Architecting multi sided business


Published on

Presentation to IASA UK Chapter February 2012
Extract from Business Architecture Bootcamp.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • I fully agree with Richard that just data model and process structure do not characterise Business Architecture to an acceptable level of comprehension.

    I do not believe that technical differences between Apple and Microsoft are important to Business Architecture either.

    A 'secret' of dissatisfaction that people feel with data model and processes for Business Architecture is in that Business Architecture is not about data and not about processes. In reality (proved by daily __business__, not IT, practice), Business Architecture is about business functionality of the enterprise and related informational (not information systems/data) model(s). A business cares about particular function and associated information semantics, e.g. , Accounting, and it does not matter if Oracle's or Microsoft's SW /platform is used whilst it satisfies functional and non-functional business needs. Core business processes, embedded into Accounting Functions such as Account Payable, Account Receivable and General Ledger, may be implemented in many different ways; particular implementation has to coop only with local culture and financial regulations regardless the SW vendor's configuration specifics.

    My actual understanding (now) of 'platform configurations and policies' is: this is just a different terminology of standardised term of 'Execution Context' for a business function. Particularly, it is about a Business Execution Context that sets the business rules, policies and regulations, which the business function and its realisation must be compliant with. Also, technical part of the Architecture and related implementation have to be adhere to the policies of Technical Execution Context (more details about contexts may be found in OASIS standards and book 'Ladder to SOE').

    So, technical differences between Accounting solution from Oracle and Microsoft appear in the technical policies and corresponding configuration of the run-time platform. However, I would not say that this is the primary concern of Business Architecture and Business Architects.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • I've uploaded a new version today; I've added some slides to backfill in some of the story and to flesh out some of the examples I talked about at the IASA last Monday.

    If I can expand on my answer to @MichaelPoulin, I think that many conventional accounts of business architecture are based on a fairly limited set of architectural viewpoints, and therefore fail to equip business architects to address a broad range of increasingly important structural questions.

    To take one example, which we discussed last Monday, Apple and Microsoft have pursued significantly different platform strategies over the past 20 years or so, with significantly different outcomes. But you wouldn't understand the differences between these two companies and their results just by inspecting business data models or process models.

    I argue that there are fundamental architectural differences between these two companies (as well as Google, Amazon and the rest), which manifest themselves not in data structures or process flows but in platform configurations and policies. So in that sense, the platform configuration is an element of the architecture, and not just an aspect of the architecting process.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Thank you, Richard.

    There is no doubts that a BA has to be aware of such things in IT, especially if multi-sided business environment splits IT on side/domain dedicated sub-sections.

    Currently, I am debating with Alexander what might be a 'platform' in Business Architecture? If your presentation is about an implementation of Business Architecture, I'd agree with an approach 'when we view business as a multi-sided platform' because an outside viewer may see anything s/he wants.

    I a not sure that the slide 16 demonstrates different relationships, I think a 'platform' is unrelated while Value Networks snapshot was in the Traditional model and is in the 'Platform' model the same. For many years (in the US, I think it is about 70-80 years already), a Retailer drove a Farmer as well as a Consumer affected a Farmer or any Manufacturer. Existence of Hey Markets and later Commodity Stocks proves my statement. The Traditional model is about 100 years old, IMO.

