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The Pro Cloud Server, coming in Q2 this year will offer enterprises a convenient way to host EA models on their internet or intranet environment, to broaden available access to the model throughout the enterprise.

 

Sparx Systems' web client WebEA will connect to the Pro Cloud Server to provide a mobile view of Enterprise Architect models in real time, fostering collaboration between model authors and stakeholders and supporting access on the move. Discussions when enabled, will be stored in the model to create a seamless vision of stakeholder feedback visible in both the cloud and desktop environments. 

WebEA

 

Entry-level creation of requirements, issues, tests and use cases enables stakeholders a more advanced method of contributing to the model. And the creation of watch lists will help keep model authors and stakeholders alike informed of changes to the model.

 

Sparx Systems is hosting a read-only copy of the EA Example model for users to explore. 

 

URL: demo.sparxpublic.com  

Select model: EA Example 

Access code: demo

 

More information as well as a sign-up form for more information is online at: http://www.sparxsystems.com/products/procloudserver

Published in News
Thursday, 14 April 2016 13:21

EA User Group; London - Agenda Confirmed

The EA User Group returns to London this May

On the 17th May the annual London meeting of the Enterprise Architect User Group will be happening at Skillsmatter's Code Node venue.

The final agenda has been confirmed today and we've got a great day lined up...

Agenda

Tickets

Tickets are available from the EA User Group website at the price of £65.00 +Vat per person.

Published in Events

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Dunstan Thomas Consulting Cloud services deployment of Sparx Enterprise Architect for ATOC


Dunstan Thomas Consulting (DTC) worked with ATOC to install and configure Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect to enable them to work in a collaborative environment using a MySQL hosted model repository.

This model repository was located on a server within the ATOC premises and accessed via LAN and ODBC and remotely via a VPN.

During this engagement, Dunstan Thomas Consulting not only worked with ATOC but also ensured that they had gained the skills necessary to perform all repository administration tasks (such as creating new Groups and Users) by themselves.

They made a strategic decision to move all servers to the cloud and dispense with VPN connections for remote working.

ATOC contacted Dunstan Thomas Consulting to work with them to perform a migration of their existing Enterprise Architect infrastructure to the cloud.

Background


ATOC are relative newcomers to Enterprise Architect and have been using the tool to model, primarily, business processes using BPMN 2.0.

ATOC have a number of modelling teams allocated to specific groups and have a number of floating licenses. Dunstan Thomas Consulting worked with them to create a collaborative modelling environment using a shared model repository hosted using MySQL, together with a repository structure and the necessary Groups and Users which were authenticated using Windows Authentication.

The initial modelling infrastructure was as illustrated below:



While this infrastructure was very successful, ATOC made a strategic decision to move all servers to the Cloud, thus allowing access via HTTP or HTTPS protocols from any location. After some trials, they decided upon using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the cloud hosting platform.

ATOC contacted Dunstan Thomas Consulting to provide consultancy services to:

  1. Install and configure an AWS hosted MySQL repository suitable for use as an Enterprise Architect repository.
  2. Install and configure Sparx Cloud services to use HTTPS protocol for connection to this AWS hosted MySQL repository.
  3. Install and configure secure access to Enterprise Architect floating licenses also hosted on AWS cloud.
  4. Create a set of Groups and Users for the AWS hosted MySQL repository, ideally using Windows Authentication.
  5. Migrate the existing model repository from the ATOC hosted MySQL database to the AWS hosted MySQL repository.

This new infrastructure is illustrated below:

Challenge


In January 2016, Dunstan Thomas Consulting worked with ATOC to perform the installation, configuration and migration of their model repository.

ATOC had already created the necessary server images on AWS for the MySQL database and a Windows Virtual Machine for hosting the Sparx Cloud Services and floating licenses.

