Thursday, June 12, 2008

Legacy Business Processes and Business Architecture

Today’s reality is that most if not all of the businesses of any significant size have legacy systems and processes and we do not have the luxury of creating a business architecture from scratch. Any business architecture effort must take this fact into account. In a legacy dominated world, one of the difficulties in creating business architecture is having to deal with the processes that have evolved around the limitations imposed by technology. In such environment, a typical business process may involve multiple steps where the user must manually gather information from multiple sources, restructure/refine the information in a excel spreadsheet (or a paper) and upload into another system for further activity.

In such situations the business process reflects the problems associated with the underlying technology, where data is not integrated and/or is of poor quality. Additionally, applications supporting the business process are inadequate. This might be a good opportunity to re-engineer the business process and not simply automate the manual steps. At the same time, the representation of business design (business architecture) must reflect the current state.

I think it is important to have a good understanding of the business events that initiate business processes and the outcome of the process. Capturing of business events and how a business reacts to such events should be an important component of any business architecture.

Ashok Kumar

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice reminder that not every task is worth automating. IT needs to partner with the business to understand why they want to automate a specific task and offer up different solutions. The problem you start solving is not always the problem you should be solving.


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