Big Data’s Big Impact on Enterprise IT– The Open Group Panel Discussion

Today @Dana_Gardner posted on twitter The Open Group Panel discussion on Big Data’s Big Impact on Enterprise IT. It worth a watch as it gave a good primer on general concerns in the industry. My question to the panel got a cut due to a truncation issue so it may not have made a lot of sense but I wanted the panel to go deeper into the challenges they were expressing and give practical and applied guidance to the audience on how to confront some of these challenges, specifically on the compliance, risk and data segmentation areas. 

Below is the video and the description:

A panel of experts explores how big data changes the status quo for architecting the enterprise. Learn how enterprises should anticipate and correct the effects and impacts of big data, as well the simultaneous impacts of cloud and mobile computing.


Presentation: It’s Not about How Smart You Are…

Mike The Architect Blog: Angry Last week I presented about a topic that focuses on improving enterprise architecture effectiveness through our soft skills.  There is a great deal to cover in this area but I wanted to build a primer and get some your thoughts stimulated around the soft skills required to be effective with your customers and partners.

The most common pitfall I see with my interaction with architects is that our communication is dominated by IT centric speak that is illustrated with technical templates, data models, complex frameworks or even fully baked solutions. These are all analytical or IQ centric in nature. In my presentation, I discuss how that is not how people in general think and set the stage for a different way of thinking about how we as EA’s communicate through Emotional Intelligence.


EA Effectiveness: It’s not about how much you know but how you use it

In this presentation I talked about how your IQ will get you the job but your EQ will allow you to keep it. Meaning, even if you’re the smartest architect on the block but you intimidate, alienate or out right make people mad you will not be effective.  I’m sure some of you have seen this in your past but if you need another story about this you can find a really great one in the book, “Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. 

In my presentation, I explore high-level EA soft skills  and offer some insights into our own biology to explain how people think and relate it back to our profession. Over time I will dive into more of these aspects that I am just scratching the surface on now.

Note: There are quite a few images in the presentation that require a voice over. I may address this through a webcast at some point.

If you view my presentation, I would love to hear your feedback on this topic and how you think this would help or impact your architecture success.


More Information


Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013

Late last month Gartner published their annual Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013. Based on the view that Gartner paints it looks to me as a evelotuionary year ahead rather than revelotionary. This is no way is a bad thing. It shows what revolutionary concepts from last year have made it and are continuing to be invested in.

Gartner analysis can be summerized into three core statements / trends:

  • It's clear that there is a shift of where computing happens, from your desk to your palm and fingers anywhere in the world (1) (2) (5)
  • Information is real-time, always on and universally connected (3) (7) (8)
  • Cloud architectures are the de facto standard for enterprises going forward (4) (6) (9) (10)


The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013 include:

  1. Mobile Device Battles
  2. Mobile Applications and HTML 5
  3. Personal Cloud
  4. Enterprise App Stores
  5. The Internet of Things
  6. Hybrid IT and Cloud
  7. Strategic Big Data
  8. Actionable Analytics
  9. In Memory Computing
  10. Integrated Ecosystems


Mobile Device Battles

Gartner predicts that by 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide and that by 2015 over 80 percent of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones. However, only 20 percent of those handsets are likely to be Windows phones. By 2015 media tablet shipments will reach around 50 percent of laptop shipments and Windows 8 will likely be in third place behind Google’s Android and Apple iOS operating systems. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s big bet and Windows 8 platform styles should be evaluated to get a better idea of how they might perform in real-world environments as well as how users will respond. Consumerization will mean enterprises won't be able to force users to give up their iPads or prevent the use of Windows 8 to the extent consumers adopt consumer targeted Windows 8 devices. Enterprises will need to support a greater variety of form factors reducing the ability to standardize PC and tablet hardware. The implications for IT is that the era of PC dominance with Windows as the single platform will be replaced with a post-PC era where Windows is just one of a variety of environments IT will need to support.

Mobile Applications and HTML5

The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. Currently, Gartner separates mobile development tools into several categories. For the next few years, no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several. Six mobile architectures – native, special, hybrid, HTML 5, Message and No Client will remain popular. However, there will be a long term shift away from native apps to Web apps as HTML5 becomes more capable. Nevertheless, native apps won't disappear, and will always offer the best user experiences and most sophisticated features. Developers will also need to develop new design skills to deliver touch-optimized mobile applications that operate across a range of devices in a coordinated fashion.

