Enterprise Architect version 13

download
purchase

English Chinese (Simplified) Czech Dutch French German Italian Korean Polish Portuguese Russian Slovak Spanish Swedish

My Profile

Social Media Channels

facebook google plus twitter youtube linkedin

Monday, 10 October 2016 04:40

Geospatial Data and Service Innovation

According to the World Economic Forum, over the coming years, the employment landscape will be deeply impacted, by the disruptive changes to today's commonly accepted business models.

 

earosehoneycombHowever, opportunity abounds for those industries, enterprises and individuals, who effectively adapt and transform. That said, the middle aged geospatial sector is now facing a crisis, - a perfect storm of advancements in technology infrastructure, market sustainability and geospatial information commodities.

Together, these critical elements present a change force, whose energy source is relentless innovation. It is challenging market exclusivities and the business models of every industry including journalism, taxis, accommodation and travel which have recently, been irrevocably changed.

 

Big Data

A nascent technology, the Internet of Things (IOT) promises to enhance our physical environment and the geo-specific data generated in real time by the IOT, will reveal how the physical world is shaping human activity, - and vice versa. Within a decade, IDC predicts, that 30 billion geo-located things will be connected and this ecosystem will generate a revenue of $1.7 trillion. In 2007 the estimated information content of all human knowledge was 279 Exabytes growing to 35 Zetabytes by 2020.

Big data is disrupting the enterprise, data processing methods and usage and for the enterprise to effectively work with vast volumes of data at speed, new enterprise architectures will be required. People, processes and systems help the enterprise turn raw data into useful information and informed action and with big data talent in short supply, successful users source skills wherever they can find them, leaning heavily on external, experienced resources. Furthermore, well-defined user needs, functional requirements, and application specifications are essential for the success of any enterprise system, be it geospatial or otherwise.

The Big Data explosion is also “driving strong growth in big data-related infrastructure (21.7% CAGR), software (26.2% CAGR), and services (22.7% CAGR),” according to a report from IDC in late 2015, while the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, has forecast a higher than average 17% growth in demand for software developers, between 2014 and 2024.

 

A Turning Point

The AGI Foresight Report 2020, from 2015 highlights the fact, that the geospatial industry is at an existential point in its history. Industry change will only be driven, through the recognition of the latent possibilities of data and data value-add services, and this requires a fundamental and deep understanding of the relationship with digital data. At this time, the inability of the industry to succinctly explain the usefulness or value of their data, tools or services coupled with a perception of an “inner sanctum of GIS” are holding the industry back. To “ditch this image” and change from seeing itself as a data provider and become a data service will present the geospatial industry, with the greatest of untapped opportunities.

As the industry struggles to take advantage of this data El Dorado, other industry sectors are reaping rewards. A recent survey of leaders in the Australian spatial sector “found that 95% believe spatial services are either not achieving growth potential, or that the growth is being captured by other industry sectors.” In a global geoservices market with anticipated annual growth of 30%, ideas have to be actualised faster and more cost-effectively, otherwise competitive market forces will eat the associated opportunity and those ideas will never reach fruition.

 

"... demand for enterprise application development is
set to significantly outstrip supply in the short term..."

 

Innovation

The uniqueness of geospatial technology, lies in its use of geography as its common framework to integrate many different interests, within which the range of innovative use cases, is growing rapidly. Ubiquitous geospatial technology flows into opportunity spaces and enables innovation in many sectors and opportunity for the geospatial industry, lies in collaboration with those sectors which consume geospatial data.

For example Drone technology is now feeding the demand for high quality data and enhancing data processing and accessibility and it is predicted that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) will replace conventional ways of collecting remotely sensed data.
A practical use case for this innovation is the support being provided in Kathmandhu for the humanitarian efforts, following the devastating Nepal earthquakes. Another is conservation and environmental protection, such as analysing glacier dynamics in the Himalayas.

 

Software's Growing Market Influence

'Preparing for the Software Future', written earlier this year by Sparx Systems, focused on the pervasive influence of software on the future, specifically in terms of those innovative business solutions, in every sector of industry, (including geospatial) which are disrupting long accepted and protected models. The post noted, that success for a growing number of companies, lay in embracing the rising strategic importance of software and in viewing software development, as a crucial competitive battlefield.

