Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Connected Architecture for the Creative Economy

Steve Denning’s insightful blog post ‘Leadership In The Three-Speed Economy’ has me pondering on the correlation with IT. Does ‘IT in the Three-Speed Economy’ follow a similar pattern?

I am not sure it is cut and dried. My experience suggests that IT can be like the example of GE that Steve provides, where all three economies can exist in the same organization and where pockets of creative IT thinking exist within the morass of traditionalism.  That said, IT in most Traditional Economy organizations will probably follow the pattern in the table below.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Solution and Service Architecture Relationship

Whilst we might have a particular specialization at Everware-CBDI in all things SOA, most of the system integration/delivery projects we are engaged on are still solution focused. The delivery of services, organized into a service architecture may be central to the solutions we deliver, and the reason for our engagement, but the end result is still a solution in the conventional IT sense.

Following the recent delivery of a solution architecture class, I produced a new eLearning module for our Service Architecture Practitioner Syllabus, and part of that module is explored in this post, where I examine the relationship between the solution and service architecture.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Towards a Google Driverless and Amazon Pickerless Future

There has been some relatively negative news of late regarding the working conditions of Amazon warehouse staff.  For example Germany probes Amazon warehouse conditions after film and GMB union holds protest at Amazon sites.

It is not surprising when you see what it is like to work in one of their giant warehouses .

But what surprises me is that they even use people at all. Warehouses dealing at the pallet level are lights out, robotic operations. Surely it is only a small step before the item level is dealt with in the  same way.

If Google are investing in driverless cars , then surely Amazon must be investing in "pickerless" warehousing! Not surprisingly they are,with their investment in Kiva . Other logistics companies are doing the same, with the rise of the warehouse robot .

So, if Google's self-guided car could drive the next wave of unemployment , and robots are taking over the warehouse , then where will the masses work in future?

One thing is for sure, delivering systems like these will definitely require the application of Connected Architecture . So hopefully us architects won't be out of a job just yet...

Monday, 25 February 2013

Connected Architecture for a Connected Planet

Or how to connect the architecture dots to support a smart connected planet.


The notion of a connected planet is far from new.  However, the number of connections as illustrated in figure 1 is growing at an exponential rate, and it is fast becoming a reality in which many organizations must operate.

However, I doubt many organizations are preparing for this in a systematic way. More likely, experience suggests that dozens of connected ‘solutions’ will permeate the organization via myriad routes and just add to the complexity of the business and IT landscape, becoming yet more spaghetti that someone is left to untangle.

Architecture is key to dealing with this. However, architectural practices must evolve to themselves become more connected, and not a set of isolated disciplines as they are often practiced today.
Hence, in this note as well as considering the challenges and opportunities provided by the connected planet, I outline the role of connected architecture.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Service Concepts 101

The use of the term ‘Service’ is somewhat overloaded. Everyone will have heard or used the terms Business Services, IT Services, Software Services, and now Cloud Services, and yet often there is much confusion and misunderstanding in their use.
As my colleague David Sprott suggested in a CBDI Journal Report, “Everything is a Service” . In that report David suggested that the idea that “everything is a service” could be developed to clarify the taxonomy for Cloud Services and Services in the form of a Unified Service Model that would deliver convergence of business and IT perspectives.
Consequently, I have penned a research note available on Everware-CBDI site , that provides a concept model that explores the basic concepts of Service and Service-Orientation taking into account this broad perspective including Business Service, IT Services, Software Services, Cloud Services and even Human Services

Sunday, 16 September 2012

On Reuse

As long as I have been in IT - since I coded my first subroutine library 35 years ago - the debate on reuse has been ongoing. At times, it has seemed like a ‘Holy Grail’ for software delivery and like the Holy Grail it also seems to give rise to endless opportunities to debate whether it is exists or not, if it is good or bad, or even what it actually is.

Now entering into another, I thought it worth putting down some observations [1].

Monday, 2 July 2012

Developing Reference 'Things' - Reference Architectures, Reference Models, Reference Frameworks

I have spent a lot of time in recent years developing various reference 'things' for clients and as part of our own research. Whether it has been SOA, Enterprise Architecture, Cloud Computing or more recently Enterprise Mobility, one thing has been clear - that organizations often lack a framework that should form the basis for consistency in these domains.

It is tempting, and common practice, for organizations to respond by acquiring such a framework 'off the shelf'. TOGAF in the EA domain would be a prime example. However, in our experience such 'off the shelf' solutions rarely provide a 100% match to requirements and must be customized and extended to be effective, especially if you want them to be easily assimilated by the organization and not become divisive. Nothing is worse for example than EA becoming just another silo because people don't agree with the framework foisted upon them.