Personal Cloud

The personal cloud will gradually replace the PC as the location where individuals keep their personal content, access their services and personal preferences and center their digital lives. It will be the glue that connects the web of devices they choose to use during different aspects of their daily lives. The personal cloud will entail the unique collection of services, Web destinations and connectivity that will become the home of their computing and communication activities. Users will see it as a portable, always-available place where they go for all their digital needs. In this world no one platform, form factor, technology or vendor will dominate and managed diversity and mobile device management will be an imperative. The personal cloud shifts the focus from the client device to cloud-based services delivered across devices.

Enterprise App Stores

Enterprises face a complex app store future as some vendors will limit their stores to specific devices and types of apps forcing the enterprise to deal with multiple stores, multiple payment processes and multiple sets of licensing terms. By 2014, Gartner believes that many organizations will deliver mobile applications to workers through private application stores. With enterprise app stores the role of IT shifts from that of a centralized planner to a market manager providing governance and brokerage services to users and potentially an ecosystem to support apptrepreneurs.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that describes how the Internet will expand as physical items such as consumer devices and physical assets are connected to the Internet. Key elements of the IoT which are being embedded in a variety of mobile devices include embedded sensors, image recognition technologies and NFC payment. As a result, mobile no longer refers only to use of cellular handsets or tablets. Cellular technology is being embedded in many new types of devices including pharmaceutical containers and automobiles. Smartphones and other intelligent devices don't just use the cellular network, they communicate via NFC, Bluetooth, LE and Wi-Fi to a wide range of devices and peripherals, such as wristwatch displays, healthcare sensors, smart posters, and home entertainment systems. The IoT will enable a wide range of new applications and services while raising many new challenges.

Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing

As staffs have been asked to do more with less, IT departments must play multiple roles in coordinating IT-related activities, and cloud computing is now pushing that change to another level. A recently conducted Gartner IT services survey revealed that the internal cloud services brokerage (CSB) role is emerging as IT organizations realize that they have a responsibility to help improve the provisioning and consumption of inherently distributed, heterogeneous and often complex cloud services for their internal users and external business partners. The internal CSB role represents a means for the IT organization to retain and build influence inside its organization and to become a value center in the face of challenging new requirements relative to increasing adoption of cloud as an approach to IT consumption.

Strategic Big Data

Big Data is moving from a focus on individual projects to an influence on enterprises’ strategic information architecture. Dealing with data volume, variety, velocity and complexity is forcing changes to many traditional approaches. This realization is leading organizations to abandon the concept of a single enterprise data warehouse containing all information needed for decisions. Instead they are moving towards multiple systems, including content management, data warehouses, data marts and specialized file systems tied together with data services and metadata, which will become the "logical" enterprise data warehouse.

Actionable Analytics

Analytics is increasingly delivered to users at the point of action and in context. With the improvement of performance and costs, IT leaders can afford to perform analytics and simulation for every action taken in the business. The mobile client linked to cloud-based analytic engines and big data repositories potentially enables use of optimization and simulation everywhere and every time. This new step provides simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action.

In Memory Computing

In memory computing (IMC) can also provide transformational opportunities. The execution of certain-types of hours-long batch processes can be squeezed into minutes or even seconds allowing these processes to be provided in the form of real-time or near real-time services that can be delivered to internal or external users in the form of cloud services. Millions of events can be scanned in a matter of a few tens of millisecond to detect correlations and patterns pointing at emerging opportunities and threats "as things happen." The possibility of concurrently running transactional and analytical applications against the same dataset opens unexplored possibilities for business innovation. Numerous vendors will deliver in-memory-based solutions over the next two years driving this approach into mainstream use.

