We have written many posts at the Architectural Thinking blog that deal with the business aspects of architecture. Business architecture is at the core of Architectural Thinking and must be connected to vision/strategy and solution development. Business architecture drives IT architecture, not vice versa. This doesn’t mean, however, that the technology landscape of a company does not need to be governed! Technology is the basis that supports applications that support the business as shown in the meta-model of the Architectural Thinking Framework:
Technology components are here to support the applications that support the value streams that realize the vision of the company. For that reason, they also must be planned strategically by a steering board.
The best way to visualize the current state is a heat-mapped technology component map. It shows the technology components of the company in their current status. It is used to answer questions like:
- Which technology components are positioned to be strategic and are here to stay, and which are phased out in the medium/long term?
- When is our big data technology ready to enable our new CRM?
- When do we reduce the number of application servers by merging them to ‘Kiowa Timcat‘
- In which technology categories do we need new technology components?
This heat map shows the technology components categorized by their ‘technology domain’ (e.g. Relational Database, Application Server). The color indicates if the technology component is (i) strategic, (i.e. no plans to replace it within 5 years), (ii) to be replaced in the mid-term (i.e. 1-2 years) or (iii) to be replaced in the long-term (3-5 years). Based on this map a ‘Technical Platform Board’ makes decisions about the strategic lifecycle of the technology components