The US government also acknowledges this fact. In April the Washington Post reported that leading companies, like Walmart and AT&T, along with the likes of Facebook and Apple and a bipartisan coalition of 27 governors, have called on Congress “arguing that the United States needs far more students who are literate in the technologies that are transforming nearly every industry.”

The demand for enterprise application development is set to significantly outstrip supply in the short term and given these market dynamics, platforms that reduce hand coding and enable rapid delivery of business applications are essential technology. By freeing businesses of this overhead, these development platforms significantly reduce the costs associated with traditional development solutions while addressing the challenges of future enterprise application development and legacy modernization.

 

Geospatial Services Demand

Oxera published a report on behalf of Google back in January 2013 showing a geospatial services market revenues at between $150-270B per year and according to Technavio, the global GIS market will experience “a CAGR of more than 10% by 2020.” Analysts have estimated the software segment to account for a market share of more than 48% during the forecast period.

Digital disruption will create many new cross-functional roles for which employees will need both technical, social and analytical skills. An article by Forbes reporting on the skills demand being generated by big data shows that between 2014 and 2015, the highest growth was for software and application developers. This is corroborated by the Geospatial Technology Competency Model from the US Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

geospatial technology competency model

Software based demand for business applications, coupled with well documented shortages of developers , is giving rise to the 'citizen developer', a new role description, that is increasingly turning up in social media. According to the Gartner glossary, this emergent user, is one who “creates new business applications for consumption by others, using development and runtime environments, sanctioned by corporate IT.” While it is likely that citizen developers such as a GIS-savvy geographers with limited programming skills, could eventually become developers, coding is less that 20% of the application development lifecycle. When it comes to developing a concise, correct, consistent, and mutually understandable design, software system requirements and designs, must be easily analysed, developed and managed in a coordinated manner.

Amidst myriad communication barriers and team pressures, constantly changing system requirements, increasing complexity and shrinking design cycles, the right automation tools are essential to ensure that the right system is built, with the right quality and performance characteristics, within budget and on schedule.

The ability to universally share maps in the cloud, makes them available across many mobile devices. These can be programmed and customized by outside developers and users, through application programming interfaces, or APIs. With the introduction of the Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect ArcGIS profile, the information gap between different domains is bridged, allowing geospatial components to be linked to requirements, system and business models. Geospatial experts are equipped with the modeling tools, to create and work with geodatabases, re-engineer spatial legacy data and integrate their work with others.

 

Collaborative Approach

As experiences are gathered from initial commercial applications of a new technology, the range of functionalities and their adaption are increased, for each specific technology use case. The geospatial industry recognises, that its specialists “are no longer representative of the typical user of many of the technologies (they) are developing.” Innovation is driven and supported by collaboration between different stakeholders with shared aims. The collective intellectual effort of academic institutions, start-ups and large corporations, propels the progress of new technologies.

Collaboration is becoming a new enterprise standard and it enables industry and enterprise to synergise the strengths of all their parts, while creating a shared awareness of issues. It encourages trust and builds confidence in group stakeholders and promotes interoperability and collective problem resolution. Because collaboration reduces or eliminates process overlap and resource redundancy, creative energy is harnessed and the chance of success is increased. This makes practical sense, as the combined data sets are too large for any one industry or enterprise to analyse. With a documented history of working collaboratively with many industries including the geospatial industry, Sparx Systems standards based technology, is used by these industries, to assist their adaption to the challenges of disruption.

Innovation often occurs by bringing different approaches to problem solving, together in a business. Many industries have worked hard over the last decade to define shared meta-models that are specific to their industry and which support a standardized structure for systems communications. It is these models which now form the basis for contractual information sharing across organizations and across geographic borders.

However, when information is shared between organizations, it is frequently the case that only a subset of the full meta-model is required, but it is essential, that what is shared conforms precisely to the agreed meta-model. In this case, the Schema Composer is the perfect tool for deriving contractual schema based on sub-sets and restricted data sets that take a 'slice' through the meta-model as a whole.

 

"Collaboration is becoming a new enterprise standard and it enables
industry and enterprise to synergise the strengths of all their parts..."
 