Integrated Ecosystems

The market is undergoing a shift to more integrated systems and ecosystems and away from loosely coupled heterogeneous approaches. Driving this trend is the user desire for lower cost, simplicity, and more assured security. Driving the trend for vendors the ability to have more control of the solution stack and obtain greater margin in the sale as well as offer a complete solution stack in a controlled environment, but without the need to provide any actual hardware. The trend is manifested in three levels. Appliances combine hardware and software and software and services are packaged to address and infrastructure or application workload. Cloud-based marketplaces and brokerages facilitate purchase, consumption and/or use of capabilities from multiple vendors and may provide a foundation for ISV development and application runtime. In the mobile world, vendors including Apple, Google and Microsoft drive varying degrees of control across and end-to-end ecosystem extending the client through the apps.



Enable Cloud Strategy and Planning with Predictable Methods, Models, and Tools

Mike The Architect Blog - Cloud Strategy and Planning

We previously
looked at why cloud is so important (Challenge
the Status Quo and Advance Business through Cloud Computing
, ),
approaches to cloud strategy (Understanding
Which Investments Should go to the Cloud
, Cloud
Strategy Begins with Value and Balances Risk
) and who the best
people (Why
Enterprise Architects Must Drive Cloud Strategy and Planning
) are to
execute. Today we’ll examine the methods, models, and tools that the enterprise
architect should use for effective cloud strategy and planning.

As far as methodologies go, it’s usually
better not to reinvent the wheel. There are already proven general frameworks EAs can use, so try to leverage
what is already out there whenever possible. When using an existing
general-purpose framework like TOGAF, apply cloud specifics to it.

Using a framework like TOGAF can ensure that you
are not missing the critical steps, questions and outcomes that every good
architecture should have. This will also ensure that all the other architecture
work and this work is consistent and predictable with the outcomes it produces.
Below are a list of a few benefits for leveraging TOGAF as your methodology for
Cloud Strategy and Planning:

  • Broad Community – If a custom framework is built, very few people
    have expertise and experience. TOGAF has an extremely broad EA acceptance,
    adoption and certification.
  • Deliverables and ArtifactsTOGAF comes
    with a wealth of “out of the box” templates
    that can be leveraged to
  • Linkages to SOA and Cloud IP The Open Group which manages TOGAF, has
    other forums  and working groups that
    builds content for specific architecture areas and domains such as SOA,
    Cloud, Business Architecture and Security Architecture to name a few.
  • Associated Cloud Standards Bodies – The Open Group has done a great job of
    uniting multiple specialized and deep cloud standards bodies with the TOGAF
    standard to bring together the best of both worlds. The general purpose
    framework applied. These partners include NIST, Cloud Security Alliance and more.
    All this work has come together in The
    Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group

Below is a visual on how Cloud Strategy and Planning
extends TOGAF within this framework:

Mike The Architect Blog - Cloud Strategy and Planning TOGAF Method.jpg

Another great visual is from Serge Thorn where he shows this from
a native TOGAF view:

Mike The Architect Blog - Cloud Strategy and Planning TOGAF Detail

Check out his blog post, “Cloud
Computing Requires Enterprise Architecture and TOGAF

Is TOGAF the only methodology you use? No. Just
like any other architecture work there are many different facets other than
just architecture such as: Risk Management, Information Security, Project /
Program Management, Software Development and Operations. There are methodologies
and frameworks for each specialized area that complement your architecture

Some things to remember when adopting methodologies:

  • Strategy Methods are Universal – The same macro/basic steps are the same
    and can be applied to most anything. Just like with anything you will have to tailor
    slightly to your needs. DO NOT REINVENT
  • Make General Purpose Methods Specific – These were meant to be applied to a
    specific problem set. Cloud is
    no different.
  • Use Extensions – Cloud tools and techniques such as CSA, NIST,
    and Open Group-specific resources can be very useful in giving general-purpose
    frameworks meaning.


When we apply these
aspects to a cloud methodology you get The Cloud Strategy and Planning (CSP)
Framework. It is comprised of three simplified phases and seven activities.

Mike The Architect Blog - Cloud Strategy and Planning Method and Act

embraces and extends proven practices in the industry and the industry
resources from the following distinguished bodies:

  • The Open Group (TOGAF)
  • Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)
  • NIST Cloud Computing Working Groups
  • Sherwood Applied Business Security
    Architecture (SABSA)
  • Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)


Activity Descriptions

Below is a high-level overview of the activities with the description of
what occurs in each. The detailed steps are not shown below.



