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  1. 1. Managing Information: Information Technology Architecture Infsy 540 Dr. R. Ocker
  2. 2. Strategy <ul><li>What is a business strategy? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Strategy <ul><li>What is the relationship between IT and the business strategy? </li></ul>
  4. 4. managers’ dilemma <ul><li>managers’ dilemma: </li></ul><ul><li>cannot leave important IT decisions to computer professionals to make alone, but managers are not technically competent to make the “right” decisions without technologists </li></ul>
  5. 5. managers’ dilemma <ul><li>dilemma resolved by developing an information technology architecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>bridge between strategy and technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>defines a company’s IT infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>includes policies and guidelines that govern the IT resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>computers, data, software, communications facilities </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Link IS plan to business plan <ul><li>Linkage achieved if </li></ul><ul><ul><li>corporate business plan states information needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IS plan refers to requirements of business plan & is checked against plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>non-IS managers participate in IS planning process and vice versa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>corporate & IS planning calendars are in synch </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Strategy <ul><li>IT must support the business strategy </li></ul><ul><li>3 dimensions of support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>timing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>people involved in planning process </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Information Technology Architecture <ul><li>provides a structure to facilitate decision making about technology investment and use </li></ul>
  9. 9. Architecture is the metaphor <ul><li>Architecture is the metaphor - building IT infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>to build a skyscraper: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>owner starts with vision of building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>works with architect who translates vision into a plan </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Architecture is the metaphor <ul><li>builders uses plan to construct building </li></ul><ul><li>owner does not have expertise in structural engineering, but must have clear ideas of what and how the building will be used. </li></ul><ul><li>Must understand some basics of design in order to communicate vision to the architect. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Architecture is the metaphor <ul><li>to build an IT architecture: </li></ul><ul><li>executives start with a vision of “doing business” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>vision has certain implications for information requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>don’t have technical computer expertise </li></ul><ul><li>do have clear idea of business strategy </li></ul><ul><li>must communicate this to IT architect/planner </li></ul>
  12. 12. Architecture is the metaphor <ul><li>general managers must be able to effectively integrate IT into their vision for the organization’s competitive strategy </li></ul>
  13. 13. Components of an IT Architecture <ul><li>1. Information technology inventory </li></ul><ul><li>2. Functional use of the IT </li></ul><ul><li>3. Strategic plan for the IT </li></ul>
  14. 14. 1. Information technology inventory <ul><li>answers the question “what do we have?” </li></ul><ul><li>basic building blocks of an IT architecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>hardware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>communications links </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. 1.Information technology inventory <ul><li>this level is the “hard” technology from which most general managers are far removed </li></ul><ul><li>general manager should have a basic familiarity with computer systems to bridge the gap between his/her world and that of the IT architect; </li></ul><ul><li>IT architect must have a good understanding of the business and the organization </li></ul>
  16. 16. 2. Functional use of the IT <ul><li>answers the question “how do we use it?” </li></ul><ul><li>baseline blueprint - IT components and functions already in place </li></ul><ul><li>planned blueprint - prescription for future IT investments and designs </li></ul><ul><li>general manager and IT architect communicate on this conceptual level </li></ul><ul><li>3 functional categories: applications, data and communications </li></ul>
  17. 17. 3. Strategic plan for the IT <ul><li>past - general managers were unfamiliar with technology and delegated IT architecture decisions to “gurus” </li></ul><ul><li>however, these experts in technology often had little knowledge of business strategies </li></ul><ul><li>now - can’t afford this approach; technology too expensive and too important </li></ul><ul><li>business strategy must drive IT architecture strategy </li></ul>
  18. 18. Developing an IT Architecture <ul><li>designing and building an architecture is an ongoing business process </li></ul><ul><li>goal - to reach consensus between the IS organization and the business leaders - not easy to do </li></ul>
  19. 19. Developing an IT Architecture Steps: <ul><li>1. articulate business strategy and implications for IT architecture </li></ul><ul><li>start from the top with the overall business strategy and its functional IT requirements </li></ul><ul><li>2. baseline the company architecture </li></ul><ul><li>baseline blueprint - assess existing IT </li></ul><ul><li>bottom-up approach </li></ul>
  20. 20. Developing an IT Architecture Steps: <ul><li>3. determine key architecture questions </li></ul><ul><li>outline set of questions to be answered, such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what technologies do we have? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are these the right technologies? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how does the current architecture support our business? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are we getting a strategic advantage from our architecture? </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Developing an IT Architecture Steps: <ul><li>then look into the future to the planned blueprint: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in what technologies should we invest? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how should it be structured? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how will it give us a competitive advantage? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>should we outsource any functions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Developing an IT Architecture Steps: <ul><li>4. design a planned architecture blueprint </li></ul><ul><li>decide what the architecture should be </li></ul>
  23. 23. Developing an IT Architecture Steps: <ul><li>5. initiate the architecture plan </li></ul><ul><li>two approaches - revolutionary vs. evolutionary </li></ul><ul><li>revolution - radical replacement of old technology </li></ul><ul><li>evolution - new technology layered on top of existing infrastructure; old systems gradually replaced over time </li></ul>
  24. 24. Understand? Questions?