    Still, curious what does mean a 'platform' in Business... :-)
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Hi @MichaelPoulin, sorry you couldn't make it. One of the key architectural points is that a platform strategy for an increasingly multi-sided business environment raises some tough structural issues, and I think Business Architects should have a way of representing and reasoning about these issues. Obviously the pictures in my presentation are designed to tell a story and are not sufficiently detailed or rigorous to support proper architectural analysis, but clearly Business Architects need architectural language for talking about these kind of isses.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Richard, I am sorry I missed your presentation. Am I correct that the uploaded slides demonstrate a snapshot of a fragment of the processes of architecting but not an element of the architecture?
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • For example, a retail company can define its business model as providing a platform for manufacturers to sell their good to consumers.
  • The traditional retailer acts as a hub in the food supply chain, aggregating food supply from fields and factories, and distributing food to workshops and private kitchens. This is essentially a positional strategy: the retailer seeks to establish and maintain a strategic position within a value chain, as the bottleneck/hinge point between upstream and downstream. Within the positional strategy, the business drivers are understood in terms of the economics of scale and the economics of scope.But if we shift from a value-chain perspective to a service-oriented perspective (effects-ladder), we can see that the retailer is providing a service (=delivering value) downwards as well as upwards – it is a food distribution platform for farmers and manufacturers as well as a food supply platform for consumers and catering companies.So instead of drawing the merchant in the middle, we can draw the merchant as a new kind of platform providing various kinds of market interaction.This takes us from a positional strategy to a relational strategy. No longer just focused on the economies of scale and scope, the relational strategy emphasizes how economies of governance are generated in relation to two kinds of demand context. The big question for a company such as Wal-Mart is how to balance the exploitation of each of these forms of asymmetric advantage.
  • in the number of potential customers on Side One for complementary contents and services on Side Two occursThis then leads to an increase in the quantity and diversity of complements made available by Side TwoBecause Side One users are favorably inclined to a wider variety of contents and services on the other side, more join the platform.The increased number of users makes it even more attractive for Side Two to develop new complements.
  • amended
  • The names for two of these four ways came from research on shopping behaviour by Gary Davies in which he distinguished ‘cost’ convenience (choosing between similar standardised offerings) and ‘comparison’ behaviours (choosing between different solutions to the same demand). The other two separated out circumstances where there was a demand particular to the customer, distinguishing offerings in which there was only one place for the customer to go ( ‘destination’), or in which the supplier would adapt the offering to the customer’s requirement ( ‘custom’) within their context-of-use. The point being made, however, was that the ‘destination’ form of offering required asymmetric governance because of the need to hold power at the edge of the organisation. What distinguishes this position in the cycle?If we think of the original development of pc-based spreadsheet programs in-house (destination), they soon became a limited number of alternative branded solutions (comparison) that in turn became dominated by the one offering all the others’ features in one package (cost). From here we have seen an increasing ability to customise the ways it can be used (custom) to the point where we are now looking at a new cycle of web-based solutions that we can build one-by-one (destination).
  • PatternDescriptionComparison(WHOM-HOW)The demand is defined in such a way that the context from which it arises is ignored, but the service is coordinated in a way that enables it to respond to that particular demand. This characteristic corresponds to the "comparison" approach for the patient, who is looking for the best solution offered to his or her demand. For suppliers, this form of governance allows them to minimize their exposure to exo-risks by limiting the definition of demand that they will respond to (the user requirement); although, they are still faced by integration risks inside the business.Cost(WHOM-WHAT)Not only is the demand defined in such a way that the context from which it arises is ignored, but the response of the service is proceduralized, too, and there is no need for an explicit coordinating process. In this "cost" approach both the nature of the demands and the responses to them have become standardized. Now the integration risk is minimized for the supplier and the technology and engineering risks being proscribed.Custom(WHY-WHAT)An implicit form of coordination of how things work, often in the form of a particular budgetary regime, constrains the way the service is able to respond to the patient's condition. This characteristic corresponds to the "custom" approach, where the service is standardized but the way it is provided into the patient's context can be varied (mass customization). Here the supplier is exposed to integration risks again, as it builds more variability into the way its service works.Destination(WHY-HOW)Each of these three forms treats demand as symmetric to an implicit or explicit form of endogenous coordination. Only in the fourth case do we have asymmetric governance in which the endogenous and exogenous forms of coordination have to be aligned with each other. This characteristic corresponds to the "destination" approach, where the patient goes to that place where he or she can get a treatment exactly aligned to the nature of their condition. It is also only in this case that the supplier takes on the exo-interoperability risks explicitly.We are particularly focused on the risks associated with interoperability, not only because any given geometry is a particular coordination between its constituent services, but also because these are the ones that emerge as you coordinate across systems and organizations. (We have been following the recent developments around Hurricane Katrina with considerable interest because some of the public criticism of the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] clearly exposes difficulties in managing some of the interoperability risks.) How are we to think about the nature of these risks?
  • I-space² is a model describing how knowledge moves from being undiffused (ie only known by a few people) and concrete (ie very specific to a single situation) to becoming more abstract (ie. generalised to apply to more situations) and codified (ie. more able to be articulated). At point 3 on the diagram the knowledge has maximum value to an organisation because it can be applied in a variety of ways to a range of problems but hasn’t leaked (diffused) to its competitors. It is inevitable, however, that if the knowledge is valuable it will soon become common knowledge. In the case of the lawyers, the idea of using collaboration software to get all parties together can quickly arrive at point 3 but as soon as the solution is implemented the knowledge is diffused and available to everyone—competitive value diminished rapidly.Boisot’s argument is that organisations which operate in a slow moving environment, such as flute makers where the way flutes have been made hasn’t changed in a century, should do whatever it takes to protect their intellectual property including doing everything to retain their master craftspeople. Fast moving industries require a different strategy: keep your mean time at point 3 as high as possible. This requires an organisation to continually rotate through the I-space spiral with new ideas—constant innovation.
  • Architecting multi sided business

