Tag Archives: enterprise continuum

Enterprise Continuum as a part of TOGAF helps innovating at intersections fun…


What is common with Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg both of them have being huge successes in what they offered to the world. They stand for make a dent in the Universe and yes they did it. If you see both of them they did play at intersections and ended up disrupting more than one industry. Steve Jobs combined design and technology and made owing hardware akin to buy vintage art or jewelry. Before him people had given up on hardware which was not good looking and aesthetic, he created awe inspiring products by combining design and technology. Similar is Facebook which combines social and technology to have connected almost all of the world.

Like wise it is when it play at intersections you have multiple opportunities of disrupting more than one field. Likewise when you see many fintech start-ups they are all playing at various intersections.

You have banking intersecting payments.

Payments intersecting retails

Payments intersecting travel

Payments intersecting eCommerce

Loan industry intersecting real estate

CRM industry intersecting credit card industry

Hospitality industry intersects Banking

The list is endless and the possibilities are very many. Playing at intersections has more than one advantage as you are exposed to ideas which flower and cross pollinate when they collide with other ideas and give birth to fresh new design and offerings. This is not possible when you work in isolation in one area. Most often these work best when not compartmentalized in siloed states , they need a continuum or an ecosystem where all people involved in the value chain to the end customer are brought on the same table and it can lead to fusion and myriad colour all coming together.

Enterprise Continuum from the Open Group is one such initiative that aims at connecting the buyer, seller and the internal teams of a value chain together if you were to look at it from Michael Porters famous value chain. This continuum has enabled many an industry to stay connected with their entire ecosystem such as partners , sellers and their own teams delivering on many mandates. One such example of how this would work in practice would be let’s take the example of a Salesforce team which has many partners that it is depended on it and all such information relevant and shareable to both parties will be made available. This means all that can be shared preserving all IP and NDA issues shall be made seamlessly available to both connected parties across the board with the same level of understanding in taxonomy and jargons which bring all parties in an engagement on the same level. The Enterprise Continuum takes this further and extends it to have internal teams , partners and vendors all on this connected platform. Once this clarity is there in the ecosystem it becomes easy to build, integrate, brainstorm, enhance or do anything is required for the moment. This might sound utopian but if implemented well with the support of a visionary leader, it has the power to transform most issues arising out of working in silos across industries.

Dow went from being a Inorganic company to being an Organic Company to being a plastics company to being a food company. These are not simple transformations or transitions. Now they are embracing the culture of innovating at intersections at the intersections of material science , biological science and physics.

Why Enterprise Continuum of TOGAF Amidst Of All This Talk of Innovation ?


Enterprise Continuum from the Open Group is quote “The Enterprise Continuum provides methods for classifying architecture and solution artifacts, both internal and external to the Architecture Repository, as they evolve from generic Foundation Architectures to Organization-Specific Architectures.”.

In short the above diagram shows how a company can go about organizing its organization artifacts from generic to specific. The more you move towards foundation architectures it would be generic and the more one moves towards the right towards organization specific architectures you narrow down the scope and genericity. The diagram has both architectural and solution assets which allows for abstraction from logical to physical which is fundamental to good architectural work. As you can see a company or organization can starts it journey by beginning with Foundation Architectures and move towards Common Systems Architecture where you have narrowed down your architecture from blue sky generic architecture where the scope of building the most generic architecture is toned down to concentrating on the core domain de-scoping the operating systems and network architecture portions of the same. Now you focus on the industry that you are working on and store industry specific architecture in the industry architecture section. Let’s say you are a developing a banking software then all the other industries that you closely work with such as CRM , Payments , Retail , Financial Services, regulatory services, credit cards will find a place in the industry architecture section. But your focus in the year one of architecture / product development shall be only on building banking software which happens to your core focus area. Again you as a company keeping adding features to your core product, you will refer back to the industry specific architectures to add differentiators in your core product. When you are marrying a core banking product with a payments feature then you potentially refer to the industry specific architectures section of your enterprise continuum and then pick the relevant architectures and go about building your feature. Now this is a value add that Enterprise Continuum brings to the table where you as an organization developing a product also refers to architectures specific to your industry and this can help you in innovating at intersections.

