Posts Tagged process mapping
Had a very useful and interesting meeting with Phil George and Laurie Nicholls today. Phil was bringing us up to speed on the work he has been doing around documenting the existing systems architecture. Laurie and I are keen to see where we could perhaps make some progress around Enterprise Architecture and Service Orientated Architecture.
A definition of Enterprise Architecture is “…enterprise architectures are blueprints for systematically and completely defining an organization’s current (baseline) or desired (target) environment. Enterprise architectures are essential for evolving information systems and developing new systems that optimize their mission value. This is accomplished in logical or business terms (e.g., mission, business functions, information flows, and systems environments) and technical terms (e.g., software, hardware, communications)…” from here.
Laurie and I are keen to make some progress towards SOA but recognise that to do it ‘big bang’ is costly and takes time. It also requires clarity on processes. What Phil was able to show us was a way to get to a version 0.1 of the current state using existing descriptions of high level functions (effectively definitions of high level services) that we could then map onto existing systems and the underlying IT layer.
Whilst this is still several months worth of work, it will allow us to make more progress much more quickly than I was anticipating. We will then be able to test the 0.1 view to see if it makes sense from a service perspective, and we can refine the systems and technology layers.
The work then is to identify areas we can target to make improvements – to move towards the target state. I think this will allow us to take a more realistic, bite-size approach to SOA, as a way of making progress towards it as a general approach.
The other potential benefit we get from mapping the ‘as is’ is that we can show people the potential of what we have – what services and functions existing investment in systems can deliver. This is something that particularly the Faculty Pro Vice Chancellors have asked for, and it would create better visibility of where we already have things available to deliver new/more functionality rather than invest in new or additional systems and modules.
Watch this space.