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.
Viewing an enterprise as an assembly of various architectures and building blocks allows the development of a coherent vision of how an organization can build the required capabilities to meet anticipated changes in its environment. Enterprise architecture, in particular, helps provide guidance and communicates how the company needs to change to survive. EA brings a shift in focus from technical systems to designing coherent sociotechnical systems that meet strategic requirements and organizational needs, such as those around workforce development, culture, structure, and processes. This Advisor introduces the Service Dominant Architecture (SDA) as a tool to support the digitization of companies by structuring actors and their resources and reducing overall complexity.
Antifragile Systems Design requires an organization to move as one toward solving the problem of complexity, which means changing the perspective from “us versus them” (IT versus business) to simply “us” (business). The steps outlined in this Advisor require a mix of skills within business, business architecture, and software engineering. However, this is not simply a business activity or a software design activity and cannot be divided into different tasks for different silos; each step in the process creates feedback loops to ensure that answers arrived at are coherent. Business leaders, business/enterprise architects, and software architects all need to engage with the process to make it work.
We have done reasonably well, evolving the architecture discipline over the last couple of decades to a point where we are generally able to align the architecture foundation’s progress with a system’s progress. However, a system is only one piece in the system of systems: the enterprise, as it evolves over time. We may win the battle in the finite game of a single capability. But do we have the staying power to win in the infinite game that enterprises must play in? That is the key question that this Advisor raises.
This Executive Update describes the Ambidextrous Organization Development Canvas and how it enables management teams to discuss organization development issues in a common language and make decisions on development aims and organization transformation priorities. (Not a Cutter member? For a limited time, you can download your complimentary copy here.)
Mohan Babu K presents a roadmap for rolling out RPA and examines RPA solutions from key vendors. He then presents a snapshot of real-world stories of RPA adoption across industry domains and, based on his personal experience, recommends five key design topics to consider in rolling out scalable RPA solutions.
Aravind Ajad Yarra emphasizes that automation is most effective when humans and machines work together to deliver business outcomes and recommends that automation be designed in harmony with human experiences and business processes. He outlines three types of automation — experience automation, process automation, and platform automation — on which smart automation manifests, considers some smart automation fallacies, and examines how a design thinking approach can successfully be applied to smart automation.
We feature eight articles in this issue that cover a range of topics of interest — from technologies that drive and support new frontiers in automation, such as blockchain, AI, and security, to automation strategies and design considerations.
When approaching an architecture representation, a key point is its decomposition into elements, usually leading to a containment-based representation structure. We might then navigate the architecture along the “containing” relations (for example, whenever a link is labeled as “part of” or “implements,” it is a “containing relation” by nature), or using predefined viewpoints. To reach the ideal balance in governing architecture, the challenge is to harmonize the intentional and the emergent architectures.