Have such an integrated concept for knowledge and artifacts managements can go a long way in helping a company with innovation at intersections. This means you can work along side product, industry boundaries and if done well you are poised to disrupting more than one industry. Enterprise Continuum also can be created for your specific needs and reflects your journey and what artifacts you as an organization is interested in and help you go back and forth and exploit potential innovation that can happen at boundaries.

Open Group has a extension of this concept where industry specific artifacts for oil and gas, telecom, mining, supply chain are available and companies can become members and look at what is of interest to them by being part of the community and benefit from the same.

They say it is fun “Innovating at Intersections” Enterprise Continuum of TOGAF has an answer to this.  Would love to hear your thoughts on the same.


US Library of Congress – Knowledge Management Where are you in your Organization’s journey ?



The US Library of Congress is one of the largest libraries where knowledge of most facets of humanity such as arts, science , astronomy , folklore, traditions , math,architecture etal is stored and preserved over years. This has survived many a century or two as we march in the 21st century and is a laudable effort in knowledge management by any standards. When you want an organization to be built that it wants built to last kind of foundations then it is imperative that the knowledge management surrounding it should be quite solid and future looking.

Knowledge management is an essential component to the Enterprise transformation exercise. The reason being if you are not sure where you currently are then it is not possible to go where you want to go ? It is like having a blueprint of what artifacts you have on your product portfolio and get to know how they all fit in.

Knowledge is like data in a database and management often would how you would manage the data and give meaningful information around it. Knowledge management would be about easy retrieval of information which would mean that you have to a good job of configuration management system around it this is a given and true of all configuration management systems.

Typically in an organization knowledge management would involve storing design documents, code , configurations , tar/war files and all such information that is useful to them and would need to retook at them from time to time.But most often in companies you have people asking around saying do we have an RFP to respond to that client request. Do we have an reference architecture document that would help us is not reinventing the wheel and respond to the client from a similar geography without having to go through specific region specific customization needs. What this means that all of this promotes for greater reuse and reduction of rework and help more better time of an organization’s time and resources.

Do you know what all can be stored in an Organization’s repository ?

1. Industry Standards Information

2. Internal Standards Document

3. Project Closure Documents

4. Governance Log Details

5. Artifacts of all kinds in a company ( code , docs ( SRS , user stories (if you are an agile shop ), architecture specs , business process docs, diagrams,matrices,catalogs)

6. Solution Specific Artifacts

7. Reference Architecture models for the product or service that you are positioning yourself.If you are new to reference architecture then here is a link to a video explaining the same.

8. Have you ever thought of linking this knowledge base to the extent that the information sharing makes sense to your client , partners and vendors ecosystem giving all the IP protection , NDA etal in place.

This is exactly what enterprise continuum in TOGAF paves way for and help an organization create a knowledge ecosystem that will help organization make faster procurement decisions, buy v/s build decisions and simply provide for agility during business transformations.Enterprise Continuum in TOGAF is a concept that has provisions for all of the above and is indicative of how an enterprise should structure its assets if you want to thrive in the knowledge economy. If you know what you have well then you can go ahead and add / subtract the features needed. Most companies at times think it is an overhead along with their day to day run the business model to keep their knowledge base updated.

Most often unit / organization heads have this moment of ground shifting from under their feet when asked “How are we go from this product to the next version of the product?” or “What is the effort involved in getting this product multi currency enabled?. These questions become much easier to answer if you have a strong knowledge management practice. These facts cannot be gathered on their finger tips but with working towards a culture where the knowledge within the company is available to one and all and most important easily structured and retrievable would decide how good it is at business agility and moving ahead.

Image Credit : wiki