Today, organizations need to learn to make workflow changes on the fly. Otherwise, consumers and trading partners alike are ready to move on. This puts tremendous pressure on organizations to fully automate business operations wherever possible and adjust them dynamically without any disruption.
Obviously, if this were easy, everyone would be doing it. Good architectural design isn't enough. You also need flexibility and resilience. Businesses seeking to compete on a global scale should consider the following approach:
Step 1: Architecture Framework The first step is to establish a framework that presents a set of architectural principles that support the organization's business goals and strategic drivers.
Once an architecture has been developed, it's important to create a governance mechanism to ensure that it remains synchronized with the strategic direction of the organization
For example, Fifth Third Bancorp, a $US105.8 billion diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, adopted these architectural principles:
- A multitiered processing environment is necessary to enable the distribution of processing capabilities.
- Applications should be independent of the underlying technology on which they are implemented.
- Interchangeable hardware components must be used on all platforms and tiers.
Step 2: Baseline Environment It's important to get a baseline of the current environment - both business operations and IT systems - to define what works well and what must be improved in order to meet the future needs of the organization.
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