The challenges posed by this installation and configuration were:

  1. Creation of the database structure on MySQL.
  2. Configuring the Sparx Systems Web Services.
  3. Creation of a certificate for HTTPS protocol connections.
  4. Testing the connection.
  5. Allowing access to the AWS hosted Sparx Systems Web Services via specific TCP ports.
  6. Providing an alternative to Windows Authentication since the ATOC active directories cannot be migrated to AWS.
  7. Ensuring access to the AWS hosted floating licenses were protected from unauthorised access.
  8. Performing the migration of the existing ATOC model repository to the new AWS hosted model repository.

Why ATOC chose to use Enterprise Architect and Dunstan Thomas

“For many years here at ATOC we had been using a number of modelling tools. The office was comprised of a mish-mash of modelling tools raging from Microsoft Visio to Rational System Architect this often resulted in interoperability issues and a lack of standards across the enterprise. As the Lead Data Architect I was given the task of procuring a new modelling tool which was affordable and fit for purpose across the ATOC enterprise. After tediously trawling through a labyrinth of Modelling tools it was decided that Sparx’ Enterprise Architect (EA) was the best tool that would meet ATOC’s needs and after a further careful selection Dunstan Thomas was chosen to carry out the installation and customisation.

DT showed professionalism and very importantly grasped and understood ATOC’s business needs. DT have provided ATOC with both the skills and expertise to productively use and administer EA over the last year. It was therefore a given that when I was asked to move our entire EA infrastructure into the Cloud I selected DT for the job a decision that once again proved to be the right one. The entire EA infrastructure was successfully moved into the Cloud on time and on budget.”


Al-Rasheed Amzart
Enterprise Data Architect, ATOC

Solution


Creation of the database structure on MySQL

This was a simple matter of executing the SQL script as provided by Sparx Systems. Only a single user (with DBA privileges) needs to be created, since all access to the MySQL database is via the Sparx Systems Cloud Services.

Configuring the Sparx Systems Web Services

The installation of the Sparx Systems web services presented no issues. ATOC decided on using the default settings for the Cloud Services including the use of the default ports for Cloud Services administration, HTTP and HTTPS protocols.

Using the Cloud Services administration tool, DTC created an ODBC connection to the MySQL database.

Creation of a certificate for HTTPS protocol connections

This wasn’t complicated, as a batch file is provided by Sparx Systems for the creation of a Self-signed certificate using OpenSSL. This did require downloading an openssl config file which again presented no issues.

Testing the Connection

In order to test the connection to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository, it was necessary to create a minimal structure. DTC performed this task by using the Model Transfer functionality within Enterprise Architect to transfer a local repository consisting of just a single Model Root to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository. This was achieved without encountering any issues.

Once transferred a connection was made between Enterprise Architect and the AWS hosted MySQL model repository using both HTTP and HTTPS protocols. This worked perfectly.

Allowing access to the AWS hosted Sparx Systems Web Services via specif ic TCP ports

Since access via TCP ports is usually blocked by default by the Windows Firewall, DTC created the necessary inbound and outbound rules to allow traffic through the TCP ports for HTTP and HTTPS access as specified in the Cloud Services configuration file.

Providing an alternative to Windows Authentication since ATOC active directories cannot be migrated to AWS

Authentication on the ATOC hosted MySQL model repository was performed using Windows Authentication and active directory. However, this cannot be migrated to AWS, so another method of authenticating the connection to the AWS hosted MySQL had to be found.

There is only one viable option, namely that each user has their own user id and password. ATOC found this solution perfectly acceptable, and were able to create the necessary groups, users, passwords and permissions using skills learned during the first consultancy engagement with Dunstan Thomas Consulting.

Ensuring access to the AWS hosted f loating licenses were protected from unauthorised access

Initially the solution was to install the Sparx Licence keystore manager on the same Windows Virtual machine as the Sparx Systems cloud services.

This was performed without any issues, and included modifying the Keystore services configuration to request a password for access to the keystore. However upon testing it was discovered that the Enterprise Architect client was not able to connect to the Keystore Service running on the AWS hosted virtual machine.

Several attempts at finding a solution were tried:

  1. Creating inbound and outbound rules on the Windows firewall to allow access to the port required by the Keystore service.
  2. Configuring the AWS security group settings to allow access to this port.
  3. Removing the request for the password to access the keystore.