 

Role of Academia

The World Economic Forum report “The Future of Jobs 2016”, notes that education systems are providing siloed training and continuing practices from last century that are hindering progress in addressing the current labor market and talent issues. The Report recommends that businesses and education providers, government and others collaborate as this can result in higher quality across the talent pool, lower costs and increased social benefits.

Similarly the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) report “Future Trends in Geospatial Information Management: the five to ten year vision”, commenting on extracting value from big data, notes that “will place a premium on highly skilled data modellers.” The report also notes that “The development of these skill bases will be delivered through a wide range of professional, academic and in business approaches, as recognition grows of the need for a managed process of skills development and capacity building.”

 

Support for the Geospatial sector and Academia

Sparx Systems has an education outreach function that delivers flexible licensing options for academic institutions and individuals, through in our Academic Licencing Program. Access to Non Commercial and low cost licences of the popular visual modeling platform, Enterprise Architect is made available to those education institutions who are interested in offering education programs that address the challenges presented by big data. We have also worked closely with 50+ global industry domains including government, providing licences through our support program for Standards Development and have instituted awards to encourage universities and institutions to develop model based solutions for industry. Two of these awards have been offered in the health and geospatial communities and were awarded through HL7 and the EU INSPIRE.

As an organisation that has been recognised by CIOReview, for helping rapid adaption to new technology trends and improving operations across the enterprise lifecycle, we look forward to ongoing collaboration with industry, academia and government.

Published in Sparx Insights
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 02:15

Collaborative Evolution

Linkedin xFishmakesLFish

 

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." 

- Henry Ford


Ten years ago, Gartner published the Emerging Technology Hype Cycle Report, and identified “collective intelligence” as a technology that would have “the greatest impact” on business over the following decade. Now in 2016, a convergence of technologies has conspired to create a miasma of complexity so engulfing that there is no alternative but to adapt to it. Old responses to new norms are inadequate. So how is this challenge to be addressed to retain existing market share and build on achieved success?

 

A recent article “Let Go of What Made Your Company Great” in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) discussing organisational response states that “the appropriate solution to employ depends on the magnitude of the challenge and how much of the organization is affected by the challenge”.


The very organisational structures that sufficed to create success in the past now present the greatest risk to adaptive organisational response to the complexity challenge. The HBR goes on to demonstrate with business examples, that letting go of entrenched thinking requires bringing “the organizational reflex circuitry out of auto-pilot.” A survey on business agility recently reported that almost fifty percent of survey participants blamed opposition based company culture or philosophy for agile failures.

 

In “Collective Intelligence in Teams and Organizations” a paper by lead author Anita Williams Woolley from MIT, the team explores the ingredients required for the development of collective intelligence and describes collective intelligence as including “a group’s capability to collaborate and coordinate effectively” stating “this is often much more important for group performance than individual ability alone”.


Agile encourages enhanced communication, sharing of information and collaboration. A report in Forbes from 2015 by Steve Denning discusses how “Agile, Scrum and Lean arose as a deliberate response to the problems of hierarchical bureaucracy that is still pervasive in organizations today: falling rates of return on assets and on invested capital, a dispirited workforce, a decline in competitiveness and widespread disruption of existing business models.” In hierarchical models subordinates report upwardly to the bosses. In horizontal agile structures the team focusses on the customer and as Peter Drucker has stated, the single goal of a business is to create a customer.


The collaborative behaviour between self organising, cross functional teams has recognised similarities in swarm intelligence or stigmergy, the stimulation effect that individual effort has in guiding the work of co-workers and the behaviour that creates the shared outcome.

 

Through the agile software development methodology, the evolution of requirements and solutions supported by the collaboration activity patterns of agile teams is similar to those exhibited in stimergy. Team members are stimulated by the performance that they have achieved and they are also stigmergically stimulated by their environment which, apart from collaboration enabling technologies also includes management support.


Organizational theorist Ikujiro Nonaka suggests that innovation comes from serendipity. Knowledge is not created by information processing, but 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". He adds “The key to this process is personal commitment, the employees’ sense of identity with the enterprise and its mission.”


Silos are the nemesis of serendipity. Different team members and stakeholders must be able to input information that is relevant to their roles and activities and that is useful to the other members of shared projects. This implies the necessity to capture this information in a model that is available to all team members overcoming their geographical limitation.


