2 years, 8 months ago

EAdirections Tenth Anniversary Observations

Through ten years of working with dozens of companies, we have seen a lot of good and some not so good developments related to Enterprise Architecture. In recognition of those 10 years, those dozens of companies, and continued success, we would like t…

2 years, 8 months ago

EAdirections Tenth Anniversary Observations

Through ten years of working with dozens of companies, we have seen a lot of good and some not so good developments related to Enterprise Architecture. In recognition of those 10 years, those dozens of companies, and continued success, we would like t…

2 years, 9 months ago

Enterprise Architecture and Target Operating Models

How often is an established Enterprise Architecture approach used to create a Target Operating Model? If the answer is not often, then why not? If the answer is yes all the time, then how should we go about creating one ? Are traditional consultancy approaches to target operating models good enough? What is an Operating […]

3 years, 9 months ago

Your Next Business Transformations will require a Hybrid Cloud Architecture

This posting represents highlights of the upcoming
presentations at the annual Oracle EA Summit, October 27 at Oracle OpenWorld.  Talk to your Oracle account manager for an
invitation – Today!

The public cloud has typically been outside of the domain of
enterprise architects. On the surface, it has been considered an external silo
where procurement decisions have been driven by line of business executives. But not anymore. Business processes extend into the
cloud. And, the cloud extends into the
enterprise.

However, this state of affairs is changing rapidly as
customers increasingly embrace cloud computing. Enterprise architects are
called on not only to review public cloud implementations but also to
understand how best to integrate new cloud offerings with existing on-premises
information systems. Most companies will have a combination of assets combining
public cloud SaaS, PaaS and IaaS with their existing on-premises systems. The
marketing folks are calling this Hybrid IT. Enterprise architects therefore face a new set of challenges as they
figure out how to integrate these systems with each other.

Today’s enterprise architects face a shifting set of
circumstances. In the next two years, a growing number of companies plan to
move key parts of their computing workloads to public clouds to take advantage
of lights-out automated software provisioning and management, rapid project
implementation, elastic scalability, and subscription-based pricing models. To
keep up with consumer demand, IT has become an external service broker. In some
cases IT pros have been forced to support heterogeneous cloud “silos”
that may have proprietary methods of security, integration, management, and
governance. These trends are forcing core IT departments to formalize
enterprise governance and enterprise architecture to mitigate risk.

Oracle EA Summit Agenda 

The Oracle Enterprise Architecture team has helped a number
of large-scale early adopters on their journey to a variety of Hybrid implementations. At this year’s Oracle Enterprise
Architecture Summit, held at Oracle Open World on September 27, 2015, three
customer architects will speak to their experiences in building these next
generation platforms. See
the full agenda and abstracts here
.

  • Dev/Test in the Oracle Public Cloud
  • Big Data in the Oracle Public Cloud
  • Integration in the Oracle Public Cloud

As a bonus, Peter Magnusson, SVP Cloud Development, Oracle
will clarify the requirements and plans for Oracle’s enterprise-class and production
workload cloud services.  Last year,
Thomas Kurian, President, Development, Oracle also spoke to the landscape of technology cloud services. You
can read that article here
.

To learn more about Hybrid IT and Oracle’s Cloud Services,
come to Oracle’s EA Summit, October 27 at Oracle OpenWorld in SF. Talk to your Oracle account manager for an
invitation – Today!

3 years, 9 months ago

Your Next Business Transformations will require a Hybrid Cloud Architecture

This posting represents highlights of the upcomingpresentations at the annual Oracle ECA Summit, October 27 at Oracle OpenWorld.  Talk to your Oracle account manager for aninvitation – Today!

The public cloud has typically been outside of the domain ofenterprise architects. On the surface, it has been considered an external silowhere procurement decisions have been driven by line of business executives. But not anymore. Business processes extend into thecloud. And, the cloud extends into theenterprise.

However, this state of affairs is changing rapidly ascustomers increasingly embrace cloud computing. Enterprise architects arecalled on not only to review public cloud implementations but also tounderstand how best to integrate new cloud offerings with existing on-premisesinformation systems. Most companies will have a combination of assets combiningpublic cloud SaaS, PaaS and IaaS with their existing on-premises systems. Themarketing folks are calling this Hybrid IT. Enterprise architects therefore face a new set of challenges as theyfigure out how to integrate these systems with each other.

