Architecture for the masses!
Introducing Hosted Continuity Architecture on Demand
Dr Chris O’Leary
Director of Architecture, Hosted Continuity
If you think good architecture is expensive, try bad architecture.
-- Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder
Information and communication technology (ICT) architecture is a critical component of managing and developing the systems and operating environment of an organisation. Architecture is the glue that binds an organisation’s business with its information services to realise the benefits of investment in information systems and information technology. As such, there are many identifiable, valuable benefits attributable to ICT architecture, including the following:
- The ability to manage and understand the continuous change required in the current business climate; and to make this change a competitive advantage aligned with organisational vision, goals, needs and strategies.
- Capability to do more with less, by identifying the “best”, more cost effective, efficient technologies that meet organisational standards; and defining a roadmap for their effective adoption.
- Provide greater flexibility by focusing on open standards and technologies; allowing the solution to move with ongoing business requirements. This in turn drives solution integrity; enabling current and future business and non-functional requirements to be met and future requirements (even unwritten ones) to be documented when necessary.
- Provides the mechanism to be aware of and effectively utilise emerging technologies (e.g. Cloud; real-time analytics, Big Data, System/Partner integration, mobile, environment planning, content management, Web 2.0 / 3.0, Internet of Things, smart grids, strategy) and meet regulatory and business drivers.
- Architecture provides a basis for reuse, reducing the overall cost of a system and increasing quality by leveraging proven solution assets.
- Helps manage complexity, with increased understanding and ability to identify and engineer simpler systems.
- Reduction in maintenance costs, through improved documentation, cheaper support mechanisms (e.g. Platform-As-A-Service).
- Ensure high quality systems. Qualities such as performance, security, maintainability and scalability cannot be achieved in the absence of an architectural vision.
But isn’t ICT Architecture only for Large Organisations?
Traditionally, due to the cost required to acquire, train and maintain competent architects, ICT architecture has been the domain of large organisations and consulting organisations. However, with the advent of social media, collaborative knowledge management and information ecosystem harvesting, high quality architectural expertise can be cost-effectively provided to small / medium sized organisations; and larger organisations with limited budgets. The use of a Cloud-based, virtual and world-wide architectural community associated with innovative knowledge management allows for ICT architecture to be tailored and offered to all organisations for a fraction of the traditional cost.
Introducing Hosted Continuity Architecture-On-Demand
Hosted Continuity’s Architecture-on-Demand is a proven mechanism utilising the Cloud and knowledge communities to seek and provide ICT architecture largely virtually. Relevant, current information is sourced worldwide via these knowledge communities, and is quality assessed, collated and provided to subscribing organisations as they need it. As such, there is no resource overhead or long-term consultant engagement required; and relevant information and architectural artefacts can be acquired quickly and in a highly cost-effective manner.
So how does Architecture-on-Demand work?
Architecture-on-Demand is a growing and constantly evolving ecosystem of ICT architecture and ICT knowledge communities that are managed and information harvested by Hosted Continuity’s knowledge management system. The ecosystem consists of various community groups (e.g. architectural user groups, technology users, buyers, vendors, support networks and other parties) and leverages explicit (e.g. artefacts) and implicit (e.g. experiences) knowledge to synthesise and provide architectural solutions as demanded by client organisations. A high-level schematic of Architecture-on-Demand is provided in the diagram below.
In the above diagram, architectural content is obtained from an evolving and growing set of explicit and implicit data sources and synthesised and qualified by Hosted Continuity to be provided to consuming organisations as architecture-as-a-service. Provided architectural artefacts may consist of architectural resources and/or other work products such as designs, solutions, troubleshooting services, numerous architectural services for specific elements such as security, enterprise, business, information, infrastructure, and so on).
What does Architecture-on-Demand cover?
Architecture-on-Demand leverages social collaboration and knowledge ecosystems, so it continues to evolve to encompass emerging trends as well as best practices for established technologies. A general overview of the broad and increasing set of subject areas covered by Hosted Continuity’s Architecture-on-Demand is presented in the diagram below.
|Governance & Architectural Strategy
||Alignment to Corporate Strategy | Capability Assessment | Roadmaps & Blueprints | Standards | Certification & Compliance | Maturity Enhancement | Training and Development | Resourcing | Patterns |
|Enterprise Systems & Applications Architecture
||ERP (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Cloud, Open Source, etc) | CRM (Siebel, SAP, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Open Source, etc) | Integrated business planning | Mainframes | Core Systems Maintenance & Transformation | System & Solution Agility
||Cloud Strategy & Implementation | Business Activity / Service Monitoring & SLA measurement | Incident / Problem Management | ITIL | Dispatch & Field Service Management | Change Management
||Data Warehousing | ETL | Reporting | Strategy | Design | Implementation | Data Migration | Reconciliation | Analytics | Master Data Management | Specific BI Algorithms (e.g. trending, forecasting, pattern recognition, etc)
||Architecture / Design / Implementation | ESB (IBM, Tibco, Oracle, Microsoft, Software AG, Open Source, etc | B2B, SOA & Public/Private/Hybrid Cloud Solutions | BPM | Portals | Entity Recognition
||Current State Assessment | Business Building Blocks | Business Value Chain analysis | Business Transformative Architecture | Process analysis & re-design | Process Automation | Target Business Architecture Models | Mobility | Operational risk management | Policies
||Database and Data Governance | Document Management | Web 3.0 / Semantic Web | Content Management | Data Quality | Metadata Management | Search & Navigation | Big Data | In Memory Data Grids | Enterprise Canonical Data Models
||Identity management | Network Security | Physical Security | Firewall Protection | Data Leakage Protection | Intrusion Prevention | Layer Protection| Virus / Malware Prevention | Threat & Vulnerability Management | Endpoint Protection | Cryptography | Certificate Authority | Cloud
|Infrastructure / Network Architecture
||Data centre / Cloud | Grid Architecture | Network & Communications | Monitoring | Infrastructure Utilisation & Strategy | Storage | Backup & Archiving | Appliances | Office Management | Software | Database infrastructure | Web Infrastructure | Environment Management
|Business Continuity Management
||High / Continuous Availability Architecture | Business Continuity Planning & Execution | Risk and Compliance | Standards | Disaster Recovery | Testing | Patch Management | Audit Management
So what’s in it for me? How can my company benefit from Architecture-on-Demand?
You are in control. Clients of Hosted Continuity Architecture-on-Demand can review and select high calibre resources that meet their specific needs, and pay only for what they need.
No overheads or consulting armies! Architecture-on-Demand is largely virtual and you can obtain high quality ICT architectural artefacts at a fraction of the costs of traditional methods.
Current and high quality. Hosted Continuity’s knowledge management and collaboration communities ensure that architectural knowledge is current and qualified by actual consensus and experience.
Exceeds expectations. Architecture-on-Demand includes a current state assessment and agreed scope to ensure there is full transparency and control over results provided to the client organisation at all times.
Security. All client organisational intellectual property is protected with no data shared without explicit permission. Hosted Continuity engage in commercial arrangements and non-disclosure agreements with all client organisations to ensure sensitive and commercial-in-confidence data is fully protected at all times. You are always in control.
Proven results. Architecture-on-Demand has returned excellent results for a wide range of large, medium and small Australian and international organisations across a wide spectrum of industry types. Please contact Hosted Continuity directly for case studies and reference sites attesting to the value that can be provided by Architecture-on-Demand.