Business Driven Architecture Project 


Project Summary



Currently, the Department (XYZ) does not have an enterprise-wide technical architecture (EWTA) plan which aligns XYZís lines of business and Information Technology (IT). On March 6, 1998, the Information Technology Branch with the support of the Information Technology Department Quality Council (ITDQC) initiated an EWTA effort, the Business Driven Architecture Project (BDAP).

What is a Business Driven Architecture

The BDAP will provide the blueprint for the deployment of technology at XYZ. The BDAP is tasked with developing an architecture that is:

Project Approach

The project approach for defining the Business Driven Architecture, as illustrated in Figure 1, is divided into the following four phases:

Figure 1. Project Approach

Phase 0 - Business Case

"XYZ will be universally recognized for its outstanding customer service and will be considered a model for public agency quality and fairness." XYZ Vision Statement 1997

To achieve this vision, XYZ has pledged to improve access to services, provide more customer focus and satisfaction, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and build human resource capacity. XYZ must accomplish these goals while responding to rapidly changing internal and external business influences. Many of these influences are expressed by Branch management and identified in the departmentís strategic plans. Issues affecting the department today include:

Issues cited in business area and Information Technology Branch interviews indicate the inability to: These problems are a result of the existing information technology environment. The current environment consists of independent, ad hoc technology solutions that address specific program problems. This leads to a situation where IT is reactive and tactical. The proposed Business Driven Architecture is derived from business driven requirements; it is proactive and strategic.

Figure 2 gives a comparison of an organization before and after an enterprise architecture implementation effort to illustrate the difference:
Without Architecture Business Driven Architecture
Lack of alignment with business drivers and processes Alignment with business drivers and processes
Redundant data and processes Enterprise data source
Competing technology debates Technology standards, configurations and buy lists
Technology integration complexity is high Approved technologies meet architectural integration specifications
Total cost of ownership is not considered when technology is introduced Fewer configurations and required skill sets lowers support costs
Poorly leveraged technology investment Current and future technology investments maximized
Staff trained in a wide range of technologies Core competencies in standard technologies.

Figure 2. - Architecture Comparison

The Business Driven Architecture (BDA) mandates the alignment of information technology with line of business goals. It "engineers out" everything that inhibits change and "engineers in" a high tolerance for the unanticipated. Organizations that have embraced business driven architectures have a technology plan and blueprint to guide their directions, choices, and investments. They have a framework that allows them to respond to business and IT trends.

When technology was expensive relative to staff costs, these organizations utilized personnel resources and placed less emphasis on technology. Today the trend is reversed; technology costs are decreasing and staff costs are increasing. Organizations with a strong business driven architecture leverage declining technology costs and optimize staff resources. A business driven architecture creates an IT environment that supports:

A fully implemented business driven architecture increases the ability to provide consistent services, accessible information, scaleable infrastructure, and flexible technology integration on demand. It helps bridge the gap between business and IT and creates a shared enterprise vision. Branch management can focus more on business objectives and less on information technology issues. The Business Driven Architecture positions IT as a partner that enables improved business services at an accelerated pace through resourceful means.

Phase 1 - Business View

Executive Summary

The Business Driven Architecture Project (BDAP) is the Departmentís (XYZ) effort to align information technology (IT) with the needs of the business. It provides the blueprint for the deployment of technology at XYZ. Phase I of the BDAP consists of the following elements:

Business drivers are external or internal influences that significantly impact and/or set direction for the Department that were identified through interviews with XYZ managers from every branch. The Information Technology Department Quality Council (ITDQC) and the Chief Deputy Director then prioritized these business drivers

Technology trends are widely recognized forces and directions of change in the IT industry. These trends affect the architecture by influencing many of the business drivers and they help highlight how changes in the technical landscape will affect the way business is conducted.

Architecture requirements are derived from the business drivers. These requirements set the boundaries and framework under which the BDA must operate. They identify, at a high-level, eleven elements that the BDA must provide in order for XYZ to achieve its business goals and objectives. These eleven elements are categorized into four main requirements:

The results from Phase I lay the foundation for the architecture and allow all technology decisions made in the subsequent Phases to tie back to the drivers and requirements of XYZís business.