Unfortunately all attempts at finding a solution failed.

Dunstan Thomas Consulting then discovered that ATOC made use of Microsoft Cloud Based SharePoint functionality, and proposed a solution to host the Sparx Systems floating licences on the Microsoft Cloud Based SharePoint.

This was performed, tested and ATOC were delighted to see that this solution worked perfectly. Furthermore, since only their staff had access to the Microsoft Cloud Based SharePoint location, access to the Enterprise Architect floating licences was provided automatically without the need for a user to supply a password.

Performing the migration of the existing ATOC model repository to the new AWS hosted model repository

As the ATOC model repository is reasonably large, Dunstan Thomas Consulting proposed that only a single section be migrated to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository. This could then be tested and once agreed that all was working successfully, the remainder of the model repository could be transferred.

Initially, Dunstan Thomas Consulting performed this using the Model Transfer functionality within Enterprise Architect, and whilst successful, it took a very long time to complete.

Once transferred successfully, ATOC with the guidance of DTC created a Group, Privileges and Users on the AWS hosted MySQL model repository. Concurrent access to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository was then tested and this test was successful.

ATOC then undertook the transfer of the remaining sections of the model repository to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository themselves, and discovered that a more timely and reliable method of migration was to use export and import via XML files. ATOC then created the remaining Groups and Users.

This was achieved on time prior to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository going live.

Results


“ATOC’s main purpose for moving its EA infrastructure into the Cloud was twofold. Firstly floor space is at a premium and there was a need to decommission one of our primary in-house server rooms and all its contents in order to free up valuable space. And secondly a number of applications and file sharing resources have already been moved into the cloud. This move meant that key EA resources could be accessed directly over the internet and security would be provided by ATOC’s Active Directory and local client security would be provided within Enterprise Architect. Using AWS meant that we could scale our EA database in a more dynamic way.

Users have also found that when using EA across AWS it is much faster and more stable than previously. This ease of use has helped to increase and improve productivity and these improvements have all been realised within weeks of having EA installed within AWS.”


Al-Rasheed Amzart
Enterprise Data Architect, ATOC

Summary


With Dunstan Thomas Consulting’s help and experience ATOC migrated their existing model repository and floating licences to the cloud, on time and without any major issues.

At a Glance


  • ATOC took the strategic decision to move all servers to the cloud and required Dunstan Thomas Consulting to provide help and expertise to enable this to happen.
  • The Enterprise Architect model repository was hosted successfully using AWS and MySQL.
  • The Enterprise Architect cloud services was hosted successfully using AWS and a virtual machine running Windows server.
  • The Enterprise Architect floating licenses could not be hosted on AWS, but were hosted successfully using Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint.
  • The migration of the existing repository was successful, but very time consuming. The most reliable means of migration was using export and import using XML files.

You can download a copy of this case study here.

Published in Case Studies
Monday, 31 August 2015 03:49

Upcoming Webinars - Late 2015

Sparx Systems is pleased to announce a number of upcoming webinars covering topics including geodatabases, Cloud Services and migrating ArcGIS models in Visio.

To learn more, visit our Webinar directory:

www.sparxsystems.com/webinars

 

Modeling Techniques for Large-Scale ArcGIS Geodatabases

September 2015 Learn how to create modular schema designs to maximize reuse; define scalable design diagrams from reusable components; and leverage inheritance of abstract shape stereotypes.

Click to Register

 

Introduction to Cloud Services

October 2015 Learn how to create, manage and configure the Sparx Systems Cloud Service to provide convenient, secure model access anywhere in the world.


Click to Register

 

How to Migrate Visio ArcGIS Models to Enterprise Architect

November 2015 Learn how to migrate existing ArcGIS (CASE) Models in Visio to Enterprise Architect and leverage state-of-the-art modeling tools to update and maintain geodatabase designs.
Click to Register

Published in News

In an earlier Sparx Systems White Paper the scenario of a jigsaw puzzle was used as a metaphor for agile, flexible and collaborative response to the creation of a shared vision within an environment that is in a state of high flux.  The process of digital transformation will increase the probability of technology failure and change to complex systems will heighten risk exposure. It is essential that organisations mitigate these threats by deploying tools to support the creation of enterprise wide, agile responses. This paper discusses the inter relationship between managing digital transformation, collaborative agile tools and approaches and provides relevant examples of industry responses to digital disruption.