The emergence of new ideas, or innovation, through collaboration, has been commented on extensively. A single idea can lead to breakthroughs and competitive advantage and the idea of one person can be used by many others who can make small refinements or improvements to the idea or spark completely new ideas. These in turn become the normal as creativity destroys long accepted convention.


Collaboration is becoming a new enterprise standard. In the face of the challenges being presented by market uncertainty, successful transition to the most effective use of strategic information technology, is a priority for many organisations. Collaboration enables the enterprise to leverage the strengths of all its parts and by harnessing creative energy and increasing the chances of success, while reducing or eliminating process overlap and resource redundancy. The shared awareness of issues promoted through collaboration encourages trust and builds confidence in group stakeholders and synergises the collective response to problem resolution.


The mutual dependency of collaborative culture and Agile approaches, is essential for successful project delivery, which is ultimately decided by the customer. Whether the organisation is large or small, has not yet adopted Agile or is Agile progressive, a handful of factors are critical to success.


Flexible Planning
In a business environment where innovative disruption is encouraged and fail fast is the short term goal, it is essential that situational change gets a nimble response and to that end, flexibility must be built into planning. The World Development Report 2013 published by the World Bank notes that creative destruction is the mainstay of economic growth. A plan is essential but it is not indispensable and ought to be replaceable when a better idea presents itself. Adaptive schedule planning identifies milestones, but, maintains a flexible approach to get to them, while making allowances for the milestones to change.

 

Evolutionary Development
The evolutionary development approach is iterative and is accepted practice for Agile software development. Agile development principles are different. Change is accepted and expected and because Agile software developers accept change as a constant, they choose to work in this way. A central tenet of agile teams is that it is okay to fail and to try another method. Collaboration unites individual efforts enabling the team to accomplish goals. Failure is foundational to these efforts, as it provides opportunities for teams to review and re-organise strategies.

 

The Global Innovation Index (GII) has established itself as a leading reference on innovation and in 2015 published the eighth report titled “Effective Innovation Policies for Development”. This report stated that “Innovative enterprises are shown to be economically more successful than firms that rely on tried and true processes and approaches.” Agile processes embrace change, which translates as the customer’s competitive advantage.


Early Delivery
Early delivery is seen as a leading measure of progress and depends on several factors. Frequent releases of working software, to ensure shorter feedback cycles which in turn facilitate collaboration with customers. This development cycle also encourages discussion which reveals the status of development, uncovers problems and identifies ways of implementing solutions, while supporting learning and development of an understanding of the function of the system.

 

As implied earlier, higher revenue from stepped delivery is supported by Agile development philosophy which also promotes a culture of ‘perpetual beta’ or early and frequent releases. This high frequency iteration allows the customer to provide valuable feedback on a regular basis.


Continuous Improvement
Process improvement underpinned the successful growth of Toyota from its small company genesis to a global auto industry leader, over a relatively short period. Also known as Kaizen, continuous improvement, a lean based manufacturing approach, systematically seeks to achieve incremental changes in processes, in order to improve efficiency and quality.


Embracing Change
When change is viewed as an asset within an organisation, survivability and competitiveness are supported and the process of evolving to a future state is a cultural constant for such organizations. In the past, stability was seen as a positive attribute within an organisation and was the bulwark against change, which if possible was to be averted.

 

Today that strategy has been obliterated. Agile is the adaptability and responsiveness to change that is essential to successfully compete in the new competitive landscape. The iterative approach of customer driven Agile development teams, while reducing the size of the changes related to a software release, also increases the change frequency. Agile processes embrace change, which translates as the customer’s competitive advantage.

Published in Sparx Insights
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 02:57

Standards, Interoperability and Innovation

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent; a part of the main;"

 - John Donne

 

Connectedness:

As the impact from the digital industrial economy takes effect, not only will it inform enterprise how to successfully leverage globally interconnected technology to deliver results according to the mission and vision of the company - the impact will drive the need to digitally renew the business. A connected world eliminates silos and the extent of connectivity determines levels of inclusion in the digital economy, the quality of services and products and the resulting customer loyalty.