Today’s enterprise architects face a shifting set ofcircumstances. In the next two years, a growing number of companies plan tomove key parts of their computing workloads to public clouds to take advantageof lights-out automated software provisioning and management, rapid projectimplementation, elastic scalability, and subscription-based pricing models. Tokeep up with consumer demand, IT has become an external service broker. In somecases IT pros have been forced to support heterogeneous cloud “silos”that may have proprietary methods of security, integration, management, andgovernance. These trends are forcing core IT departments to formalizeenterprise governance and enterprise architecture to mitigate risk.

Oracle ECA Summit Agenda 

The Oracle Enterprise Architecture team has helped a numberof large-scale early adopters on their journey to a variety of Hybrid implementations. At this year’s Oracle Enterprise Cloud Architecture Summit, held at Oracle Open World on October 27, 2015, threecustomer architects will speak to their experiences in building these nextgeneration platforms. Seethe full agenda and abstracts here.

  • Dev/Test in the Oracle Public Cloud
  • Big Data in the Oracle Public Cloud
  • Integration in the Oracle Public Cloud

As a bonus, Peter Magnusson, SVP Cloud Development, Oraclewill clarify the requirements and plans for Oracle’s enterprise-class and productionworkload cloud services.  Last year,Thomas Kurian, President, Development, Oracle also spoke to the landscape of technology cloud services. Youcan read that article here.

To learn more about Hybrid IT and Oracle’s Cloud Services,come to Oracle’s ECA Summit, October 27 at Oracle OpenWorld in SF. Talk to your Oracle account manager for aninvitation – Today!

3 years, 11 months ago

DATA Act IT Infrastructure – Platform Consolidation, Virtualization & Collaborative …

Momentum and activity regarding the Data Act is gathering steam, and off to a great start. The DATA Act directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to establish government-wide financial reporting data standards by May 2015. The act also requires agencies to begin reporting financial spending data using these standards by May 2017 and to post spending data on USASpending.gov or an alternate system by May 2018.

According to many reports, including a recent GAO testimony, “OMB and Treasury have taken several significant steps towards meeting these requirements including the release of 27 discrete data standards, draft technical specifications, and implementation guidance intended to help federal agencies meet their responsibilities under the act. However, given the government-wide scope of the technical and cultural reforms required by the DATA Act, much more remains to be done…OMB and Treasury have proposed standardizing 57 data elements for reporting under the act. They released 15 elements in May 2015, a year after the passage of the act, and have since released 12 more. Eight of these were new elements required under the DATA Act; the balance of the first 15 data elements were required under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA). Officials told us that they expect to complete the process by the end of the summer.”

Reaching the 2017/2018 milestones, however, will require IT infrastructure change. Some change may be simple or take advantage of existing modernization efforts; much change will be very difficult, complex and/or costly. Strategies to prepare for this change, and catalyze it, are not yet part of the government-led discussion – but they are now part of the industry-led discussion, per this new Executive Report from ACT-IAC, co-authored by Oracle: “The DATA Act – IT Infrastructure Guidance Change Facilitation for IT Departments”.

At this time, there is considerable effort and oversight focused, and rightly so, on essentially the requirements and governance around the requirements, i.e. (as the GAO report focuses on) things like:

  • Data Standards Governance
  • Identification of Data Programs
  • Stakeholder Collaboration

Yet this effort only address the first few steps towards solution strategy, design and implementation (therefore including information technology infrastructure), as Treasury recommends in its DATA Act Playbook: “To assist agencies with implementation, Treasury recommends eight key steps that can help agencies fulfill the requirements of the DATA Act by leveraging existing capabilities and streamlining implementation efforts.”

The eight key steps are:

(These are well underway by many entities)

1. Organize Your Team: Create an agency DATA Act work group including impacted communities within your agency and designate a Senior Accountability Officer (SAO);
2. Review Elements: Review the list of DATA Act elements and participate in data definitions standardization;

(The following are not yet commonly underway)

3. Inventory Data: Perform an inventory of agency data and associated business processes and systems;
4. Design & Strategize: Plan changes to systems and business processes to capture financial, procurement, and financial assistance data;
5. Execute Broker: Implement a “broker”at the agency.  The broker is a virtual data layer at the agency that maps, ingests, transforms, validates, and submits agency data into a format consistent with the DATA Act Schema (i.e., data exchange standards).  
6. Test Broker Implementation: Test broker outputs to ensure data is accurate and reliable;
7. Update Systems: Implement other system changes (e.g., establish linkages between program and financial data, and capture any new data); and
8. Submit Data: Update and refine process (repeat 5-7 as needed)

Acknowledgement of the change ahead for IT departments is out there, though…”Creating the linkages for these data (i.e. the mapping among data across various systems) is going to be one of the biggest challenges for many federal agencies. While it might seem like a relatively straight-forward task, the volume of data and the complexity of systems make it a significant challenge.” – Statement of David A. Lebryk, Fiscal Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Technology and Subcommittee on Government Operations, United States House of Representatives, July 29, 2015

The ACT-IAC paper lays out three fundamental tenets for addressing this change, to help either reduce or facilitate processing the volumes of data, and most importantly, to reduce the complexity of the system changes required.