In the puzzle scenario, the mutual dependencies and unpredictability could be analogous to the challenges of digital transformation. Traditional business models will be driven to change by the forces of disruption and current business and IT portfolios will need to meet future demand. The agility with which organisations respond to these changes will be the key factor that governs their future success or their relegation to the beleaguered, whose business models have been made redundant.
 
These forces of digital disruption actually encourage business agility. The scalability afforded by cloud technology for example enables highly flexible service costs. Gartner predicts that “By 2017, 40 percent of utilities with smart metering solutions will use cloud-based big data analytics to address asset-, commodity-, customer- or revenue-related needs.”  In another example the just released “2014 Airlines IT Trends Survey” reveals that “the disruption caused by mobile is so significant that airlines feel that they must invest in mobile services to ensure that they are not left behind.” The survey also reports that “Today, 100% of airlines are investing in the mobile space.”  In the retail industry social media on mobile phones is creating a constant feedback loop that informs the development of business agility. As it permits real-time interactions with customers, it also drives growth.  The 17th Annual Global CEO Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, reports that technology is already having a far-reaching impact on healthcare delivery and CEOs are already planning ways to take advantage of this trend.  89% plan to improve their ability to innovate; 93% plan to change their technology investments; and 95% are exploring better ways of using and managing big data.

Across industry, successful business evolution over the next decade will be based on the extent to which organisations can harness the forces of disruption and become the disrupting force.  Organisational risk profiles will be changed by these forces and the new profiles will inform strategy and decision making. To translate business vision and digital strategy into effective enterprise change will require that leaders possess the ability to visualise, simulate and optimise the target state and ensure that the activities of everyone in the business are co-ordinated.

A systematic approach to the management of change provides an inclusive framework that considers the whole enterprise as well as the needs of different stakeholders. This agile business approach ensures that during the change process lifecycle, priorities are regularly assessed and progress continually monitored.  As requirements are identified adjustments are made by managers and their teams, and not left to the end.

Data visualisation enables insights that support faster and more effective decision making while improving communication and bridging the IT – Business divide. To enable agility and insight to support decision making, organisations must also address silos in legacy systems, business, and information. 

Enterprise Architect is and remains a technology that is fit for purpose in meeting the challenges of the changing business and IT environment. Visually powerful, it provides a fantastic viewpoint of multiple technologies and organizational units, all working together. Team review, shared data models and model mail are all in-built tools that can improve communication and break down silos, because everyone is using the same data/info/model.

To more effectively manage growing complexity and to stay focused and in control, agile and traditional teams choose Enterprise Architect.  Due to very competitive total cost of ownership, large and distributed teams can collaborate more effectively and increase speed and ease, in the design, build, and management of their solutions and processes. 

The industry tested traceability features of Enterprise Architect speak directly to shared awareness and clarity on what has been previously achieved.  According to Gartner, “An agile, multidimensional approach to architecture is absolutely essential to support continuous development and innovation. Give developers the tools to fail fast, iterate quickly and innovate for business transformation.”  The Kanban burndown charts that have been added to Enterprise Architect help to bring project reality into clear focus by showing the work done against the timeline, decision impacts and eliminate fuzziness about time based goals and deadlines.


Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect combines Agile projects with non Agile projects in a single projects portfolio, eliminating the necessity for any additional tools. For further information on tools for digital transformation and the creation of a shared vision within an environment that is in a state of high flux go to:

http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/products/ea/11/

Published in White Papers
Monday, 16 June 2014 04:37

Back to the Future

Not since Y2K, has there been tumult of anticipation and apprehension about the impact of technology change that is predicted by the Nexus of Forces (Cloud, Social, Mobile and Big Data).

digiziedworld ver3 nightsky

At the turn of the millennium, the perceived threat was enough for governments to take action before the event, which serendipitously strengthened the existing computer infrastructure. The “millennium bug” crisis created an opportunity to get rid of antiquated systems and modernise and according to an IDC report from 2006 the global cost of remediation was $308 billion (or $422B adjusted for inflation).

