Was at the open group conference at Bangalore and spoke on “Enterprise Architecture and Keeping your business relevant”. Was off to native and could manage to attend the second day of the conference at Phillips Innovation Campus.
Initial Talk was by Jason Uppal on how EA was used to solve problems in the heath care industry and his experience in the same with some case studies.
Some interesting perspectives on initiatives from the Open Group to take Togaf body of knowledge to colleges along with Computer Society of India and an effort to popularize it apart from being used by the industry alone.India ranks third in the list of Togaf certified candidates and increasing year on year. This was briefed by James of the Open Group.
EA and the Developing World
Far away countries such as Finland and Brunei are also adopting Togaf and there is growing list of developing countries such as Mongolia which also is adopting Togaf for overall streaming lining of IT services. This was presented by Vish Vishwanath of CC and C solutions.He also walked through the penetration of EA in these markets and how EA can significantly be used to solve newer technology adoption issues. Developing countries will have to go through the same curve where EA can play a good role in packaging and getting your business / IT strategy right. This market is hugely untapped and really be a good case in point to explore and would most likely a candidate where future success stories would be crafted.
Keeping Your Product/Solution Relevant
Spoke on using EA to help keeping the business relevant. Touched upon how a reference architecture helps create a north star to follow. How a large company can stay agile and make quick turn around as it is said making “Making an Elephant Dance”. Most large corporations are now focusing on learning this key skill. Gave a brief presentation with 18 list of TODO’s for a company (product/solution). Irrespective of the size of the company the ability to dance to various market and customer tunes is what helps it stay on top of the curve. The presentation details are shared here. All of the slides have 18 TODOs listed ( in no specific order ) and each category needs a deep dive into what can fit well for an organization specific context. Overall a handpicked set of initiatives that help a product or a solution to be relevant in today’s times. Even implementing a few of these initiatives to a reasonable degree of seriousness can create the hockey stick effect on your annual performance report , which is the last slide of the presentation.
Commoditization of EA
That apart there was a talk on how EA is being packaged and off shored an IBM perspective by Sreekanth. This dealt with the issues of putting solution architecture work miles away from where it is being consumed and how technology has progressed in making this happen. How customer’s are now adopting this mode of delivery and look forward to having a robust process framework around this to help with getting predictable and estimates for the same. Ideally they would like to have better control on the work pieces assigned to the team off shored to and be able to estimate and bill accordingly. As a lot of things are new on this front as always it takes sometime to stabilize things on this front. Have come across SAP and other vendors opting for a packaged implementation points sort of a things which is like a work break down structure for your activity at customer location. World is indeed getting flat including off shoring innovation work till the point that you are not sure your idea is going to fly. In which case more clarity emerges and all trial and product pivoting also is getting off shored.
There was a talk by Hari from TCS on a case study of who they used Archiemate to map customer requirements and showcase value to the customer end user on use of the same. This is a neat initiative that is picking up momentum on tying together business and IT together. UML is for techies and not all business nuances can be conveyed using the same. The business folks are not UML friendly and a free format diagramming visual standard such Archiemate is useful in helping bridging the gap between the two.
Disconnect between Archiemate and Togaf : For people entirely new to these they need to be treated separately and does not pose a problem. For folks coming from the Togaf world there seems to be a missing perspective ( data ) which archiemate has across all the layers and gives primary prominence to Business , Application and Technology at least in the views. The data part of the details are implicit across the visual representation of Archiemate and quite embedded as a part of Business , Application and Technology instead of being treated separate. Quite understandable as bringing data architecture at a overview level can pose the trees get coverage instead of the forest. Anyway it is a step to bridge the divide between business and IT. Have heard about how this standard is helping many approach architecture diagrams without being overwhelmed at the outset with semantics of the new standard or other intricacies of UML which for a person from the business would be hard to scale upto. Certain regions have a good adoption of this standard and certain countries are ok with BPMN / UML or arbitary or No UML as it is referred to where every organization creates a standard that suits its needs the best with legends etc.
A weekend well spent discussing things that matter and can change lives and our part in the same.Attending conferences always keeps you relevant and of course helps one in keeping abreast of what is happening around.