Friday, March 13, 2009

Sexily Oriented Architecture

It's been bugging me for a while: How many orientations can one architecture have? There seem to be so many to choose from, though some of these are not yet recognised as mainstream they actually hold the real promise. Unfortunately they both begin with "C"!.

Lets start with the obvious ones:
Technology Oriented Architecture: The orientation that most organisations were starting to use in the late 70's and most still use to this day as their primary oreination despite wishing to deny the fact.

Data Oriented Architecture: The orientation that some organisations started to use in the late 80's and some use today, many organisations aspire to being data or information oriented but few have achieved a high level of Information Orientation. Simple test: Has your organisation identified and classified all of its sensitive Information Asset Types?

Process Oriented Architecture: An orientation made famous by Michael Hammer of "Re-engineering" Fame, some trepidatious Enterprises were trying to use in the early 90's and few use today despite some of the huge value that Re-engineering Processes appeared to promise.

Now moving from the mainstream, and I am sure there will be some that will tell me that EOA and SOA are both mainstream, but I have to put the bar somewhere, and I have chosen solid signs of implementation as being my bar.

Enterprise Oriented Architecture: The orientation that most Architects are now talking about, though very few have delivered in practise. Perhaps I should be kind and refer to it as Mainstream! Nah!!!

Service Oriented Architecture: The morph of Technology orientation that is changing our focus from the technology to services. Some of you will remember the great renaming exercise that shifted IT departments to become IS departments, During the "noughties" Service Oriented Architecute started to gain sway, though few organisations have created one at the Enterprise Level. A few are achieving some degree of SOA at much lower levels.

Now onto the truly non Mainstream Architecture Orientation it is the
Collaboration Oriented Architecture, developed by the Jericho Forum as the answer the Life the Universe and everything....oops I clearly meant the answer to the De-Perimiterisation issue/opportunity. This Architecture Orientation is still not accepted by Architects, at least not those developing TOGAF. I think, that they think that we must all be on something!!

The fast approaching Semantically Oriented Architecture will certainly make a dent when it arrives, though I have a hunch it will first do a belly flop, for as far as I can tell the Semantic purists have not built into the core of their models and standards the rights and wishes of the individuals who are the principal or own the resources. Seems to me that the Web 3.1 will be better when it includes Security at its core. My attempts to find someone in Boston to explain this crucial notion to was a flop. So in fact you can blame me.

It all revolves around this thing called Entitlement, but that's another Blog Post.

So we finally get to the last orientation or to avoid future confusion I will call it a "Centricity"..... drum roll .... thus we have the Customer Centric Architecture!

So what is a Customer Centric Architecture, simply it is one that places the Customer at the heart of all Architecture Decisions and NOT the Product or Service that a company is selling. This is or at least should be the core or heart of all Architecture models, it's just that few of of us have truly understood this, and still fewer have implemented a Customer Centric Architecture.

As a quite aside Apple understood this in the way they designed their technology, they produce User Centric Technology, rather different to the Disk based Operating System of their rivals which is more technology out, than user in... but I digress

Then at 4am this morning it hit me.... We need all the orientations to make a Customer Centric Architecture Work!!! Then it was much easier for me to see them not as Orientations, but rather Layers.

Thus we now have:
Customer Centric Architecture CCA
Collaboration Architecture Layer CAL
Enterprise Architecture Layer EAL
SEmantic Architecture Layer SEAL
Process Architecture Layer PAL
Service Architecture Layer SAL
Technology Architecture Layer TAL
Data Architecture Layer

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