Establish Scope, and Approach

  • Conduct the Cloud Envisioning Workshop
  • Provide overview of cloud computing
  • Define the enterprise business model for
    cloud computing
  • Establish project charter



Understand Strategic Vision

  • Gather the IT and business strategic
  • Identify strategic cloud computing patterns
    and technologies
  • Analyze customer feasibility and readiness
  • State strategic vision for cloud computing



Identify and Prioritize Capabilities

  • Define evaluation criteria for key IT &
    business value drivers
  • Evaluate the capabilities based on these
  • Identify ~5 high-priority capabilities for
    deeper analysis



Cloud Valuation




  • Determine current state of capability
    maturity leveraging IO Maturity Tools
  • Execute Risk Analysis Method with
    corresponding assessments and remediation steps.
  • Profile the capability asset portfolios of
    information, technology, and processes and analyze by architectural fit, risk
    and readiness



Deployment Patterns


  • Research capability proven practices and
    market direction
  • Define target cloud capability requirements
  • Determine optimal cloud service and
    deployment patterns for the capabilities based on fit, value, and risk




Transformation Planning


and Prioritize Opportunities


  • Completely define opportunities to
    include  an overview, benefits, risks,
    assessment results, technology impacts, and project plan
  • Prioritize opportunities for detailed
    architecture and execution



Understand Strategic Vision

  • Assess implementation risks and dependencies
  • Develop and deliver a business
    transformation roadmap
  • Validate with the customer and edit




With respect to models, there are many out there readily available. Since
we are starting with  business value we
want to make sure we continue to do so and ensure there is a bridge from
strategy to implementation.

Mike The Architect Blog - Top Down Strategy

Given the top down
nature you will want to pull from models  that lend to our approach. When selecting
models, take a step back and ensure you fully understand the scope of what you
want to accomplish then select the most appropriate models from the many
sources at your disposal such as: analysts, standards bodies, industry bodies
or internal reference models.

For example, CSP
integrates SABSA to ensure that CSP has a classification scheme to capture business
requirements along with the identification, classification and management of risk.
The SABSA method focuses on the area of security while CSP extends this for cloud
computing. CSP incorporates a similar structure to SABSA and utilized the SABSA
matrix as a stellar example of using question-based analysis in IT
decision-making. By using the business requirements as the “red thread” through
the analysis, SABSA and CSP are both able to ensure that the business
objectives are being met. In the case of CSP, the business should be the
driving force behind the cloud transformation.

Mike The Architect Blog - SABSA Matrix

A common issue I
see when selecting models are that a model is selected either based on
preference or it is good enough. Don’t do that. Make sure you have a fit for
purpose model. If you don’t you may not get an accurate output.


Below are a good
set of models that can be used when rationalizing strategy:

  • Strategy maps
  • Business canvas
  • Hosen strategy
  • Net Present Value (NPV)
  • Business Scenarios
  • SWOT
  • Porters Five Forces Analysis
  • Motivation Model

Mike The Architect Blog - Strategy Map Example


 Now let’s talk about
the tools. These will allow us to automate the method along with helping align,
measure, quantify and qualify our work.

The tools below
will help

  • Charter – Template to authorize the
    project and define scope, stakeholders and timeline
  • Enterprise Capability Assessment
    Enterprise level 1 capability analysis to segment a customer’s portfolio for
    the discovery of cloud opportunities.
  • Business Heat Map – Graphical view of an
    organization based on business capabilities and cloud attributes like risk,
    value, fit and readiness
  • Capability Prioritization – Further
    refinement of each business capability with respect to cloud risk, fit and
  • Capability Profiling – Rollup dashboard
    of a given capability to determine the level of value and risk it provides in
    the context of cloud.
  • Cloud Pattern Valuation – Robust metric
    driven analysis tool used to determine which cloud service and deployment
    models should be used for a solution.
  • Cloud Pattern Matching – Graphical tool
    to connect service and deployment models with business or technical capabilities.
  • Portfolio Analysis – A tool to plot cloud
    opportunities to a grid based on Business Priority, Value, Risk and Effort to
    aid in the roadmapping.
  • Cloud Opportunity Dashboard  – A dashboard that provides a complete
    rollup of the Cloud Valuation assessments into one sheet to support decision
  • Cloud Taxonomy –This taxonomy provides a
    way of rationalizing cloud specific cloud implementation decisions.
  • Cloud Risk Framework – A risk reference
    model that identifies the key aspects of cloud risk to be assessed.
  • Cloud Risk Method – Process for applying
    a risk classification to a potential cloud solution.
  • CSP Project Planning – Examples of a
    defined project engagement, with timelines, milestones, activities and