Consolidation: the DATA Act mandate includes no new budget, yet requires agencies to instigate or take advantage of a wealth of shared services and data management improvement or modernization programs already underway, both in government and industry, to reduce duplication and unnecessary IT management and integration complexities. Message: “standardization and consolidation initiatives are a priority, aligned via enterprise architecture tenets.”

Engaged governance: most public sector agencies are faced with generational data management change drivers already, from big data to secure mobile analytics requirements. This federal-led initiative provides a top-down, organizational imperative for actionable, cost-effective data governance across the entire community of data users and stewards. Message: “let’s get committed, transparent, and hands-on with data governance.”

Virtualization: the variety of data standards and processing maturity across all the stakeholders is so great, from federal to state, local, and private recipients, that the elements of a solution will require a great deal of abstraction from the legacy data stores, systems and acquisition plans that can’t easily be changed. This introduces a dynamic, agile layer of usefulness between the existing IT infrastructure and new users with high, consumer-driven expectations. Message: “do no harm, but expose tangible value quickly.”

Contact me or anyone at Oracle for more information about challenges regarding IT Consolidation (including Data Integration, Master Data & Data Integration Services, i.e. “Broker” approaches), Collaborative & Engaged IT Governance, or IT Virtualization Strategies (from platform technologies to cloud services) – whether to prepare your agency for DATA Act compliance, or to simply advance and accelerate IT modernization altogether.

3 years, 11 months ago

DATA Act IT Infrastructure – Platform Consolidation, Virtualization & Collaborative Governance as Change Enablers

Momentum and activity regarding the Data Act is gathering steam, and off to a great start. Reaching the 2017/2018 milestones, however, will require IT infrastructure change.
Some change may be simple or take advantage of existing modernization
efforts; much change will be very difficult, complex and/or costly.
Strategies to prepare for this change, and catalyze it, are not yet part
of the government-led discussion – but they are now part of the
industry-led discussion, per this new Executive Report from ACT-IAC, co-authored by Oracle: “The DATA Act – IT Infrastructure Guidance Change Facilitation for IT Departments”.

7 years, 6 months ago

Enterprise Architecture vs. SOA Architecture Part III

It’s nice (and humbling) to know that people read one’s blog.  I got a note from a reader that said:

“I understand that SOA is more concerned with business services integration and EA is concerned with dealing with enterprise-level infrastructure and business components.

If you could, would you be able to provide a brief definition of them both in your own words that clearly distinguish the differences? (that’s different from my one?)”

Good question.  SOA, I’ll give it a try (forgive the pun).  This is strictly off the cuff, my cuff, recognizing that there are plenty of places to dig up various definitions of the two.

Enterprise Architecture – The documenting and mapping of corporate strategic initiatives and strategies to the technological underpinnings that need to be in place to optimally deliver on those strategies.  What makes EA more than an intellectual or academic exercise is that it provides the governance scaffolding to ensure that the required work gets done to plan and deliver on required/key IT products/services/capabilities.  Importantly, EA is not focused on any one technology or technology bucket in isolation, but how they work in consort to ultimately provide business capabilities.

Service Oriented Architecture – An architectural approach to creating software applications and system integrations which focuses on the notion of Services; reusable software components that leverage open standards.  This provides a vehicle for companies to create applications more rapidly than ever before through composite service assembly/orchestration.  Because they are Service-based, they are, at the same time, more flexible. Though SOA itself has nothing to do with any specific technology (it is architecture and an approach), Service creation/assembly/orchestration is often enabled through technologies such as Java, XML, and Web services.

Is that useful?

8 years, 3 months ago

Enterprise IT’s Inflection Point!

Of late, the online media is flooded with plenty of articles/opinions on the future of Enterprise IT and CIO roles in next decades. Why do we see such futuristic, inspirational, transformational viewpoints doing the rounds these days? I strongly believ…

8 years, 8 months ago

Announcing NEW Architect Resources "IT Strategies from Oracle"

Announcing the availability of free, new reference architecture assets from Oracle. IT Strategies from Oracle is an authorized library of guidelines and reference architectures that will help you better plan, execute, and manage your enterprise architecture and IT initiatives. The…