System architecture – Things to consider

1. Strategic objective

The strategic objective will be brighteing up. The goal must be seen as a short-and long-term development path.

The objectives must be clear in order to draft development projects. Clear targets include growth (growth in turnover of 20%, three new products annually, cost reductions, development of employee motivation through new working methods).

The objectives must also be communicating so that everyone is clear; Similarly, we must define what is expected to achieve the objectives. Communication is done by creating a company strategy Plan (blueprint).

2. Background work

Background work is an integral part of architectural creation. The background work must include:

  • Sufficient current state analysis (customers, products, processes)
  • Megatrends, Industry Foresight
  • Competition profile/SWOT/PESTLE.

It may occasionally be appropriate to carry out an external market investigation to determine the expectations of the current and emerging markets. Customers ‘ ability and willingness to pay for products or services can open their eyes to see new opportunities.

Background work is also an organizational training for future transformation projects.

3. Skills and Resources

As the system architecture is comprehensive and complete, the project will also be resourdable correctly. The right people will ensure that difficult decisions can also be taken effectively: the financing of the project and the necessary persons will be made available as needed.

The core of the architecture team must be the CEO or, indeed, in the big companies, at least a member of the management team with an adequate view of the company’s strategy process.

To manage your workflow, strategy material, and development programs, you may need to obtain a software tool designed to use it (e.g. Fingertip, Orbus/iServer…).

4. Create a system architecture

The system architecture itself is built as a project – later its maintenance is part of a continuous development effort. The ITIL model or the TOGAF reference framework may, where applicable, be used as a reference frame. The Zachman Cage can also be a good tool.

However, none of the tools can substitute for your own thinking!

The architecture must include:

  • Business
  • Information management Perspective
  • Information Systems
  • Infrastructure

The architecture must be balanced in terms of business and technology.

5. Careful planning

Architectural construction is a very wide-ranging project, so construction needs to be carefully planned. Without good planning, the whole project begins to stretch and be randomly controlled by the current acute situation.

In planning, you should include an external entity that is able to compile a schedule that is disconnected from the company’s internist power games. This ensures a balanced project progression and the best result.

6. Change Management

In a changing competitive situation, organisations seem to have a tendency to stick to existing practices. To overcome this situation, consider the change planning to be included right from the start.

Managed change management clarifies the project’s objectives, impacts on operations and organization, creates policies to identify changes, strengthens roles and responsibilities. You should also take advantage of an existing model in change management (e.g. Kotter 8 Step Model).

The progress of the change must be continuously monitored and deviations must be responded to according to the plan.