A good example of a tool leveraged in CSP is The Capability Planning
Tool. It analyses Business and IT capabilities under seven areas that fall
under four assessment drivers: architectural fit, value, risk, and readiness:

  • Architectural
    : Adoption and Complexity
  • Value:
    Cost and Strategic Alignment
  • Risk:
    Significance and Regulations, Standards, and Policies
  • Readiness:
    Organizational Readiness and Technical Readiness

For all capabilities, the EA will ask the customer for the enterprise’s
score in each topic area. For example, for the business capability, Claims
Management, the EA will ask for the capability’s level of adoption based on the
following criteria: 5-Enterprise-Proven, 4-Tested, 3-Industry-Proven,
2-Emerging, and 1-Not Available.

This assessment is intended to capture a range from 1 to 5 for each
topic area under these assessment drivers. The end result is a rolled-up
dashboard with the scores of architectural fit, value, risk, readiness, and an
overall score for each capability. The final results presented in the dashboard
will allow the EA to determine the high-priority capabilities with the

Mike The Architect Blog - Capability Planning Tool Worksheet
Mike The Architect Blog - Capability Planning Tool Dashboard


The Cloud Strategy & Planning (CSP)
guidance helps establish a common context for cloud computing among all
business and IT stakeholders. Furthermore, it allows companies to define an
actionable cloud opportunity plan for qualified & validated cloud
opportunities to be architected for a specific service and deployment model.

The CSP guidance has 3 phases and 7
activities which give an overall structure to the approach. These allow the
client to assess and identify the current maturity level of their competences,
to find out which of these are best suited for cloud migration, and to evaluate
and better understand the opportunities for cloud solutions in the
organization. This assessment will ultimately lead to a business transformation
roadmap that is aligned with the enterprise’s technology and business

A few key points:

  • Focus on Maximizing Business Value – Leverage a business top down
    process of analysis and refinement, describing business capabilities to matched cloud technologies is essential
  • Capability
    – Respect both the business and IT dimensions of an organization
  • Balance
    Value and Risk
     – Identify cloud
    opportunities while also rationalizing the potential challenges
  • Leverage Industry Best Practices – Amplify value of proven methods, models
    and tools to reduce risk of a poorly planned and executed strategy.

Related articles

Technology Architecture Questions for Vendors
Challenge the Status Quo and Advance Business through Cloud Computing
TOGAF Templates

IASA World Summit 2012 Conference

Mike The Architect Blog - IASA_World_Summit LogoI wanted to let my readers know that I will be attending and preseting at the The Iasa World Summit taking place December 6th
– 7th in Austin, TX. For those that are going or thinking of going and would like to meet up I will be attedning all of the sessions and events so please feel free to grab me to chat.

The event provides an opportunity for architect
practitioners and business leaders to share the skills and best practices that
drive growth and value for today’s enterprise.

Join your fellow practitioners for a series of interactive
courses and presentations featuring the most current learning, proven practices
and futures in architecture:

  • Industry Case Studies & Best Practices
  • Woman in IT
  • Software Architecture
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Business Architecture
  • Infomration Architecture

All of my readers are invited to attend the summit at a 25%
discount through the following link:

Technology Architecture Questions for Vendors

As time goes by architects are reviewing less custom / “home grown” solutions and looking at commercial off the shelf (COTS), platforms or cloud based solutions. I thought I would share with you a vendor architecture question template that I have used in the past to fast track my understanding.

Keep in mind that this isn’t an RFI / RFP type template. It can be used to augment one but isn’t the full view, just technology. I try to work with PMO, procurement and others to include this to the RFI / RFP process.For the sake of this post I will assume that’s not the case. 

