Today brought upon an interesting thought about defining an ETA domain strategy.  Defining my organization’s ETA domain strategy.  The Enterprise Technology Architecture of a business is sorely important when defining the future state of applications and potential improvements.  With constant changes involving IoT and the need to stay relevant in the market, company’s have adopted efficient and quick modeling frameworks.

There is an approach in EA that is commonly used called the Four-Slide Approach.  In short, literally, it is presented as follows:

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The current state should emphasize the components of the current domain strategy and include an inventory of servers.  Enterprise architects should also tell a succinct story on market trends and standards, so the future state can speak to the changes that will be presented.  As mentioned before, architects should not spend a considerable amount of time and energy assessing the current state of the enterprise.

The future state should include a replica of the current state (e.g. matrix, diagram, list) and call-outs for indicating where a change will occur.  An example of this platform domain future state may look like this:

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In my enterprise, we have a similar methodology for expressing these variables except we make more use of diagrams rather than lists.  Similar to what you see below:

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Once you have your future state as an overlay on your current state of ETA platform, then move onto a gap analysis.  A gap analysis is important to determine what shortcomings are present based on the future goals of the enterprise.  When presenting the future state of an ETA platform, the “how” is delayed until addressing the gap analysis.  This is where you can answer questions about what specific programs, data centers, capacity, servers, and platforms are needed.  A gap analysis can also be beneficial during mergers and acquisitions.  My organization has a standing average of two acquisitions per year.  This makes for a lot of gap analyses and constant migrations.

Migration is the fourth slide in which a project/program manager may begin a plan to migrate towards the desired state of architecture.  They will document a high-level list of projects/steps that need to be completed before migration can begin and present incremental steps in an agile manner.  Agile being the keyword as a migration project can take a couple of years if addressed correctly; sometimes less.

To give you an idea, our current enterprise is dealing with two major migrations.  A new product and current customer migration as well as an acquisition migration.  Working in an agile manner, or iteratively, allows for flexibility on completion dates and required delivery.  The four-slide approach is prevalent in my industry, and I have seen multiple SaaS organizations make use of this high-level modeling.

Robertson, B. (2006, December 19) EA Modeling Made Simple: ETA Domain Strategy Example. (ID Number: G00144602). Gartner Database.

Robertson, B. (2005, December 13) A Framework of Patterns, Services, Domains and Components Defines the Technology Viewpoint. (ID Number: G00135179). Gartner Database.