    1. 1. Architecting theMulti-SidedBusiness IASA UK CHAPTER Richard Veryard February 2012
    2. 2. About this presentation An earlier version of this presentation was given to the UK Chapter of IASA on February 13th 2012. I’m afraid some of the slides may not be completely self- explanatory. Feel free to contact me for further discussion. The material is an extract from my Business Architecture Bootcamp. See Unicom website for more details.
    3. 3. Agenda A modern business typically needs to operate in multiple markets simultaneously, and satisfy the overlapping needs of different stakeholders. The emerging architectural response to this challenge is to configure the enterprise as a platform of services, rather than a traditional value chain. But this kind of transformation involves profound architectural challenges, which business architects need to be able to master.
    4. 4. Supply Chain as Stack We can start by picturing the supply chain as a stack. Passenger Transport Services Software engineers are familiar with the concept of Airline stack in software and communications. But here we Landing Services are talking about a business Airport stack, in which each organization provides a Engineering Services platform of services for the organizations directly above it Engineer in the stack.
    5. 5. Straight-Through Processing  Straight-through processing (STP) generally makes the following Car Driver assumptions: Insurance  There is a collaboration between Broker several service providers  The purpose of the collaboration Underwriting is to expedite some customer transaction Insurance  The service providers have a common view of this transaction Claims  The customer transaction belongs within some domain, in which all Claims the service providers participate.
    6. 6. Disintermediation  The passenger can easily bypass the travel agent, and buy tickets direct from the airline. Passenger  What makes this easy? Ticket Services Travel Agent Passenger Services Airline  The passenger might also bypass the airline, and Airplane Charter charter a plane directly.  What makes this Airplane more difficult?
    7. 7. Making Disintermediation Harder Does this count as adding value? Easier Harder ExampleBusiness Same Different Tickets versusConcepts Landing SlotsGranularity Same Different Individual Seat versus whole PlaneTime Synchronous Asynchronous Annual Harvest versus All-Year- Round Supply… ? ? ?
    8. 8. Stack Challenges The UK’s vertically integrated rail network (British Rail) wasHere’s an example of a seriously flawed stack. decomposed into a stack of separately owned and operated companies. Passenger Transport Services Knowledge was fragmented – nobody knew the full state of Train Co the network. Rail Services Service levels were Track Co incommensurable and muddled. Engineering Services Engineer Serious safety issues emerged (Hatfield).
    9. 9. Stack Design and GovernanceCritical success factors Analysis and Design Monitoring and Control Understand the transformation  Proper distribution of risk between layers.  Getting a holistic view on what Work out the implications for is going on. service levels and pricing.
    10. 10. Stack Strategy  Strategic Questions Where exactly should we be inWhere do I want to be in the stack? the stack? Can we influence the stack geometry?  Does the telecoms company Bank sell direct to banks, or via software companies and Packaged Solution system integrators?  Can the identity company Software bypass (disintermediate) the telecoms company? Packaged Identity Strategic Impact Telecoms  … on the commercial viability of the platform? Identity Services  … on the agility (responsiveness) of the stack Identity Co as a whole?
    11. 11. Stack Architecture Stack geometry and governance calls for architectural thinking. Architectural Questions Demand Side How many layers? How can this geometry ?? be both adapted and adaptable. What is the appropriate granularity in each layer? ??Differential Rate of Change  What is the rate of change within each layer? How much coupling is there ?? between layers?Innovation Gradient  What are the trust and securityTrust Gradient  ?? requirements in each layer? What is the appropriate technology for Supply Side each layer?
    12. 12. Emergent Properties of Stacks  Stacks typically fail to provide cleanBUT separation of concerns.  Stacks tend to get more complicated over time.  Attempts to export costs and risk upwards or downwards usually result in greater aggregate cost and risk.
