Sep 29, 2014
Devoteam has been in the IT Service Excellence business for over 20 years, in that time we have worked with all the leading vendors in the industry, so unlike single vendor resellers we have experienced the factors that make up a successful IT System architecture.
  • This article is just a sample of our guide "Mind the Gap! A guide to the CIO" by Paul Kelsall. You can download the full guide by clicking here:

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    To help you set your Strategic Architecture, the following guiding statements should be used to reflect against your own strategic plan:

    • Create and maintain a Single System of Record
    • Establish a Technology Neutral Architecture
    • Do not be afraid of Hybrid solutions
    • Configure not customise
    • Information Reporting is essential

    As for the title of this paper, “Mind the Gap”, to create an architecture to address all the needs of IT in today’s world, you will use multiple vendor solutions (a Hybrid Solution). In this architecture it is the gaps in between the systems that are the main issues. Knowing how to create an architecture in this hybrid world is where Devoteam’s experience is unique.

  • Matching your strategy to your needs

    Understanding where you are in your development gives you a position from which to start your Architectural strategy journey. “Change is a process not an event” your strategy should not just be about a solution for today, it also should not reflect an aspirational state which is too far into the future. Understand your future goals, and create an architecture for today and the short term, whilst creating a continuous improvement programme to review and extend your strategy as time and business requirements need. Ensure the technology supports this direction.

    How do you know where you are in the maturity journey?
    You can perform a self-assessment of your current state, or use one of the assessment tools available from a number of organisations, Devoteam provides Assessment services to quickly document your current position, and recommend where to focus your next steps.

    Understanding your level of maturity allows you to improve the tools, processes, and organisation in a priority order, as no one needs to change everything.

  • IT Tools Architecture

    To help define an Architectural scope for the IT Tools Strategy, the following is a good starting framework. It can be used in your assessment to understand the processes and applications employed within your current organisation, and be used to reflect the current state against the guiding statements.

    You need not have answers to every box in the framework, some maybe needed to climb the stairs to the next level of maturity, others may not apply to your organisation.

  • Understanding the Guiding Statements

    Create and maintain a Single System of Record
    This central system would provide the single system of record to the other systems within the solution. The important message here is to “Mind the Gap” between this central system and the other systems within your solution. Filling the gaps completes the solution as the gap will cost in the long run.

    Establish a Technology Neutral Architecture
    TNA (Technology Neutral Architecture) is the concept that integrations between systems should be based on agreed data exchange services, not technology specific point to point interfaces. 

    Do not be afraid of the Hybrid solutions
    For many years the Interface has been a “Bad” word in IT. The major costs in IT system development have been the interfaces, and some systems have become inflexible due to the “Integration Tax” that you have to pay when the system is changed. Yes, Interfaces add a cost to any system implementation, but using today’s integration technologies, these costs will not be as much as the cost to extend the system with customisation to support additional functionality.

    Configure not customise
    In those early days, the tools were developed to reflect our way of doing IT, and the customisation of Tools was the norm, “Out of the Box” systems were inflexible and difficult to implement. However the cost of the customisation began to restrict our progress, and increase our costs, as the simple upgrade became an expensive exercise.

    Finding a flexible solution, using configuration instead of customisation again provides you with a solution which costs less to implement, brings you an application of the guidelines to help you develop, and gives you a reduced upgrade cost.

    Information Reporting is Essential
    The goal of the single system of record is to ensure information is produced and is available to manage IT. Ensuring business intelligence is available is a key part of your system selection and your Architecture strategy.

    This article is just a sample of our guide "Mind the Gap! A guide to the CIO" by Paul Kelsall. You can download the full guide by clicking here:

    Download