 

Innovation from Inspiration:

The Ptolemaic SystemInnovation is a palimpsest of disruptions, evidence that the advances of modern science are inspired by the achievements of the past.  The majority of innovative ideas take products, services or processes that are already working and improve on them. One clear example is the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) which, when completed, will provide unprecedented information about distant galaxies, nearby asteroids and the dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. It will boost technological development and ‘has the potential to transform our knowledge of the universe’ which for centuries, was inspired by Ptolemy.

The stars have provided pointers for the earliest exploratory excursions of mankind and  Ptolemy’s Almagest published in the first century, is a codification of the constellations and a catalogue of the fixed stars. For 1400 years, it was the standard astronomical reference and one of the most influential books in the history of Western astronomy.  Still today, standards support industry competitiveness, improve performance and enable technology such as the LSST. They do this by assisting with the codification and dissemination of new knowledge and innovations and ensuring interoperability.

 

Interoperability:

Across every industry sector, Sparx Systems directly supports standards development and those enterprise architects who rely on standards to navigate business enterprise through rapid and unprecedented change. In the burgeoning geospatial sector open standards enable organizations to take advantage of new geospatial information sources and technology tools and they are a central element of open government. Interoperability is a key aim of open standards and their development offers stakeholders such as governments, universities, research organisations and business enterprises the opportunity to participate in their development.

 

Integration:

Within the geospatial market, standards are driving rapid change and technology deployment while creating new cross - domain opportunities. The United Nations initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) provides leadership in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and promoting its application to address key global challenges.
The United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management was formed in 2011.  Later that year, the First High Level Forum on Global Geospatial Information Management, and the First Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts were held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Experts from 90 countries met to enhance global cooperation in the field of geospatial information management.
 

ArcGIS Geodatabase Design with UMLInformation Accessibility:

In 2012 the Secretary General of the UN Economic and Social Council identified “better integration of geospatial and statistical information, as a key challenge” in meeting information needs and in 2014 the United Nations Global Forum on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information took place. The UN Expert Group on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information is developing a global statistical-geospatial framework – modelled on the Statistical Spatial Framework (SSF) developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  This Framework will provide a common approach to connecting people-centric (socio-economic) information to a location, and improve the accessibility and usability of this spatially-enabled information.

 

Standards:

The spatial and statistical communities operate different metadata capabilities and approaches to ensure that these two metadata environments can work together effectively are being investigated. Metadata standards being reviewed include: Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX), Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), and the international geospatial metadata standard ISO19115.

The recently released Address Standard ISO 19160-1 defines a conceptual model for address information together with the terms and definitions that describe the concepts in the model. The model provides a common representation of address information, independent of actual addressing implementations and a means to cross-map between different conceptual models for address information and enables the conversion of address information between specifications. The Address Standard is essential to the aims of the SSF in the sharing, accessing and dissemination of information.

 

Collaboration:

Sparx Systems continues to support both the global statistical and geospatial communities and has enhanced Enterprise Architect with the inclusion of profiles for ArcGIS and GML for this sector. In addition, through our collaboration program, Sparx Systems has partnered with CSIRO to support the ongoing development of model registry features and functionality for Enterprise Architect.

As stated by Geoffrey Sparks, Sparx Systems CEO in a recent interview, “I am strongly committed to the development and implementation of common, well understood modeling languages that enable disparate domains to communicate and integrate their specific processes and architectures into a single, well understood platform.”

In the coming years Sparx Systems imagines new tools and information processing capabilities that further support the transformation of models into executable form.

Published in Sparx Insights
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 22:28

SD Times 100

Sparx Systems Honoured for Innovation and Industry Leadership

The editors of SD Times identified the industry’s top leaders, innovators and influencers, in separate industry segments. Some companies lead in one category, others in more than one. In each category, one company has been spotlighted as a star deserving of special notice.

When choosing the SD Times 100, we carefully considered each company’s offerings and reputation. We also listened for the “buzz”—how much attention and conversation we’ve heard around the company and its products and technologies—as a sign of leadership within the industry.The SD Times 100 looked for companies that have determined a direction that developers followed. Did the company set the industry agenda? Did its products and services advance the software development art? Were its competitors nervously tracking its moves? Were programmers anxiously awaiting its developments? Those qualities mark a leader.Subjective? Of course. But leadership and innovation can’t be measured by stock valuations or analyst reports. The SD Times 100 represents what we believe to be the best of the best.