A programming bug and a poor understanding of process and outcomes caused the millennium crisis and factors which have relevance today. Together with an absence of standardised processes and ad-hoc decision making, (no repositories or collaboration tools) a lack of adherence to programming standards, project expedience, un-coordinated codebase modifications and uncompleted changes are some of the many factors that lead to technical debt or IT debt. In 2010 Gartner estimated “global 'IT Debt' to be $500 Billion with potential to grow to $1 Trillion by 2015”.

Applications drive the business and management makes decisions based on these applications, many of which were built to meet the needs of discreet business areas at a time when the idea of holistic management of applications as a portfolio was uncommon. With the need to create a single view of the customer from all parts of the enterprise the application silos must now be addressed. However, enterprise will continue to rely on those applications and adapt them to meet the nexus of forces.

The next period of uncertainty presents global industry with risk and opportunity in equal measure and just as with the response to Y2K, the forces of change can be harnessed to drive the digital workplace and promote workplace agility. If not maintained applications will eventually cause problems that can threaten the hard won competitive advantage of an organization and the ability to succeed through periods of dramatic change.

If there was ever a clear measure of change since the beginning of the 21st century one must only look at the growth of the forces in the digital convergence. In 1999, the total amount of data globally was 1.5 Exabytes, in 2010, 1.2Zb (12000 Eb) and will reach 7.9Zb in 2015. There were 300 million mobile phone subscribers in 1999 and today there are more than 7 billion. In 1999 there were 248 million Internet subscribers and today there are 3 billion. Such exponential growth has an impact on enterprise architecture, creating a demand for visual tools that are capable of engaging the whole organisation. Through the innovative use of technology, the enterprise can become a disrupting influence rather than be subjected to disrupting influences, while using the tide of digital change to reinvent itself.

ea diagramming shots swirl bgThe adoption of standards based tools that provide the templates and frameworks to reduce risk and increase efficiency is a major step towards technical debt reduction. The automation of processes will provide the time savings demanded by the agile enterprise while improving data quality. This in turn will reduce costs, create savings and support better informed investments, improved decision making and the fostering of innovation. The digital future requires both speed and agility while nurturing and growing organizational innovation.

Standards codify the best practices of an industry, with the built in adaptability and flexibility that is informed by having an eye to the future. In situations where compliance is mandated or where there is uncertainty, such as that generated by digital convergence, standards are designed to provide assurance and guidance.

Enterprise Architect supports the collaborative visualisation to remediate the software legacy and take control of the software development for evolving systems. This award winning, repository based technology, which is built on open standards, offers a number of automated best practices that can be adopted to shrink technical debt, while supporting the diverse viewpoints of stakeholders, geographically distributed throughout the enterprise. A powerful low cost solution to integrate critical information legacy with future systems design.

 

Published in Sparx Insights

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;…….John Donne

 

As the impact from the digital industrial economy takes effect, it will drive the need for enterprise architects to digitally renew the business. In a connected world, there is no place for silos, and the extent of connectivity determines levels of inclusion in the digital economy, the quality of service/product and resulting customer loyalty.

 

Sparx Systems supports those enterprise architects who are navigating business enterprise and facilitating digital business renewal, through rapid and unprecedented change.

 

Optimised service networks encourage closer consumer relationships, which in turn promote improved business relationships, while providing value added competitive barriers. Service differentiation will come from those organisations that succeed in integrating digital technologies to deliver consumers a unique and ongoing experience.

 

To ensure maximum customer retention and growth, utilities and telecommunications rely heavily on geospatial information systems, mobile workforce applications and communications management, for the construction, operation, maintenance and management of critical network systems.

