and smartphones. In addition to simplifying device management, this strategy gave the companies more leverage with their preferred carriers. When individual employees paid their monthly phone bills and submitted them on expense reports, the companies had no clout to negotiate with. When all the monthly bills were rolled into one, they got lower rates. As Gartner suggests IT’s best strategy to deal with the rise of BYOD is to address it with a combination of policy, software, infrastructure controls and education in the near term; and with application management and appropriate cloud services in the longer term. Policies must be built in conjunction with legal and HR departments for the tax, labor, corporate liability and employee privacy implications.

8 years, 1 month ago

The Rise and Rise of BYOD

Amazon Kindle V Apple iPad
As the festive and gift season approaches, our favourite consumer technology vendors are gearing up to release a range of new gadgets and consumer devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod for instance have dominated many a wish lists and gift lists for the past years. And Apple competitors are not far behind with Google, Samsung and lately Amazon with Kindle trying to steal the market share from Apple in this lucrative and ever-increasing consumer technology segment. This year in particular the tablet segment is abuzz with not one not two but three high-profile product launches just weeks ahead of the festive season. Apple iPad mini, Amazon’s new Kindle and the eagerly anticipated Microsoft tablet, all are slated to make blockbuster debut and coming after our share of gift season wallet. 
Apple iPhone V Samsung S3
And many of us, technology geeks or not are eagerly awaiting release and availability of such devices along with new smartphone models from Samsung’s new small S3 and Apple’s new big iPhone 5. But not everyone is happy with this onslaught of new consumer technology devices. And its not just the print media who is worried about losing yet another batch of potential traditional readers to these new breed of ebook and emagazine readers. A couple of my CIO and CTO friends who look after a large number of IT users for instance, are not particularly happy at these developments and the new flood of such devices. Why? The answer is simple….the rise and rise of the phenomenon called BYOD!
The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace, according to Gartner. So really what is BYOD? Gartner defines BYOD as an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use personally selected and purchased client devices to execute enterprise applications and access data. For most organizations, the program is currently limited to smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs and may include subsidies for equipment or service fees.
A recent survey of 578 senior-level executives commissioned by Cisco found that despite concerns from corporate officials, companies increasingly are allowing, in varying degrees, employees to use their own mobile devices – in particular, smartphones and tablets – in the workplace, and to access the corporate network and data. “Overall, the results found that although many executives are uneasy about the security of corporate information on mobile devices, the trend is largely unstoppable and proper policies must be initiated to underpin access to this sensitive information,” Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s newly promoted senior vice president of worldwide sales, wrote in an 10 October post on Cisco’s blog.
Tablets are fast becoming media consumers
The rise of smartphones and, more recently, tablets – fueled by Apple’s wildly popular iPad – have been the key drivers in the BYOD trend, where rather than accepting company-issued technology, workers have pushed to use their own devices for work. Cisco and a host of other vendors have for more than a year been rolling out solutions designed to make it easier for businesses to identify and manage employee-owned devices on the network, and to secure the companies’ information.  
According to the Cisco survey, conducted last month by Economist Intelligence Unit, most executives are uneasy about their companies’ mobile data-access policies, and while 42 percent said that C-level executives need secure and timely access to strategic data, only 28 percent said it’s appropriate to access this information from mobile devices. Forty-nine percent said that the complexity of securing so many different devices and a lack of knowledge about the security and risks involved with mobile access are top challenges for their firms.
This trend is set to grow exponentially next year – whether businesses actively manage it or not, according to a latest industry report published in IT Business Canada. Two-thirds of businesses already are seen some form of BYOD phenomenon in their office, but just one in four have actively created a policy that allows for consumer devices to be used in the workplace. The report quotes the findings of an Info-Tech Indaba survey sponsored by Telus Corp. This could cause problems raising security issues and complicating IT environments with multiple devices and operating systems. For 2013, the most popular technology for BYOD efforts is smartphones with 72 per cent of firms expressing at least some interest, according to Info-Tech. The next most popular is tablets with 64 per cent of businesses expressing interest, and then laptops with 59 per cent showing interest. 
As a recent CIO article has articulated, the best practice seems to be to centralize the purchase and deployment of tablets and smartphones. In addition to simplifying device management, this strategy gave the companies more leverage with their preferred carriers. When individual employees paid their monthly phone bills and submitted them on expense reports, the companies had no clout to negotiate with. When all the monthly bills were rolled into one, they got lower rates. As Gartner suggests IT’s best strategy to deal with the rise of BYOD is to address it with a combination of policy, software, infrastructure controls and education in the near term; and with application management and appropriate cloud services in the longer term. Policies must be built in conjunction with legal and HR departments for the tax, labor, corporate liability and employee privacy implications.