Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Key Learnings: Blueprinting Information Architecture is key successful adoption of SOA

Following is the high-level approach for Blueprinting the SOA Framework for the enterprise.

Understand the business process and identify the areas for improvement
„Understand overall business objectives
„Understand specific business pain points
„Understand priorities

Develop the Enterprise Information Models to identify the Information services needed to support business processes

Develop the SOA Framework foundation to identify the infrastructure needed to support the business process needs.





Currently there are a lot of content available on the topic of best practices, key learning, reference architectures, ROI, etc. on the topics of Business Processes and Infrastructure. However there does not seem to be a lot of publications around Blueprinting the Information Architecture for SOA.

Basically there are three areas of focus for Blueprinting the Enterprise Information Architecture and are as follows:


  • Reference data: Examples: salutation, job title, contact type, partner type, region, state/province, country, currency, language/locale, and industry
  • Master data: Examples: customers, contacts, products and orders
  • Analytic data: Examples: marketing data mart, forecasting, customer Life cycle value and customer satisfaction
Categorizing the key enterprise information needs into these three areas enables IT to have an very fruitful discussion with the business. However, the first task is to get business to fund and participate in this Blueprinting effort. Following is a very high level three step approach to Blueprinting the Information Architecture.

  1. Scope and Planning (Establish: Budget and timeline, Team, Deliverable)
  2. Information Architecture Assessment (Current state: high-level business process, data flow, data models - reference, master and analytics)
  3. Information Architecture Blueprinting (Enterprise Information Model, Data Governance, Recommendations and Actionable Road map)

Why is this necessary?

Most business processes cross business and application silos. The current best practice is to migrate/move the data across these silos which results in redundant data, systems and places a lot of burden on business operations teams to clean it manually. In addition, multiple business silos tend to implement the same business process in different applications.

Adopting SOA enables enterprises to reduce the overall cost by enabling business to implement their business processes by consolidating/reusing a single infrastructure/application. This is possible only by exposing the appropriate information services to support the business processes.

This can be achieved only by truly understanding the Enterprise Information Model. Please click here for a three slide presentation on this.

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