Friday, October 31, 2008

From Enterprise Architecture, through Collaboration Oriented Architectures, to Customer Centric Architecture!

Many IT Enterprise Architects, are still struggling to achieve their ultimate peak, which they have determined to be the optimisation and complete integration of the Enterprise. Historically they have determined that their primary focus is optimising the benefit of usng IT to their total Enterprise (represented by the Green shape), the integration and productivity benefits accruing from connecting a few organisations within an Enterprise as the second priority (the orange colour). Leaving the optimisation of single organisations as the third priority (Light Blue). This is often hard as each internal organisation sets more store by the value that IT can bring to their own organisation, than considering the optimal usage of IT across the Enterprise. This results in a large amount of wasted effort as each internal function battles for the resources to maximise the benefits of IT for themselves.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that this internally focussed and selfish optimisation approach results in barriers to collaboration between Enterprises. The recently published Collaboration Oriented Architecture framework from the Open Group highlights key steps to take reduce the friction between Enterprises, while minimising the risks to the Enterprises and their Customers.

However, even this refined collaboration oriented approach still does not resolve the key issues and opportunities for the most important constituents of all Enterprises: their Customers! Customers are impacted most badly by architectural approaches that do not hold them at the centre.

The new Yellow layer in the diagram above signifies a new Customer Centric layer. Architects who understand the importance of this new layer will be scrambling to drop their Enterprise or Collaboration titles and adopt the attitudes and title of a Customer Centric Architect. Now we have to start thinking about what exactly that means, we could do well by starting to think about how Identity and Access Management systems optimised to meet the needs of individual Enterprises might be architected with the Customer in the forefront of all our minds.

There is a lot to do to change our architecture mindsets. We need to stop thinking internally of our own Enterprises and change to think FIRST of our Customers. It was hard enough trying to achieve Enterprise Architecture, one can only imagine the difficulties that will be encountered on this journey. However the benefits are even more legion than those which drove us to strive for Enterprise Architecture. Now all we have to do is to persuade the internal functions why this makes more sense than focussing on their special needs. Perhaps it will be easier to persuade them to give up their own gains, if it is the Customer that wins rather than a colleague in another department/organisation!?

However it won't be that easy to accomplish as the legacy systems are all facing the wrong way, akin to each organisation or function in an Enterprise having its clothes on inside out! Perhaps the challenge of changing this state of affairs should not be imagined, as the resulting vision of Enterprises in varying states of undress will not be not pretty. But imagine it we must, happily we have pointers and emerging tools and services. The tenets are similar to those espoused in the Jericho Forum COA, the benefits will however be more profound. Additionaly, SOA, the Cloud, Mobilisation, Web 2.0 (The Social Web) and in the future Web 3.0 (The Semantic Web) are all emerging at the right time. With these tools Enterprises will be at least able to consider the transformation, assuming of course they have Customer Centric Architects that get it, and internal functions that are willing to take their "clothes" off! Perhaps that is the real result of Consumerisation, not just of the devices and services, but of whole Enterprises! Now that is a nice thing to imagine!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Aha Number 1: On the relationship between my Personas and my "Me" Tags

I created this Blog Space, out of some weird sense that I didn't want to be blogging on this subject to my usual reader! Something about wanting to reach/please a different audience. This week while on the Leading Edge Forum Cloud Study Tour, I watched as @mastermark decided to reduce his tweets under the #lef tag, because he felt he was overwhelming his audience. This must have got my subconcious thinking as I woke this Sunday morning knowing that Personas and Personal Tagging were very closely related.

So for some definitions:
A Persona is a public facing identity that normally has a name like Adrius42
Personal Tagging will come in three basic forms, the lowest level is self asserted, next comes from the aggregation of third party tags (vis By public acclaimation Adrius42 is a Geek, and those of you who know me will know that I would be mighty proud of such an acclaimation!) this second form of tagging is what others tag me as, the final form of tagging is a claim that can be authenticated via a thrid party, eg I am a Doctor ( I am not so I would have a hard time having the BMA authenticating that claim, whereas my son would not)

So onto my Aha! this e-trust blog space is simply a poor attempt of mine to tag my Web2.0 persona.

What would be better is if the Social Media Tools (starting with my friends at FaceBook who really didn't get what I was talking about when I raised the topic!) were to implement Personal Tagging it will be the early beginning of Identity and Access Management in the Social Space.

Instead of "following" all of Adrius42 you could "follow" my Web2.0 persona articulated at the application level by Adrius42#Web2.0. I would be more comfortable letting some of you into that, than the whole me!. So when you accessed Adrius42, you would get to see those persona#tags that you have chosen to follow and that I have let you see. You can also chose to unfollow one of my persona#tags if I start to get too nerdy in it, as you might my upcoming Adrius42#greencomposting persona#tag!

I would also be able to define the folks who could see my persona#tags. For example my Adrius42#web2.0 tag I might make public, whereas Adrius42#holidays I might make visible to friends so that they could choose to follow it and I could choose to let them.

So here's to Persona#tags

Now all I need is for this post to go Viral and for my FaceBook friends to get what I was jabbering on about.... then my Twitter friends then my friends... and then my whole Social Media Universe. And then Mark and I would be able to stop feeling guilty about what we were blabbing on about!!!