The Architecture Situation Today

There are many perspectives of what is called architecture. Architecture is applied to organizations, enterprises, businesses (profit or non-profit, private or public) or whatever term is used to define a structure that delivers goods and/or services to a constituency. This constituency consists of citizenry or customers, products or services, governments, educational institutions and so on. In any event, what we are talking about is some structure that consists of component parts and relationships that are used to deliver the goods and services. Many of the ideas, concepts and techniques for architecture of an organization are taken from historical uses of architecture in construction of building, cities and neighborhoods.

Some assertions about architecture

With this in mind, there are several core assertions of concern to IT Management that can be made about architecture as relates to enterprises:

  • There are several architecture perspectives depending on the type of enterprise structure including the size, product, service, market, location, performance goals, driving force, and focus of the enterprise.
  • Every organization has an architecture suite. Much of their architectures are implicit, and some are explicitly embedded in documents like strategic plans.
  • Transformations of organizational structures tend to be done in some segmented or partitioned way to control the magnitude and cost of the effort. Such changes can support business functionality such as invoicing, order management, design engineering, supply chain, loan processing and so on. Other times, the segments support infrastructure segments such as: IT, HR, Financial services and so on.
  • Organizations or enterprises may use many combinations of approaches, skill levels, tools and methods to achieve structural change.
  • There are as many approaches and methodologies to architecture as there are consultants.
  • There are few standards except for execution or enterprise IT architecture as they are engineering focused.

What does architecture consist of? Most often architecture is made up of the following:

  1. An architecture is made up of models (one or more)
  2. Models are made up of elements (instances of a category) and relationships between elements

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Frank Kowalkowski
Author: Frank KowalkowskiWebsite: http://www.knowledgebiz.com
President and CEO of Knowledge Consultants, Inc

Frank Kowalkowski is President and CEO of Knowledge Consultants, Inc.

He has over 30 years of management and consulting experience in manufacturing, distribution, banking, insurance and financial services as well as the public sector. He has been involved with wide range of projects that include business analysis, process management, e-commerce, business performance measurement, business and competitive intelligence, knowledge management, and supply chain management.

In addition to being a keynote speaker at international conferences as well as a conference chair, he has written numerous papers and spoken at conferences on a variety of subjects such as business performance management, technology forecasting, management disciplines, process analytics and management and various aspect of enterprise analysis. He is the author of a 1996 book on Enterprise Analysis (Prentice – Hall, ISBN 0-13-282-3365) and over 70 papers.

He has consulted with Fortune's magazine 100 companies.


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