Service Architectures as Universal Foundations

business process chartEvery structure intended to endure begins with a sound architecture; a blueprint for success that maps out how the structure will be built and how the systems will interoperate. The reengineering of business structures and processes are no different in their need for a clear, well thought out road map to ensure success yet often, organizations begin restructuring in a piecemeal fashion in reaction to seemingly isolated problems.

Architectures choreograph change. They tell what, how, where, who, when, why for appropriate situational views, such as business process, system interchange, data communications, technology, etc. That is, architectures define sets of decisions that have strategic and broad impact. Ideally, an architecture is clear, complete, concise, correct, consistent, easy to use and easy to change.

An Architecture is a framework or “blueprint” for how the organization achieves the business objectives at hand and in the future. The Architecture defines the interrelationship among the key business, information, application, and technology strategies and their impact on business functions. As an example, a building’s architecture is more than a set of disjointed blueprints representing different views. The important element is how those views fit together and make the building function.

High-level diagrams explain the concept of the architecture to the owners of the building and allow them to decide if the overall approach will meet their needs. Second-level diagrams lay out the basic units, the foundation, rooms, and roofs. These elements must be designed with each of the other units in mind. There are inter-dependencies, such as: a foundation must have the strength to support the rooms. If the house has two or three stories , the foundation must be proportionally stronger. More bathrooms require more water heating capacity and larger pipes. white cloud . More electrical capacity must be routed to rooms that are going to house utilities, like dishwashers or dryers.

A building’s architecture has blueprints (views) with defined relationships among them. One for the foundation, one for the layout of the rooms, one for the electrical systems, and still another for the plumbing. A DoD Architecture defines interoperable views, their descriptions and decisions and how they fit together.

Operational Views (OVs) show how users do their business. System Views (SVs) show component information technology systems, their externally visible properties and their inter-relationships. And Technical Views (TVs) show the standards, (e.g., data, communications), which make the systems interoperable.

An Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a set of interoperating component architectures, which can be used to create business value, control costs, and generate real Return on Investment. Today’s managers know that the effective management and exploitation of Information Technology is the key to business success. An Enterprise Architecture provides the strategic context for the evolution of Information Technology within the enterprise, in response to the constantly changing needs of the business environment.

An effective Enterprise Architecture also enables managed innovation within the enterprise, by enabling the right balance to be achieved between IT efficiency and business innovation. Individual business units can innovate safely in their pursuit of competitive advantage; at the same time, the needs of the organization for an integrated IT strategy are assured, permitting the closest possible synergy across the extended enterprise.