Five ways to reach for the skies with your IT architecture
Some of man’s greatest achievements come from our city skylines. The grandeur of the Empire State Building in New York, the Shard in London or Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, inspires and excites the viewer. The ability of the architecture and construction of these engineering marvels to inspire and excite us has many parallels to the architecture and construction of large scale, enterprise IT systems – if and when they are built correctly.
Let’s look at some of the key components of a modern-day skyscraper and how these may relate to a large business’ enterprise IT ecosystem:
- Foundations: The foundations of the building, the site clearing, the slab and pilings are the starting point and also what hold the building up. Similarly, Data Governance solutions should be a key first step in defining glossary terms, data discovery, metadata and change management. Without strong foundations both the skyscraper and IT systems are being built on shaky ground.
- Internal structure:The steel framework, gives the building its shape, structure and stability. Similarly, Master Data Management (MDM), Reference Data Management (RDM) and Enterprise Data Warehouses (EDW) give an organisation the structure and stability in their data assets so great value can be realised from them.
- Utilities: The internal plumbing, cabling and transport facilities, such as elevators and corridors, move resources and people seamlessly around the building. There must also be seamless data transport mechanisms within your IT architecture. Primarily these would be Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) tools and an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) which applications can integrate using flawlessly.
- Finish: The building finish, the glass, its exterior, how the bathrooms are fitted out, etc. can make or break a building. Having an inviting space, regardless of how large the overall building may be invites people in and energizes them in their individual goals. Ensuring that the customer facing systems and core business systems are effective in your business environment, too, will invite customers in and energize your staff to deliver business value.
- Soft furnishings: These should enhance a building, just like analytic systems are able to enhance a business. However, just as fashion trends for interior design change over time, so do analytic system trends, such as Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, Big Data and Data Lakes to name a few over the last few years. The focus needs to be not just on what is modern but also what is practical and will stand the test of time – meeting the needs of the users.
While having the latest trends in furnishings, or business analytics, may be exciting and fashionable, having a building or IT systems crumble because of poor foundations could be catastrophic. The weight of burgeoning IT systems that rest upon what can only be described as a sandy foundation, means many organisations are at risk of these systems collapsing. Addressing data governance and implementing strong people, process and technology solutions will reinforce the platform that your enterprise IT architecture is built on. Thus your IT systems will be able to grow and deliver the value that they were designed for – hopefully inspiring and enabling you and your colleagues to reach new heights of business success.
Talk to Entity Group today about how we can get your organisation on the way to inspirational data management and enterprise architecture. Contact Us