I use this template as a first pass with the vendor. It serves as a base understanding so I can then ask my level two and three questions of the vendor. Here is the process in which I use:

  1. Modify for the solution – Review the template for any modifications. usually there are tweaks that need to be made based on the type of problem or solution that is needed.
  2. Send to vendor – Send with instructions that it needs to be returned in a timely manner and decisions will be made based on the quality and accuracy of the information. 
  3. Distillation – I use the information to categorize how well the vendor’s technology:
    1. Aligns the companies policies and standards
    2. If they are instantly disqualified for some reason
    3. If it meets the non-functionals / quality attributes of the requested solution 
  4. Compile additional questions – The vendor solutions that make it will most certainly have additional questions that will be needed to be answered. Compile the extended questions and send to the vendor.
  5. Deep dive workshop – I like to do a deep dive workshop with the vendor so they can expand on their responses and provide a forum for EA to probe more into the solution. 
Below you will find the questions. Some of the questions are a little dated and need updating. I’ve been using flavors of this for years, but I think you will find that directionally useful. 

Architecture Domain




What architecture style used to build this application? (ex: Cloud, SOA, SaaS, N-Tier, client server, etc.)


Is there a separation of concerns in the architecture to the effect that solution components have very specific bounds and are applied at the right layers?


What documentation can be provided?(Ex: ERD application API’s, UML diagrams of objects, business process models)


Does the solution support internationalization and localization?


Define the solution roadmap with product version cycles, expected point and major releases of the current version.


Is there usage of proprietary technologies?


Application / Logical

In what languages is the application built?  This includes business logic and presentation tiers.


Has the application been ported into other languages?


Are there a blend of multiple languages and/or versions of languages in you solution?


Is there a mixture of language interpreters?


Is the application customizable? If the application is customizable, what methods, languages and tools are needed to customize? Are these tools bundled in the solution?


Is the source code provided with the solution?


Are there “out of the box adapters”, plug-ins or accelerators provided as productized and supported by the vendor?


Is there a cloud based offering? If so, what service models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and deployment models (Private or Public) are supported?


What client models are supported:

 1. Mobile – What platforms, application type (app vs. web based) and the limitations

 2. Browser – What browsers are supported and what standards are used (ex: HTML 5)

 3. Thick Client – What OS platforms are supported?


Is there a configurable business rules and or workflow engine included?


Are there business process or workflow capabilities built into the solution? If so, what standards does it use?


Are there any open source used in your solution?


How much of the logic is hard coded vs. being data driven or configurable?



Do the solution support integration with its processes and information?


At what level and how deep is integration supported?


Explain how functionality can be extended in the solution


Describe the various protocols supported by the solution. Indicate required, optional and major non-supported protocols.


Describe communication ports and ability to move across the enterprise and outside the company firewall.


Is there support for Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) or middleware technologies?


If ESB or middleware technologies are supported, how is the solution configured to fit within a services framework?


Is the integration supported by services? If so, what types of services? (ex: Web Services, EJB, .Net Remoting, Queues, etc.)


How are the services implemented?


What service standards are used? (Web Services over HTTP, SOAP, REST, etc.)


What services directories (ex: UDDI) can the solution hook into?


Does the solution provide or receive bulk transactions or data feeds?


Does the solution wrap the database with a service or does the solution access the database directly?


How does the solution support synchronous and asynchronous transactions?


Does the solution have publish/subscribe capabilities?


Are there integration adapters that are provided? If so, identify.



OS Platforms


What are all the supported Operating System (OS) platforms and their versions across the solution?


Describe the OS platforms and their configurations at all tiers of the solution.


Has the solution been tested and/or certified with new OS platforms or emerging OS platforms that are in planned release within the year?


If there are multiple OS platforms available (that compete), provide the recommended OS platform(s) with pros and cons contrasted by your solution set.


Are there recommended platform recommendations based on size of the organization and/or the size of the solution? If so describe the recommendations.


Application Platforms


Describe the application platforms that are required in the solution. (ex: Apache, IIS, BizTalk, WebSphere, etc.)