    13. 13. Implications for Business StrategyTHEREFORE Business strategy calls for understanding the whole stack – indirect relationships as well as direct relationships. A sustainable business will deliver indirect value as well as direct value. So let’s see what happens when we view business as a multi-sided platform.
    14. 14. Business as PlatformA platform can satisfy many different types of customer. Typical Outsourcing Issues  Management / Coordination  Delegation / Risk Airport Airline Outsourcing Strategy Engineering Services Platform Strategy Typical Platform Issues Engineer Engineer  Pricing & Service Levels  Granularity / Unbundling of Services
    15. 15. Raising the PlatformMoving the platform upwards (or downwards) is a strategic move.  Premium added-value services Corporate New Business Network Old Business Network Telecoms  Commodity services  Downward pressure on price  Non-viable as long-term business
    16. 16. Changing Market Structure (Retail) Asymmetric DesignTraditional Platform Indirect Consumer Consumer relationships Caterer Manufacturer Retailer Farmer Manufacturer Caterer Farmer Retailer Economics of Scale, Scope  Economics of Alignment, Governance
    17. 17. Many Platforms are single-sided, with Media Producers & MediaDistributors and Broadcasters at one end and buyers at the other. Source: Maat International
    18. 18. Multi-Sided Business Models provide benefits by increasing and capturing indirect network externalities Growth in the number of potential customers on Side One for complementary contents and services on Side Two occurs This then leads to an increase in the quantity and diversity of complements made availableSide One by Side Two Side Two Because Side One users are favorably inclined to a wider variety of contents and services on the other side, more join the platform. The increased number of users makes it even more attractive for Side Two to develop new complements. Source: Maat International
    19. 19. A Media information aggregator builds a relationship with end users andconnects them to various retailers and Contents / Services Providers. Source: Maat International
    20. 20. Examples of Multi-Sided MarketsBusiness Complementors Customers A Customer Situation Indirect BenefitsPlatformSocial Private Aircraft Travellers Team travelling to a fixture Cost-effectiveFlights direct travelCredit Merchants Card holders On holiday in Paris TransactionCards convenienceSmart Applications Users Organizing things while we’re Personalphones away on holiday organizationSports Teams, Sponsors Spectators Following our local team Family socialclubs eventHospitals Doctors, Pharma Patients Complications from a bite Treatment for my from a deer tick conditionAirports Airlines, Retail Travellers Making a flight connection Personal travelCable Content providers Audiences Being able to watch things Personal viewingnetworks when we chooseMicrosoft Developers Customers Applications that support the Personal way I work computing Source: Asymmetric Design
    21. 21. Elements of a Multi-Sided Market Definition Example: Social FlightsCustomer Situations in which there is a need The need for members of aSituations for a particular form of collaboration team to travel together to between customers and play an ‘away’ match complementors.Customers The end-users within a customer The team members situationComplementors The suppliers whose Owners of private aircraft product/service offerings are offering lower overall costs needed within particular customer on the particular route situations.Platform The means by which customers The capability to bring and complementors are enabled to customers and come together to form a complementors together collaboration Source: Asymmetric Design
    22. 22. General Pattern Consumer Questions Consumer Consumer  Where are the products and services located? Complementor ComplementorComplementor  How is the platform designed and managed?  How does the platform support indirect Platform Business relationships?  Where is the added value located?
