Architecture and Digital Business Platform Frameworks

Approaches to Architecture Development

Multiple complementary approaches and methodologies are used to develop enterprise and system architectures. Some of the most popular approaches used in government departments and agencies include Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF), The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), Object-oriented with Unified Modeling Language, Spewak architecture process and Zachman Framework.

The key steps of any architecture development approach are:

  • Define the architecture purpose, value, and decisions it will support.

  • Get information needed to define the architecture from stakeholders as early as possible.

  • Create, refine, and update the architecture in an iterative way throughout the acquisition life cycle.

  • Validate the architecture will meet expectations when implemented.

  • Define roles for team members to guide and coordinate their efforts.

  • Create estimates and schedules based on the architectural blueprint.

  • Use the architecture to gain insight into project performance.

  • Establish a lightweight, scalable, tailorable, repeatable process framework.

Once the decision about the architecture development methodology is resolved, selecting a technique to discover the architectural structure and processes is important.

Best Practices for Architecture

Purpose before architecture. Purpose must drive the architecting effort or the effort will be subject to the criticism of architecting for its own sake.

Architecting is integral to systems engineering. Significant analytical insight into the system is gained through the process of architecting.

Think "both-and." Various architecture methodologies and approaches exist. When properly understood, they can be complementary. Some approaches and frameworks address architecture content, and others address the architecture process. Understand the value of all to apply the best course of actions for the purpose. Actively consider mixing and matching them to achieve your purpose.

Different models for different situations. Basic modeling techniques include a structured approach and an object approach. Understand their application strengths and weaknesses. The object approach provides many features to support complex system architectures and their interactions.

Understanding Digital Business Platform Frameworks

Platforms help companies and organization leverage the power of ecosystems to grow and reach outstanding results that cannot be reached independently. Platform Design is a key capability for your organization: it helps you deliver more innovation with smaller investments respect to building traditional services.

Digital Business Platform Designs are based on the tradition of Service Design Thinking and was born to overcome the limitations in traditional, linear, Business Modelling approaches. This methodology helps you model multi-sided, ecosystem based, platform models that are transforming the world of business and services.

Digital Business Platform Frameworks include:

Mapping the existing experiences: identify how the ecosystem already interacts, what are the entities, mediators, brokers and infrastructural elements.

Identify patterns of platformization that can be used, assets that can be leveraged by the platform shaper, and existing moats.

Analyze the value chain, in terms of layers, value perceived, state of evolution of all the components, to be sure that you can aggregate the right elements.

Identify the gameplay that, as a platform shaper you should pursue, transforming the rules of the context, enabling better experiences, and create attraction.