“The software development industry has always been competitive, but never more so given the innovation we’re seeing in so many spaces, including mobile, cloud, SaaS, DevOps/ALM, developer tools, quality assurance and Big Data,” said David Rubinstein, editor-in-chief of BZ Media's SD Times. “For the 2014 SD Times 100, our editors carefully considered each nominee’s products and services, thought leadership and reputation. Thanks to companies like Sparx Systems, the future for software development is very bright!”

For more information, please read the corresponding press release.

Published in News
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

Collaboration is becoming a new enterprise standard. In the face of the disruptive challenges pending from the Nexus of Forces, successful transition to the maximum utilisation of strategic information technology is a priority for many organisations.  Collaboration enables the enterprise to leverage the strengths of all its parts to increase the chances of success while reducing or eliminating process overlap and resource redundancy. Shared awareness of issues through collaboration encourages trust and builds confidence in individual group members and synergises the collective response to problem resolution. Responding effectively to the challenge of the Nexus of Forces is beyond the capacity of any individual part of the enterprise. 
Gartner says that by 2016, 30% of enterprise architecture (EA) efforts will be supported, as a Business and IT collaboration, a 21% increase from 2011.
Betsy Burton, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner said in a 2011 Press release “Organizations that do not focus EA on their business strategy and on collaborating with business leaders will be greatly limited in their ability to deliver substantial business value. To achieve business outcomes and to drive business change, EA value must be collaboratively developed and supported within the context of the business direction, strategy and future vision."

People support what they helped to create and the organization's enterprise architecture plays a key role in the transition to this state.

It is no surprise that in the current atmosphere of technology change that collaboration in the enterprise architecture work space is growing.  In its Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker for 2014 IDC shows that the software market grew by 5.5 percent in 2013 and that the Applications market segment -- which accounts for half of total software revenue -- collaborative applications and content applications stood out with CAGR of 10%. This growth is being driven by the adoption of enterprise social networks and team collaborative applications.
A very recent article in SD Times, reports from the 2014 Collaborative Development trends report by the Linux Foundation that collaborative development is on the rise. Nearly half of business managers surveyed said they got involved in collaborative development because it allows them to innovate and/or help transform their industry. 

A common reference frame that allows individuals to understand what the goal is, and their contribution and role in achieving the goal, is at the heart of any change, whatever it may be.

The NASCIO (National Association of Chief Information Officers) Enterprise Architecture and Governance Committee, conducted a study in 2012 called “What Makes Collaborative Initiatives Work?” and sounded a call to action for the promotion of enterprise architecture best practices for organizing and managing multi-jurisdictional collaboratives. The rationale was that, “If enterprise architecture is essential to managing a single enterprise’s complexity and ongoing change, how much more important in the more complex circumstance of a multi-jurisdictional “enterprise.” collaborations.

Widely accepted standards help foster prod­uct interoperability and system architectures that mitigate risks, simplify and reduce de­livery time and yield a stronger ROI as global industries such as healthcare, retail, utili­ties, telecommunications and other sectors continue rapid modernisation programs.

Interoperable system architectures that share a common language and interfaces at a hardware, software and system level are essential for successful global industries.


In turn interoperability supports collaboration, - 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. Using tools such as Enterprise Architect stakeholders can effectively collaborate on projects by understanding who is working on specific project tasks, what roles are to be filled and who has responsibility for the various aspects of the project.

Different team members and stakeholders must be able to input information that is relevant to their roles and activities and that is useful to the other members of shared projects. This implies the necessity to capture this information in a model that is available to all team members overcoming their geographical limitation. The emergence of new ideas, or innovation, through collaboration, has been commented on extensively. A single idea can lead to breakthroughs and competitive advantage. The idea of one person can be used by many others who can make small refinements or improvements to the idea or spark completely new ideas. These in turn become the normal as creativity destroys long accepted convention.


Enterprise Architect offers specific functionality for sharing projects in team-based and distributed development environments. Projects can be shared through network deployment of model repositories, replication, XMI Import/Export, Version Control, Package Control and User Security.

http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/enterprise-architect/distributed-teams-collaboration/distributed-teams-collaboration.html

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