    23. 23. Design principles for multi-sided markets Solid understanding of the needs of  The solution should, where relevant, the different sides of the market is define appropriate strong branding key. that communicates the common There should be a business model characteristics of the solution to end- that balances the benefits for both users, such as reach (size of the sides of the market, and if applicable network), basic user experience, etc. their service providers (positive  The solution should strive to remove business case for all players). unnecessary frictions on network The design process should be driven growth, such as high entry barriers, by an independent party to ensure etc. neutrality and impartiality.  The solution should, were The solution should remain as appropriate, foster both same-side flexible as possible to enable service and cross-side network effects as providers to define their own unique much as possible, especially during differentiating propositions towards the growth stage of the network. their customers (competitive services on top of the collaborative scheme). Source: Innopay
    24. 24. Four Types of Customer Behaviour Comparison DestinationSupply Infrastructure • Choosing between • There is only one different solutions to place for the the same demand customer to go. Cost Convenience Custom • Choosing between • Supplier adapting the similar standardized offering to the offerings customer’s requirement Capability Requirement
    25. 25. Microsoft Architecture Journal Diffusion Model Asymmetric Design Destination/ ExperienceCoordination Coordination Comparison/ HOW WHY of the whole Product Making WHAT WHO/M things work Cost/ Commodity inside outside Custom/ Solution Interoperability Destination/ Experience
    26. 26. Managing over the whole Microsoft Architecture Journal governance cycle Asymmetric Design Standardization of model of relation to context Requires asymmetric governance comparison destination Customisation ofStandardization of service under model for customised coordination of model of supply supply cost custom Requires platform-based Customization of service under architecture standardised model of supply
    27. 27. Strategic choices The move from destination to product involves reducing the exposure to integration risks by externalizing the exogenous risks. The move from product to cost involves reducing the exposure to the technology and engineering risks by standardizing the business model. The move from cost to custom involves increasing the exposure to integration risks again, but only the endogenous ones. Only the move from custom to destination faces the business with the exo-interoperability risks.
    28. 28. Differentiating Capabilities: TheArchitecture of Knowledge Core  Partnering [source: Amin & Cohendet]  High trust / security knowledge intensity Competence  Network  Medium trust / security Peripheral  Market  Low trust / security distance from core
    29. 29. Decoupling different levels of abstraction Standardizing the  Differentiating the platform level business level capabilities. capabilities. For example, a  For example, offering a standard approach to wide range of third customization. party products and technologies.
    30. 30. General Framework Entitlement Domain 6 (context-of- Knowledge use) Procedural Know-How 5 Cases 4 Interaction Protocols 1-3 Service Platforms Source: Veryard & Boxer 2004
    31. 31. Compare and Contrast Platform StrategiesEach of these companieshas a distinctive platformstrategy.Which architecturalviewpoint (or businessmodelling language) is mostuseful for understandingthe strategic differencesbetween these companies?
    32. 32. New Challenges for Business ArchitectsEcosystem Horizontal accountability Mapping the ecosystem of organisations,  Considering how to strengthen customers and contexts within which horizontal accountability in ways business must to decide how to act. which hold accountable theIndirect value individuals who are dealing directly with customers. Defining the indirect value for our customers beyond the immediate value Agility arising from their involvement with our  Developing the agility of systems services. and processes to cope withEconomies of governance variation in the scale and scope of individuals’ needs, and in Establishing economies of governance in response to continued change in the way business and other resources can economics conditions and/or be brought together and combined in customer demand individual interventions.
    33. 33. Six Views of Business STRATEGIC CAPABILITY MANAGEMENT VIEW VIEW VIEWWhat the business wants What the business does How the business thinks VALUE KNOWEDGE $TREAM VIEW How the business does What business knows ORGANIZATION VIEW What the business is including platform configuration
    34. 34. Future EventsFuture Events Other Material and LinksBusiness ArchitectureBootcamp RVsoapbox. February 28-29Organizational IntelligenceWorkshop March 1Enterprise Architecture March 29 richardveryard