Business Drivers

Identifying the business drivers and prioritizing them is the critical first step in creating the BDA and ensures that the enterprise shares a common understanding of the strategic issues and influences affecting XYZ over the next three to five years. The XYZ business drivers were captured from interviews with over 60 XYZ personnel. Fifteen separate drivers were identified from these interviews. Members of the ITDQC and the Chief Deputy Director were then asked to prioritize these drivers based upon:

Based upon the results of this effort the business drivers are divided into 3 categories: critical, medium importance and low priority. The BDA will be designed to support the critical business drivers as ranked by the executives of XYZ. Although the medium importance and low priority business drivers will not be specifically targeted, they will still be impacted by the BDA .

Critical Business Drivers

  1. Provide direct information access.
  2. Assure accurate and timely service delivery.
  3. Provide high quality end products.
  4. Develop and maintain a skilled workforce.
  5. Increase service delivery mechanisms.
  6. Manage loss of employee expertise.
  7. Provide timely access to decision support information.
Medium Importance Business Drivers
  1. Accomplish more work with fewer resources.
  2. Improve and maintain a results-oriented outlook.
  1. Provide a single point of customer contact.
  2. Recognize and adapt to frequent business process changes.
Low importance Business Drivers
  1. Respond to increased competitive pressures.
  2. Explore alternative funding sources.
  3. Respond to needs of a growing and diverse customer (State population) base.
Technology Trends

The technology trends identify the most important technology indicators impacting XYZ and the enterprise architecture. The BDAP will utilize trends to frame the development of the technical architecture in the context of current technology and to understand the impact of technology on XYZís business drivers and architecture requirements.

  1. Network Centric Computing. The need to share information efficiently with customers and partners, as well as internally, will cause electronic document handling, electronic commerce, automated workflow and collaborative computing to continue increasing dramatically through 2001.
  2. Resource Challenges. Shortages in personnel, time, and outsourcing resources will drive 3%-4% monthly IT cost increases through 2000.
  3. Internet/Intranet. The Internet and its capabilities are becoming a universal business communications medium.
  4. Data Warehouse. The need to accelerate decision-making causes organizations to put operational data from the lines-of-business into data warehouses that provide enterprise-wide views of information.
  5. Security. As organizations increase information sharing and access to data for customers and partners via the Internet, the complexity of securing information is increasing.
  6. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of IT. Because of the rising costs of IT support services and personnel, organizations are over engineering their technology infrastructure (hardware, software and networks).
  7. Technology Price/Performance Curve. Innovations in the technology industry will continue to lower price/performance curves.
  8. Mobile Connectivity. The demand for information by mobile users is increasing as the ability to provide personalized customer service (at the point of customer contact) becomes a strategic competitive advantage.
  9. Systems Management and Support. Growing personal computer use, dramatically increasing network traffic levels, Intranet applications and expanding complexity of IT systems will drive cost increases related to systems and personnel support services.
  10. Client/Server Application Development. The Client/Server model of distributed systems will continue to grow.
  11. Organizational Dual Discipline Proficiency. IT professionals are required to have a solid understanding of the drivers and requirements of their business customers. Business managers are versed in current technology issues and trends that affect their organization.
  12. Application Development Tools. Stand-alone tools used for limited, specific purposes lose market share as the environment in most tool categories is consolidated around integrated tools from a few, significant vendors.
  13. Buy vs. Build. Buy for competitive parity, build for competitive advantage.
  14. Outsourcing. Organizations are increasingly utilizing external providers for selected IT services.
Architecture Requirements

The architecture requirements identify, at a high-level, eleven elements that the BDA must provide in order for XYZ to achieve its business goals and objectives. These eleven elements are categorized into four main requirements.

