Streamlining IT Application Selection and Integration with a Standard Modeling Language
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Streamlining IT Application Selection and Integration with a Standard Modeling Language

on

  • 297 views

IT customers, application providers, and system integrators generally do not use standard representations to describe ...

IT customers, application providers, and system integrators generally do not use standard representations to describe
either application requirements or proposals to satisfy them. The resulting ambiguity exposes application selection and
integration processes, however well-structured and executed, to error and delay. Adoption of the ArchiMate® visual
modeling language, an Open Group standard, would therefore increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the business
application marketplace.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
297
Views on SlideShare
297
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
3
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Streamlining IT Application Selection and Integration with a Standard Modeling Language Streamlining IT Application Selection and Integration with a Standard Modeling Language Document Transcript

    • ArticleStreamlining IT Application Selection and Integration with a StandardModeling LanguageBy Iver BandAbstractIT customers, application providers, and system integrators generally do not use standard representations to describeeither application requirements or proposals to satisfy them. The resulting ambiguity exposes application selection and ®integration processes, however well-structured and executed, to error and delay. Adoption of the ArchiMate visualmodeling language, an Open Group standard, would therefore increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the businessapplication marketplace. can resolve these ambiguities, but often only after lots ofWHY ISN’T IT EASIER TO SELECT AND INTEGRATE churn and rework.APPLICATIONS? Involving application providers only intensifies thisBy now, IT customer organizations should find selecting challenge. Crafting an RFP, answering respondents’and integrating a major packaged or hosted application a questions, and clarifying their responses all addlot easier than it actually is. Standards for common IT additional perspectives and agendas, as does systemcomponents, assemblies, and services are mature or integrator selection and subsequent collaboration.steadily maturing, as are standards frameworks for many Indeed, many vendors task very different people withindustries and functions. Tools and APIs for all phases of initial relationship-building, responding to RFIs andapplication development are generally rich, full-featured, RFPs, and delivering formal customer presentations.and increasingly well-integrated. Custom development of The customer must therefore reconcile a variety ofentire applications has become less necessary for IT graphic, written, and spoken material from differentgroups due to a wide variety of mature software sources.packages and a growing number of hosted applications.Traditional IT challenges such as agile software HOW CAN APPLICATION SELECTION ANDdevelopment, project management, information security, INTEGRATION BECOME EASIER?and operations management are supported by broadly What could be done to enhance the certainty, efficiency,recognized methods and bodies of knowledge. and velocity of the IT applications marketplace?However, when IT customers select and integrate a Participants could use standard representations of ITmajor application involving diverse user communities application supply and demand that use graphics as welland legacy applications, the pace of work often as text. Both customers and vendors could useaccelerates as the pace of accomplishment slows to a ArchiMate, The Open Group standard visual modelingcrawl. Much of this difficulty stems from the complexity language for enterprise architecture, to representand ambiguity of integrating the contributions of business, data, application, and technologystakeholders with diverse perspectives, responsibilities, architectures, as well as architectures that combine andand intentions. To select applications, customers and relate these layers. As of this writing, the ArchiMate 2.0their consultants typically use structured methods that extensions for expressing motivations andcollect and weigh application and vendor attributes implementation plans are nearing ratification, and someagainst prioritized or weighted current and expected enterprise architecture practitioners are working withrequirements. Some even construct conceptual models them already.of their current and desired states. However, since the If customers modeled their conceptual applicationsame words or pictures can mean different things to architectures and application requirements usingdifferent people, ambiguity is unavoidable. As a result, it ArchiMate, application providers could respond in kind.is often difficult to predict the progress or ultimate impact Certainly, free-form customer-supplier interaction wouldof selection processes due to instability and still be necessary, but a commonly understood modelmisunderstandings concerning application scope, would organize and focus these exchanges. Customersrequirements, and key stakeholders. Selection teams could better orient application providers with models that associate requirements with broader concerns and key70 © Journal of Enterprise Architecture – May 2011
    • stakeholders, as well as critical business capabilities and representatives should receive basic instruction inprocesses. Customers requiring implementation plans reading ArchiMate diagrams.could tie requirements and conceptual system If more IT customers, application providers, and systemarchitectures to specific projects within broader integrators embrace ArchiMate, they will increase theprograms. effectiveness and efficiency of their own organizations,Application providers could respond by elaborating their trading partners, and ultimately the IT applicationscustomer models with their proposed applications and marketplace. Verifying these improvements could be theintegration approaches. Both customers and application subject of future research as ArchiMate gains broaderproviders would benefit from the precision and re- acceptance.usability of these models. Customers and their systemintegrators would have a head start on their target ABOUT THE AUTHORapplication architectures, and application providers could Iver Band is an enterprise architect at Standardre-use them for subsequent proposals. The selection Insurance Company, where he works on next-generationprocess would also prepare customers and system customer service solutions as well as enterpriseintegrators to expedite application integration by building architecture methodology and tools. He also participateson a shared model. in The Open Group ArchiMate Forum. Iver joinedArchiMate can be easily styled or extended to meet the Standard Insurance in 2008 after 16 years at HP, whereneeds of particular industries, functions, organizations, his roles included software and IT engineering,or methodologies. Modelers can add metadata to the architecture, and management. At HP, he was also theobjects represented by its symbols, and can even add or second Visiting Technologist at HP Labs, where he ledreplace symbols. In these cases, the extending party just the development of a patented method for managingneeds to provide a reference that explains its styles or network access control.extensions to its trading partners. Eventually, themapping of ArchiMate to the Object Management Group(OMG) XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) standard willallow direct translation of ArchiMate models into otherlanguages.IT CUSTOMER ORGANIZATIONS CAN LEAD THEWAYArchiMate 1.0 is a recent (2009) standard, and many inthe IT industry have not even heard of it, but ITcustomers have the power to drive mainstream adoption.They can use ArchiMate in their application selectionand integration efforts, and require or encouragevendors to respond in kind.ArchiMate is fairly intuitive, and diagrams with well-labeled symbols are therefore broadly comprehensiblewith minimal introduction. The language is supported bya number of major modeling tools, and is compatiblewith a wide range of architecture developmentmethodologies. I have used ArchiMate diagrams withvendor representatives as well as senior executives inboth IT and user organizations, and have found that theywork at least as well as diagrams with non-standardgraphics. Also, it is easy to identify ArchiMate symbolsby annotating them the first time they are used, or byproviding simple legends or even brief verbalexplanations. Therefore, vendors should not be afraid totake the initiative to use ArchiMate diagrams inproposals and project deliverables, even if the customerhas not requested it. Enterprise architects and otherprofessional modelers, however, should preparethemselves with self-study or formal training. Also, awide range of IT professionals and influential user© Journal of Enterprise Architecture – May 2011 71