 

In 1999 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) identified electrification as the first of the 20 greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century and the Smartgrid - which is driving modernisation of the electricity grid - became federal policy, with the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

 

The adoption of smart metering capabilities and the creation of new grid infrastructures are extending transmission and distribution systems in ways, which until recently, were not considered in the realm of the possible. Enterprise Architect is used to maintain the Common Information Model (CIM). http://enterprise-uml.com/news/453-25developing-standards-for-smartgrid?highlight=WyJzbWFydGdyaWQiXQ==

 

But, now this extension is connecting new or previously siloed networks, in an interoperable, communications model. This Smartgrid is a subset of a global tissue of smart connected devices called the Internet of Things (IoT). See http://www.iot-a.eu/public

The ability to automatically transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction is a scenario that suggests an explosion of connections. Providing unique identifiers with such capability, to objects, animals and people will push the installed base of connected things to 212 billion by 2020 according to IDC.

 

While the functionality of the Internet is based on open and interoperable standards, enabling interoperability and global accessibility the Internet of Things is for most part, a heterogeneous world of silos where standards for scalability, governance and security are yet to be developed.

 

The explosion of the Internet of Things will contribute to the generation of data volumes, which combined with other sources is referred to as Big Data and which threaten to outstrip our ability to deal with it while sowing new data silos. Without support from collaborative technologies that support highly automated processes, the time required make this data re-usable is impractical.

 

According to a 2012 Whitepaper by Oracle, An Architects Guide to Big Data, architects are expected to provide a fast, reliable path to business adoption while embracing new technologies and techniques are always challenging. These technologies and techniques should then be deployed to “share knowledge, establish standards, and to manage best practices”.

At a time when the resource “bandwidth” of the enterprise architect is being squeezed under the pressure of tasks and responsibilities, the pressure can be reduced through collaboration – the positive difference between the sum of the parts and the whole!

An affordable shared platform, supporting a highly scaleable, networked collaboration solution, is necessary. With the recent release of Enterprise Architect 11 Sparx Systems has provided several features to address this issue. The Cloud Service, Reusable Asset Service (RAS) and OSLC are a trinity of tools, which when used together, provide a powerful solution.

 

The Sparx Systems Cloud Services application provides a convenient mechanism for hosting data models while providing easy access to all team members, external customers and consultants, anywhere around the world.

 

The implementation of the RAS standard within Enterprise Architect provides a shared remote registry, accessible via a Cloud Service connection that will allow organizations to securely share information between one another in a standardised environment. Users can view the information in a single, consolidated virtual registry-repository, while retaining local control over their own registry-repositories, while modellers can easily and conveniently distribute or download data resources including reusable model structures, information, corporate directives or standards. http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/products/ea/cloud-trial.html

Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC), makes it easier for different tools to work together and users can Create, Read, Update and Delete model information such as requirements. A video can be accessed here http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/products/ea/11/index.html

Sparx Systems has partnered with CSIRO to support the ongoing development of model registry features and functionality for Sparx's Enterprise Architect UML modelling tool. http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/press/articles/CSIRO-Collaboration.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Sparx Insights
Thursday, 30 January 2014 23:14

Mobility - Global Change Agent

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2013, there are almost as many mobile-cellular subscriptions as people in the world and in 2014 the number of mobile phones in use will exceed the number of people on the planet.

 

The mobile revolution is providing equity of access to education, health, government, banking, environment and business for many sectors of the global community while challenging enterprise business models in every sector. It is a platform that is here to stay and a disruptive influence on business that cannot be ignored.

 

Mobile devices form the platform that will deliver work models that are very different from the past and facilitate social networking. This force will inform the enterprise architecture that will deliver strategic support for mobile devices owned by employees and provide open, secure environments to allow these devices to connect to enterprise systems including the cloud.

