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Today, we are witnessing the economic downturn unprecedented in recent time. The only way out is to invest in differentiator and innovation at lower cost. With time, systems have become very integral part of enterprise "structure" ensuring better functionality & sustainability. There is growing demand to move away from "gentleman architect" who usually dealt with wealthy clients and concentrated predominantly on visual (user interface) qualities. There is worldwide acceptance of Enterprise / IT Architecture as engineering efforts.

Roadmap for
Fig - Roadmap for
Architecture COE

As the need for managing change and complexity is growing, there is demand for professionals with architecture skills. We are witnessing worldwide adoption of IT / Enterprise Architecture skills as a foundation to system & enterprise survival as well as enterprise success. Gradually, this discipline has moved from "innovators" to "early adopters" phase.

In the last decade, we have seen several attempts been made to do architecture in informal ways. The major focus of architecture groups have been reducing complexity by decreasing the number of applications and moving away from legacy systems in a cost-effective manner. Some cases they were trying to enhance process efficiency (Cycle time optimization by 90%) or 91% reduction in finished good inventory or in some cases 93% reduction in lead-time to produce the product.

Unfortunately, for most of the companies, there were no formal architecture groups. Even if they existed, were very small ( 1-2% of the IT group size).

Need of the hour, is to adopt architecture as a mainstream discipline within an organization. Unlike, programming & related skills.. Architecture skills need lot of practice and of course experience makes a big difference. You will understand it better because the skills & approach for educating compounders & nurses are very different from the skills & approach needed to educate doctors & surgeons. At iCMG, we have been helping our customers to establish Architecture Centre of Excellence (COE) to support geographically distributed teams. The good news is that, we have been doing this for over 9 years.

As the complexities of Business & Systems are increasing (in terms of structural systems, services, and technologies), architecture is becoming more multi-disciplinary. Architecture today usually requires a team of specialist professionals, with the architect being one of many, although usually the team leader.

We understand the architecture needs are not same across enterprises. Also, the architecture roles are different as well. Also, there is need to establish relationship across views of architecture such as Enterprise Architecture, the Solution Architecture and the Technical Architecture. Managing multiple views of the architecture, ensure traceability of architecture constraints and realization of business requirements to technical implementations.

Fig- Translating Models Between Levels of Elaboration

Of course, the goal is to enable "Architecture Driven Enterprise" to ensure that each project aligns with the IT vision of the enterprise, adhering to architecture governance guidelines and metrics.

Setting up architecture team
Selection of framework
Identify artifacts

Using modeling (BPMN/ UML) architecture specifications

Architecture Methodology
Architecture Views & Translation.
Realizing MDA & SOA for enterprise & systems
Architecture Governance
 Contact details
 Contact - Ms. Neha Dixit                     Neha.Dixit@icmgworld.com
 Architecture COE
Architecuter COE related activities include:

1. Setting up architecture team: For example, it is important to have a formal, dedicated architecture team directly reporting to an executive sponsor, even if the team is physically distributed. To ensure efficiency, certain roles should be independent of the outsourcing contractor, such as program managers, investment control, and chief architects / technologists. The enterprise should have knowledgeable professionals on its staff to provide essential checks and balances on outsourced work.

2. Selection of a common / customized EA framework for the distributed team that is matched to the enterprise needs. It may be necessary to have multiple framework profiles to address the needs of complex enterprises, e.g. diverse conglomerate corporations.

3. Identify specific types of artifacts for the framework, and maintain documented modeling conventions. The artifacts should particularly address communications across distributed team boundaries. For example, a richer set of specification types for communicating requirements from onsite business analysts and user interface designers, than for communications within a co-located offshore team. Achieving clear communications is a fundamental challenge in distributed teams.

4. Effectively using modeling languages for architecture specifications. Use of modeling languages such as the OMG UML and BPMN should be the basis for communicating architecture as well as technical designs. New standards such as the Business Motivation Model (BMM), Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SVBR) and the UML 2.0 extensions are available to formalize additional elements of architecture views and specifications.

5. Setting up Architecture Repository. An artifacts should be available via a secure, version controlled, distributed repository. The repository helps assure that the global team has a common view of the project's specifications and is working from the appropriate artifact versions.

6. Architecture Methodology. It is recommended that the EA team review, approve, and standardize the methodology for translating specifications to designs and implementations to avoid loss of information.

7. Realizing MDA & SOA for enterprise & systems. The OMG Model Driven Architecture (MDA) is a guideline defining explicit stages of model translation. MDA defines four stages of elaboration, the Computation Independent Model, Platform Independent Model, Platform Specific Model and code. MDA also defines standards for transforming the models and defining the linkages between the translated forms. For example, Figure shows a distributed EA and implementation project with onsite and offshore model transformations and linkages in an architecture-centric development methodology.

8. Architecture Views & Translation. There is a need to establish well defined transformations between views of the enterprise architecture, the solution architecture and the technical architecture of the system ensuring traceability of architecture constraints and requirements to implementations. EA processes should ensure that each project aligns with the IT vision of the enterprise, adhering to architecture governance guidelines and metrics.

9. Architecture Governance. This is especially important in distributed projects due to increased opportunities for miscommunication and misalignment. Not having architecture governance structure is analogous to system development plan without a testing phase. The governance should apply consistent compliance guidelines for both onsite and offshore activities. Use of techniques based on "metrics" can help ensure that IT systems are in sync with the enterprise architecture and vision.

Architecture Training Options
We undertake customized training program for architects, technical managers and decision makers with focus on
Enterprise architecture frameworks
Popular Software Architectural Approaches
Need for Reference Architecture
Architecture Representations and Specification
Deployment Architecture for meeting QoS
Achieving EAI with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
Architecture Assessment, Governance and Metrics
Model Driven Architecture
Architecture Teams, EA Maturity Model
Architecture Training Options
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