If multiple database platforms are supported, what are the preferred DB platform(s)?



What is the solution licensing model?


What client licensing is required for each end user or desktop?


What is the server licensing model? (ex: per CPU, per CAL, per Core, etc.)


Are there any third party licenses required?



What class of hardware is recommended across the tiers of the solution? (ex: processor, disk, memory, etc.)


Provide a profile of recommended server counts and configurations.


Is virtualization supported? If so, by which vendors?


Provide example physical topologies of the solution.


What is the scaling model for the architecture (Scale-Up / Scale-Out )


Data Communications

Are there any network requirements for this solution?


Are there any solution limitations with implementing network segmentation?


Are there any solution limitations with implementing multiple DMZ tiers?


Are there any solution limitations with implementing VLAN’s?


Are there any solution limitations with implementing network appliances such as SSL / XML acceleration or network load balancing?


SaaS Solutions

Is there a solution hosting model? If so, define.


Is a cloud platform provided for optional development or integration?


Is the solution hosted on a third party platform? (ex: Amazon or MSFT?)


What is the solutions connectivity to the internet or to internal systems?


Define the solution inbound and outbound traffic.


Is multi-tenancy supported?


What level of business continuity and disaster recovery supported?


Performance and Scalability

Is load balancing supported and implemented in the solution?


At what level is load balancing supported? (ex: application and/or at the network level)


Describe how high availability is supported.


If available, provide a performance and/or stress test report.


Describe the number of transactions per hour that the solution can handle with the recommended solution implementation.


Describe the number of concurrent user sessions that the solution can handle with the recommended solution implementation.


What is the recommended scaling model? Scale up or out?


What factors determine hardware, OS, database or other system component upgrades?


Describe the algorithm or guidance that you use to determine the solutions configuration and scaling model.


Describe your systems capabilities for automated fail-over and/or error detection and prevention



What is the authentication model?


What is the authorization model?


Does the solution support Single Sign On? If so, is customization required?


Can the security be externalized into an enterprise identity store such as Microsoft Active Directory?


Are trust boundaries defined with users that are authenticated across those trust boundaries.


If security is custom and internal to the system, can the solution support strong passwords?


Is there security API’s for application level integration?


What auditing mechanisms are available from within the tool?


If externalization of authentication and authorization is unavailable can identities be provisioned and de-provisioned? If so, elaborate?


How are transaction secured?


What protocols are used to secure the solution?


Are data or message level transactions supported? (ex: ws-security)


Is federated identity supported?


What level of hardening is supported on the platforms and protocols/ports?


Is there unsecured data at rest along the process chain?



What end-user training options are available and at what cost?


What administration training options are available and at what cost?


What application development training options are available and at what cost?



Is an ERD available for the solution?


Is a data dictionary for the solution available and if so what is the format and what metadata does it include?


What databases and versions are supported by the solution?


What database versions have been certified and/or tested?


If multiple databases are supported what is the preferred database?


How is access to the database achieved from the application?


How is access to the database achieved from external applications?


Are there specific database access components or drivers required at any tier in the solution? (ex: client tier)


Identify all the locations in the solution where data may be kept. This can include flat files, cookies, XML files, access databases, etc.


Is referential integrity handled at the application, services, database or not implemented?


What is the typical size, number of transactions and complexity of the database compared to the requirements given by our company?


Under what conditions can the database significantly expand? (ex: increase in customers, employees, assets, transactions, etc.)


What is the largest database implementation that you currently support?


Provide a list of all the database platforms you support.


Does the solution have special fault tolerance mechanisms?


Will the solution support native database fault tolerance mechanisms?


Does the solution allow for SSIS or ETL solution integration?


Are there any special considerations for backup and recovery of the solution?


Are there any batch processing events that occur within the application?


Is the supported solution database schema modifiable?



What is the delay before the solution supports a next release of dependent platform such as OS, database, Web Server, etc.


Describe the instrumentation included in the solution that allows for the health and performance of the application to be monitored.


Is there a defined support model based on technology or platform selection?


How often are new versions released?


How often are patches released?


What is the support model for the solution in relation to the co-existence with OS patch releases?