 

By defining an envisioned future state that can be shared and discussed, enterprise architecture will assist organizations to navigate change in an agile manner while enabling milestones to be achieved within agreed time-frames. A key standard for enterprise architecture is the use of UML for creating design models: http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/platforms/soa.html

 

Enterprise architecture is about ensuring that an organization has the right integration/alignment between IT and the business (including people, processes, investments, information and technology) in order to better support the business's capabilities and to enable the business to evolve toward a future state, according to Gartner - “It is not just about technology. Enterprise Architecture is the key to driving digital strategy": http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2586115

Published in White Papers
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 03:08

Data Synthesis and Systems Integration

The success of business models lies in their agility, the extent to which they adapt to changing market conditions and how they maintain efficiency and competitiveness in international supply chains. Today markets are changing at an unprecedented pace, driven by mobile, social, cloud and data technology. 

IDC states that “by 2020, a third of the data in the digital universe (more than 13,000 exabytes) will have Big Data value, but only if it is tagged and analysed”

In an ideal world, large enterprises want to be able to respond to market change, with the speed of smaller competitors. This agility lies in the organisational ability, to create innovation cycles at the technology, people and process levels- the development of new applications based on insights crystallised, from the effective collection, management and analysis of data.  These cycles have the potential to continually drive, innovation and solutions.

An Enterprise Data Architecture identifies the strategic data requirements and the related components of the information management solution at the enterprise level, and supports the ability to leverage data into business intelligence.
Such architecture informs organisation strategy and provides a formal approach to creating and managing the flow of data and data processing across IT systems and applications. This includes defining objectives for the improvement of data collection and use, process improvement, effective decision making on new and modified solutions, data warehousing, integration and reporting initiatives.

The dollars are in the detail when it comes to data management practice. If organisations are to reap this value, they will need to enable data synthesis on a shared, intra-organisation basis, and for this, modelling of data assets is imperative. Enterprise Architect has a built in data modelling profile and further information can be found here http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/enterprise-architect/information-data-modeling/information-data-modeling.html

Gartner recommends that “enterprises should adopt a portfolio of data integration tools that support a range of data delivery styles” including “federated and virtualized views of data.” It is recommended to take into account both existing data integration processes and future needs relative to a range of use-cases including data warehousing, operational application integration, system migrations and data conversions, and intra-enterprise data sharing.

The Big Data Survey http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2593815 conducted by Gartner in 2013 reveals that “64 Percent of organizations have invested or plan to invest in Big Data in 2013”.

Published in White Papers
Sunday, 19 January 2014 22:07

Innovate for Competitive Advantage

Organisations or complex adaptive systems share a common characteristic. They are self organising and have the ability to learn, adapt, and differentiate themselves from other self organizing systems.

 

The strength of this characteristic is about to be tested in the face of an imminent and challenging period of disruption that Gartner calls the Nexus of Forces. The forces of this Nexus are Mobile computing, Social collaboration, Cloud and Information (Big Data) and it is predicted to create unprecedented change.

 

Good information management practice has always been the basis of competitive advantage and resulting business success, but the big advances that innovation creates also means big change. This is unfamiliar and uncharted territory and effective navigation and management, is a matter of survival.

 

Today, information is a strong currency and an inability to leverage information across use cases, roles and organizational structures, can mean an undiscovered El Dorado of value. Governing, managing, storing and analysis of information that is centralized and decentralized is critical to success.

 

For innovation to grow and to avert the risk of creating new information silos, good business triage is essential. A clear view of information capabilities and management solutions that are consistent for sharing and reuse, will mean greater business value. Engaging as many aspects of the organization as possible in problem solving, depends on the flow of ideas and the socialization of people, who would otherwise be siloed.

 

Organizational theorist Ikujiro Nonaka suggests innovation comes from serendipity. Knowledge is not created by information processing, but is created by “tapping the tacit and often highly subjective insights, intuitions, and hunches of individual employees and making those insights available for testing and use by the company as a whole". Organizational silos are the nemesis of serendipity.

 

Gartner in its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools recognized Sparx Systems, for the fourth year running. Our user base tells us that Enterprise Architect has allowed them to take unprecedented control of planning and development and to make corporate decisions that fully integrate the wisdom of both business and IT leaders and stakeholders. For more detail on how Enterprise Architect supports the organisation in addressing major disruption, please refer to the Whitepaper.

 

 

 

Published in White Papers