No Crystal Ball for Enterprise Architecture Methodology

Do You Have a Crystal Ball:

3 Future State Architecture Keys to Make them Think So!

Documenting the current state architecture is a must to any enterprise or system architecture report, and even though we understand this, it’s the future state that everyone is anxious to see and share. Let’s face it – they are also waiting to critique it. There are components of a future architecture that make or break its impending success – or failure. It seems that there are three surefire keys that you can include to ensure success!

Let’s suppose you are responsible for the System Architecture or Solution Architecture for a new custom application in your enterprise. What mandatory items should your checklist include when documenting the future architecture?

1) Strategic Direction

Opportunity creation can be achieved by analyzing relationships between Strategic Drivers and Business Architecture Components. Those who need to buy into your future state architecture need to be able to visualize the opportunities, and taste those benefits! The business architecture should include these items to articulate strategic direction:

  • List and adequately describe the Strategic Drivers behind the architecture. If there are many to be listed, separate them into “Primary” and “Secondary” or some other tiered scheme.
  • What new opportunities will be addressed by the new system?
  • What potential future opportunities are on the horizon can be accommodated by the future state architecture (read flexibility!)

2) Justification should be the key focus in the System Architecture (Application & Information). You will gather information for justification of system enhancements while analyzing the relationships between the Strategic Drivers and the System Architectures

  • Define what kinds of application systems will be relevant to the enterprise (based on strategic drivers)
  • Describe the application as logical groups of capabilities that manage the information (capabilities that match to the strategic drivers)
  • Describe the methods that support the business functions described in the Business Architecture (Linkage)

Include these items in terms of both the Application and Information, and you will have justified the new system.

3) Automation Efficiency should be the key focus in the Technology Architecture. Benefits can be collected when analyzing relationships between Strategic Drivers and Technology Architecture.

  • Describe future standards and technology principles required to support the new system (based on the strategic drivers)
  • Describe the technology platform required for the new system
  • Describe the anticipated distribution of data and applications

If you are able to create a visual presentation for your audience, include these three main points on your agenda – tell them that you will prove that your future state architecture provides alignment with strategic direction, added capabilities to enable business drivers, as well as automation efficiency using technology, and I’m sure that you will definitely have an interested audience!

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Happy Architecting


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