Guidance in Delivering Value through Architecture
You can create and deploy business and enterprise architectures that improve organizational understanding, increase business opportunities, support agility, and deliver value. Cutter’s Architecture team delivers continuous insights based on their hands-on experience assisting organizations worldwide.
The advent of big data technologies with an emphasis on the ease and speed of ingestion of large amounts of data into a data lake — as opposed to the often-complex traditional ETL processes for loading into a data warehouse — has meant far less focus on defining schemas or structures. The focus now shifts toward how to achieve an adequate level of governance of such data lakes. This is where the data catalog provides a central canonical reference point of business meaning to underpin any data governance activities of the data lake.
We don’t want to design in one large lump — ever! Instead, we want to create a layer or certain amount of architecture (services, plumbing, back-end functionality, etc.) and then build something on top of it.
This Advisor shares five practical tips on rolling out “industrial,” scalable robotic process automation solutions based on my experience at a multinational organization.
Encouraging and developing data-based decision support is an organization-wide effort and requires many resources, including people, money, and technologies. Building an effective decision support capability can help improve decision making, but meeting that goal is a challenging task. So how can senior managers increase the chances of the successful implementation of an enterprise-wide data-based decision support, analytics, or BI project? The answers to the five pivotal questions explored in this Advisor provide some insight.
Leveraging visuals is particularly important for a business architecture practice. Visuals matter, and for a business architecture practice to be effective, it must connect with people on a human level and in ways that build true understanding. Graphic recording is the visual live capture of content for an event or meeting, which acts as a visual record of the session. With this technique, there is little to no interaction between the graphic recorder and the speaker and participants. Graphic facilitation also includes visual live capture of the content for an event or meeting, but the graphic facilitator serves as a guide throughout the entire meeting process. These visual techniques bring people together to co-create around a specific topic, challenge, or opportunity. They allow people to “see” their thinking and shape concepts together.
In this Advisor, I have chosen the simple word “change” as a starting point for thinking about architectural change, rather than many of the others in rampant use — words such as “transformation,” “permutation,” “enhancement,” and so on. This choice seems appropriate because “change” is an abstract, neutral, and descriptive word without the deeper connotations that might impede the nuancing of this notion into something of a practical, if rudimentary, taxonomy that will help us grapple better with the different kinds of changes that we are compelled to deal with.
Software architecture requires balance. During the 20 years I’ve been leading technology organizations to build products, mostly via Agile, I’ve learned some rules that have helped me — and my teams — successfully strike the right balance. These aren’t technically focused rules; they’re more generic, so they apply to monolithic, layered, service-oriented, and microservice architectures equally well. One of these rules is the subject of this Advisor.
Continuous dissent is necessary and extremely valuable — but also incredibly tough for the architect to participate in. This Executive Update seeks to find a balance that allows architects to engage in dissent while preserving their careers — and their sanity.