If you decide to use these questions as a starting point for your evaluations, please tell me about it as I would love to hear how you have changed the questions based on the solutions you are evaluating. 


ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights

I am really excited about the new release of ArchiMate.  The reason I am so excited is that for the first time ArchiMate complements TOGAF with a compelling, versatile and unambiguous visual modeling language that covers the end to end enterprise architecture development method and not just solution architecture. Not only do we have the next evolution of the standard but it also comes backed with the training and certification aspects as well that makes this a very real and implementable standard.

This post is centered around some of the key highlights distilled from the my previous two posts (The Open Group Releases ArchiMate 2.0 , ArchiMate 2.0 Certification Released) and some additional analysis of the recent release of ArchiMate.

In general, the  ArchiMate 2.0 aids in the following ways:

  • Helps model the enterprise architecture
  • Works in a manner aligned with TOGAF
  • Supports the preparation and management of:
    • Business change
    • Application rationalization
    • Program and portfolio management
    • Outsourcing scenarios
  • Improves business and IT alignment
  • Performs cost analysis and business case calculations


Additionally, there are six key aspect you should know about the new Archimate 2.0 specification.


#1 Improved and Expanded

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights

  • Based on many years of practical experience of modeling and analysis of Enterprise Architecture by a world-wide user base
  • ArchiMate 2.0 now enables the creation of fully integrated models of the organization’s enterprise architecture, the motivation for it, and the programs, projects and migration paths to implement it


#2 Now fully aligned with TOGAF

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights

With ArchiMate 2.0, it’s the first fully integrated version with TOGAF. With the updates of TOGAF 9.1 (clean up of the spec) and ArchiMate 2.0 we finally have a real modeling notation for EA. It promises to provide a vendor-independent set of concepts, that helps to create a consistent, integrated model “below the waterline”, which can be depicted in the form of TOGAF views.

  • Integrated, consistent and coherent modeling in various phases
  • Specifically designed for enterprise architecture
  • Full support for viewpoints (predefined and user-defined) that supports generation of compelling views for various stakeholders from a central repository
  • Not just the ‘boxes’, but also their interrelationships
  • Explicit support for the service paradigm that defines business, application and infrastructure services with concrete, visible results for various stakeholders can be generated from a repository
  • Impact-of-change, gap analysis, etc.
  • Easy reuse of models, maintained in shared repository


#3 Improved TOGAF ADM alignment

  • The language structure of the ArchiMate Core corresponds with the three main architectures as addressed in phases B, C & D in the TOGAF ADM
  • The extensions to the Core closely correspond with the main aspects to be addressed in the Preliminary phase, Phase A and the Central Requirements management repository, as well as Phases E, F, G and H

The largest alignment area is the Architecture Metamodel as shown below:

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


However, there are great examples for each phase are shown below:

Preliminary Phase

Team Organization

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Building Architecture Principles

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


A – Vision

Stakeholder Analysis

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Business Goals

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Architecture Vision

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


B – Business Architecture

Business Architecture

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Realization of Requirements

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


C – Information Systems Architecture

Baseline / Current State Architecture

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Target / Future State Architecture

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Gap Analysis

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Process Application Support

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Information Structure View

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Data Dissemination Diagram

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


D – Technology Architecture

Baseline Technology Architecture Model

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Target Technology Architecture

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Technology Architecture Gap Analysis

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Platform Decomposition Diagram

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


Application / Technology Support Map

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


E – Opportunities and Solutions

Transition Architectures

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


F – Migration Planning

Projects for the Transitions between Plateaus

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights


H & RM – Architecture Change Management & Requirements Management

Traceability Model

Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights



#4 ArchiMate 2.0 improves collaboration

By promoting a growth in shared understanding across multiple information roles including business executives, enterprise architects, systems analysts, software engineers, business process consultants and infrastructure engineers


#5 New Core extensions Mike Walker's Blog: ArchiMate 2.0 Highlights

  • The Motivation extension to model stakeholders, drivers for change, business goals, principles and requirements
  • The Implementation & Migration extension to support project portfolio management, gap analysis and transition and migration planning


#6 Inconsistencies have been removed

  • Examples have been improved
  • Additional text has been inserted
  • Certain aspects clarified