Enterprise Architect version 14.0

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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).

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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
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