Hosted server monitoring solutions like Monitis save enormous amounts of time for system and network admins, as cloudware enables you to get things done much faster and cheaper than by installing software products in-house. I’ve already covered the benefits of multi-tenant web solutions versus software solutions in my blog post Why Cloud-based Monitoring is more reliable and secure than Nagios, and we have also covered it in our white paper – Monitoring from the Cloud: Monitis versus In-House Monitoring Software. By the way, I urge you to read them both.
Enterprise architecture (EA) is a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a holistic approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy. Enterprise architecture applies architecture principles and practices to guide organizations through the business, information, process, and technology changes necessary to execute their strategies. These practices utilize the various aspects of an enterprise to identify, motivate, and achieve these changes.
Why business needs should shape IT architecture
Complexity is rife in any growing business. As companies innovate, add new business lines and products, or expand their international presence, processes proliferate, and the discipline around them can go out the window. Meanwhile, the IT that underpins these processes can also become more entangled as aging legacy systems jostle with new applications to support the needs of the business. Over time, this kind of complexity can unravel technology standards and undermine the coherence of the architectural blueprint. As application volumes grow in response to a fast-changing economic, regulatory, and business environment, the issue of complexity is becoming acute for many organizations. Enterprise architecture management (EAM), a framework to manage IT architecture and ensure that both the business and IT are well aligned, aims to restore order to this landscape.
Too often, efforts to fix architecture issues remain rooted in a company’s IT practices, culture, and leadership. The reason, in part, is that the chief architect—the overall IT-architecture program leader—is frequently selected from within the technical ranks, bringing deep IT know-how but little direct experience or influence in leading a business-wide change program. A weak linkage to the business creates a void that limits the quality of the resulting IT architecture and the organization’s ability to enforce and sustain the benefits of implementation over time.
A new approach to EAM lifts such change programs out of the exclusive preserve of the IT department and places them more squarely within the business. It starts with an effort to define the architectural design in a language the business can understand, with outcomes that serve its needs more fully and efficiently, thus improving
communication and helping the business and IT leadership to collaborate in developing the IT architecture (see sidebar, “Revolutionizing architecture management: A CIO checklist”). The wider engagement puts ownership in the hands of the end users—the business professionals—and therefore makes it easier for the required changes to stick and improves overall governance. Companies that have taken this approach to EAM have lowered their need for architecture-development labor by as much as 30 percent and reduced times to market for new applications by 50 percent.
A close look at how one bank employed EAM in a transformation effort offers lessons to other organizations facing similar management and IT issues.
What we do
We help clients address their IT architecture when there has been a trigger event such as a merger or acquisition, or when a core system needs replacing. When the time-to-market or the cost of the existing architecture is no longer sustainable, we help clients reduce annual IT costs by 15-30 percent, while building a platform for the future that can create Enterprise opportunities. These savings occur, for example, through consolidating similar systems or by reducing the complexity of the interfaces between systems.
We take a top-management approach to IT architecture redesign. This means being sensitive to the needs of all users and to the overall efficiency of the network. Typically, enterprises have someone within the IT department charged with this role, but the best architects are rarely the most skilled builders or engineers. We bring our wealth of Enterprise experience and understanding to bear on the overall design of the IT architecture. We help align our clients' IT function's perspective with the boardroom perspective—often a challenge due to the latter's lack of understanding of the technical aspects of IT system design.
Our goal is to help organizations end up with better architects who understand how to move toward the blueprint that we create in conjunction with the client. We make the Enterprise benefits of change very clear and devise a series of roadmaps for how to move from the current state to the blueprint.
Our Key services include the following:
- Enterprise architecture review & definition
- IT roadmap
- Managed architecture services
- Application portfolio transformation
- Architecture program and governance definition
- SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) strategy and architecture
- Solution architecture
- ERP enabled transformation