Deliver Reliable, Secure and Accurate Information

  1. Enable Information Access and Use by Customers. The BDA allows for clear and accurate information, in the appropriate format, at the right time, and to the right customer regardless of the geographic location or means of access.
  2. Establish Reliable Connectivity. The BDA defines the necessary network infrastructure to allow connectivity between employees, customers, partners and the enterprise information resources.
  3. Provide Auditable Data Quality. The BDA provides for high quality, auditable data for all operational systems.
  4. Secure and Protect Enterprise Information. The BDA requires the security and protection of enterprise information.
  • Accelerate Change and Decision Making
    1. Adapt to Changing Business Requirements. The BDA is highly flexible and quickly adapts to changing business needs and requirements.
    2. Enable Decision Support. The BDA supports enterprise strategic and operational planning by providing information resources for decision support activities.
  • Simplify Complexity and Lower Costs
    1. Rely on Mainstream Technology. The BDA utilizes mainstream technology which is defined as products and standards that are widely used in the marketplace and consistent with the technology trends identified in this document.
    2. Support Standards. The BDA supports national and international standards unless they are in direct conflict with market forces and/or de facto technology standards.
    3. Provide for a Managed Technology Environment. The BDA leads to reliable, easily managed, maintained and supported systems.
    4. Follow a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Methodology. The BDA functions to lower the TCO for the enterprise.
  • Year 2000
    1. Provide Year 2000 Compliance. The BDA supports services and facilities without disruption beyond "Year 2000".
    Phase II - Conceptual Architecture Framework

    Todayís IT environment is constantly changing and increasingly complex. To begin to simplify and view this environment, the BDA provides a conceptual model or framework graphically depicted in Figure 3. The BDA Conceptual Architecture Framework:

    Figure 3 - BDA Conceptual Architecture Framework Components Model

    In this framework the Governance Domain wraps the four Technology Domains: Application, Infrastructure, Data and Security. Each of these domains consists of components and subcomponents. The Conceptual Architecture Framework provides a structure for defining the XYZís complete IT environment and the related principles, best practices, technologies, standards, and products. This framework drives the architecture definition and implementation of the component architectures and provides a basis to ensure logical consistency across these component architectures.

    The five domains and twelve components, taken together, provide the basis for the enterprise architecture that supports the business requirements of the Department.

    Governance Domain

    The ITDQC charter defines governance as an enterprise philosophy for how a business will run. It is a framework for defining who is responsible for what and how decisions are made. To a large degree, it is a political process based on principles. A principle is a method, or rule, adopted as the basis for action or conduct that has been set down and agreed upon by the ITDQC.

    Application Domain

    Applications encompass the purchase, development, enhancement, maintenance, delivery and support of business application software within the XYZ. Applications run on systems, access data and deliver services through communication networks.

    Infrastructure Domain

    Infrastructure consists of logical elements, physical elements, carrier services, protocols, client and server hardware platforms, operating systems, distributed computing services, and the supporting systems management functionality. This domain defines a managed computing environment for the XYZís platforms and networks.

    Data Domain

    Data provides a consistent and universal representation of the "things of significance" which must be recorded, reported and accounted for in a business information environment. These "things of significance" are relevant to the enterprise's activities, processes, requests and services (e.g., a Customer, a Claim, an Employer Account). The Data Domain provides the principles and best practices promoting an information rich environment that:

    Security Domain

    Security defines the protections that efficiently and effectively manage the enterprise's data and information security environment to support confidentiality, integrity, privacy and recoverability of automated business systems and data.

    Business Driven Architecture Vision

    The XYZ IT environment will evolve from the current multiple, independent technical architectures and independent technology projects to a shared architecture vision, based on the Business Driven Architecture (BDA).

    The adoption, awareness and implementation of the BDA will result in a high level of collaboration between business and IT. The BDA will improve the consistency, coordination and integration across XYZís IT infrastructure, business technology projects, IT consulting services and IT purchases. It will guide new technology investigation, research, evaluation, product selection and investment. The IT community within the XYZ will define new technology proposals based on shared IT principles, best practices and standards.

    By adopting Business Driven Architecture, we can provide a structure to better manage and support our complex, widely spread information technology environment into the 21st Century.

    Business Driven Architecture Project

    722 Capital Mall Ė MIC 75

    PO Box 826880

    Sacramento California, 94280





     (916) 654-8374