Landscape / Overview

The following information outlines the operational landscape and areas of application which I have been involved in as a result of work done to date as a solution architect. Providing strategic initiatives, total end to end solution consulting across a number of competency areas or focusing on specific components of solution architecture i.e. GAP Analysis, Road Map, Modelling , Identity Access Management (IAM) etc. See Capability for match up on strategy* and solution architect role.


Application

Application of core and supplementary skills is highlighted below for solution architecture, information architecture and business analyst functions. Other areas are indicate where consultation occurs as part of the overall end to end solution or consultative engagement for vision and strategic alignment.


*Note:    In order to align the vision and strategy with future state objectives, consultation must occur across
              all business & technology domains, particularly for the contextual and conceptual phases.
 
Key Competencies

The following outlines areas of competencies gained as a result of previous engagements covering business strategy, design and delivery of architecture reference documents across the organisational landscape. The detail has been modified to protect any information infringements as it does reflect actual work. 

Architecting in the Cloud

A number of industry options are available for cloud deployment, I specifically cover Amazon Web Services (AWS) for provision of infrastructure and deployment of applications and services using AWS and Azure Stack for Hyper-V solutions.. The following diagram shows reference architecture for VPC within the Sydney region. Full diagram and design characteristics can be seen by clicking here. I have provided Solution architecture support for clients through Melbourne IT (Premium AWS Partner) Asia Pacific region. Select here to see Azure based solutions.


Common Services Management Framework

Provided Services Management Framework to implement cloud based initiatives for multi tenanted, muti cloud initiatives using tier 1 cloud service providers. (AWS/ Azure etc.) Definition and integration of business support processes and managed service providers to support full cloud service stack. (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS and BaaS). 

Application integration to cloud and management of Infrastructure to scale as associated with the benefits associated using cloud technologies. Provide knowledge base articles and principle documents to support architecture and design associated with using enterprise grade cloud solutions. Integration of tooling and dependent onsite systems for end to end provision of cloud services. Objective to provide common services framework across multiple cloud service providers and multi tenanted cloud solutions as shown below



Cloud Based Identity Access Management

Implementing an effective Identity Access Management (IAM) utilising cloud technologies is a challenging endeavor particularly as there are a number of permutations of cloud services where the boundaries between cloud and enterprise domains have become blurred.

The document attach below is a sample of work I have put together which outlines an approach and methodology to implement IAM. This covers domains across the public, private and hybrid cloud eco systems for enterprise grade adoption using main stream cloud service providers. (CSP's)

Architectural Framework

The following diagram outlines an architectural framework and relationships for solution architecture reference (SAR) material to implement an automated transactional content management (TCM) system. The scenario includes rework of manual TCM system to achieve an automated incident system (target state) with supporting architectural reference material for development, integration and functional capability. Primary SAR's are shown from conceptual to current and future target states.

Note an extension to the framework for business integration (BPM Optimisation) is not shown in the diagram but is listed under the SAR reference material below to show key elements addressed.



Solution Architecture Reference Material

Key elements addressed for each of the core SAR's are listed below for solution concept (architecture board approval) and the other solution architecture documents applied across the three TCM domains shown in the diagram above. (i.e. Inbound, Storage, Outbound)

Solution Concept Security Framework Service Integration Functional Specification BPM Optimisation
Purpose
Scope
Assumptions
Dependencies
Constraints
TCM best practice
System Requirements
SA Design Principles
Architectural Concept
Views - Integration
Views - Use Case
Views - Logical
Views - Data
Views - Security
Functional Components
Services - Integration
Scenarios
Operational Model
Solution Options
Scale & Performance
Assessment - Capability
Assessment - Risk
Assessment - Change
Assessment - Impact
Transitional Steps
Next Steps
Purpose
Scope
Assumptions
Dependencies
Constraints
Security best practice
Security Requirements
Security - Architecture
Security - Framework
Operational Model
Solution Building Blocks
Inbound Systems
Outbound Systems
Security - Device
Security - Network
Security - Storage
Security - Container
Security - Audit & Logging
Solution Options
Architectural Decisions
Assessment - Capability
Assessment - Risk
Assessment - Change
Assessment - Impact
Transitional Steps
Next Steps
Purpose
Scope
Assumptions
Dependencies
Constraints
Integration best practice
Business Context
Solution Overview

Component Model
Solution Building Blocks
ESB Integration Layer
Web Service Pattern
Scenario's
Inbound
Repository
Outbound
Integration View Points
Item Utilisation
Interface Catalogue
Service Registry
Collaboration Views
Inbound Management
Architectural Considerations
Implementation Considerations
Assessment Review
Next Steps

Purpose
Scope
Assumptions
Dependencies
Constraints
Functional Requirements
Project scope
Architectural Context
Reference Architecture
Solution Architecture
Principles
Logical Specification
Functional Specification
Environment Specification
Deployment Specification
Views - Development
Views - Functional Test
Views - Production
Allocation - Interfaces
Performance Metrics
Assessment - Capability
Assessment - Risk
Assessment - Change
Assessment - Impact
Transitional Steps
Next Steps
Purpose
Scope
Assumptions
Dependencies
Constraints
BPM best practise
Optimisation Consideration
Document Management
Functionality
Architecture Model
Document Complexity
Data Models
Data Transformation
Business Process
Resources
Design - Communication
Design - Re use
Design - Process
Asset Utilisation
Business Impact
Solution Options
Assessment - Risk
Assessment - Change
Assessment - Impact
Implementation

Next Steps

Information - Logical Relationships

The following outlines an information logic mapping technique for complex relationships which I have used to map dependencies across key areas to define and derive solutions to aid constructing of SA artefact documentation. The sample shown below can be seen here for functional review of DOCCM system.



Road Map Definition & GAP Analysis

Transformation between current and future target states, the impact and how quickly it is implemented is dependent on the level of complexity and number of architectural transitions required to achieve the end objective. Road Map definition and GAP assessments provide the detail required to get there. Effective and Relative visualisation (viewpoints) between states are key competencies I have used to communicate changes.


Relative Views

The following framework is a standards based approach using Togaf / Archimate to determine relative impact for different business areas (views). (Modified to suit specific business models). I have used this approach using Archi* as well as other industry specific modelling tools.(i.e. Sparx, BizzDesign)

*Note further development of the Open Source Archi tool was stopped June 2014, while the archimate modelling language is accommodated as a plugin using other industry modelling tools, Sparx, BizzDesign.
 



Other Architectural Domains

Developing a business strategy, providing an end to end solution, process optimisation, integrating applications or services from a solutions architecture perspective, requires input from other architectural domains. As such competency and consultation is key across all areas of an organisations architectural domain. 

As an example Information architecture provides the view to identify the business value of information and the means to achieve a more targeted approach to the use and management of both data and technology within the enterprise, as such this architectural domain is key to how solutions are implemented and information assets are utilised.

A scenario to show this might be where a future state information architecture might identify an information asset (e.g., a performance dashboard) that today is implemented using a manually maintained spreadsheet, to be implemented in future as a SharePoint based dashboard automatically populated with data from a data warehouse or a number of external data sources in near real time.

Key to successful delivery of solutions or integration is dependent on applying an appropriate strategy, modelling and analysis as outlined below from an information management perspective.

Strategy - Information Management

The following outlines the information management (IM) strategy I have used on a number of projects, applying the information architect discipline across the contextual, conceptual and logical architectural layers. Defining information / data requirements and the steps required to transition from current to future state applicable for the whole business operating model (BOM). Effective communication with key stakeholders is imperative to get buy in using a top down approach.




Information Management - Modelling

I have used knowledge-based applications that support the creation, visualisation, and manipulation of ontologies in various representation formats such as Protege  as shown below.




Analytic Assessment (BA)

The following outlines an example interactive template I have designed and used in previous assignments for business analysis to communicate key metrics with visuals for gap analysis showing degree of fit which can be adjusted to suit application or services integration. The focus is to be able to easily apply the "what If" scenario and show gaps for different solution options covering functional and non-functional requirements as well as risk assessment and other appropriate metrics.



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Alex Duncan,
20 Jun 2015, 21:01