|By Nagesh Anupindi||
|May 13, 2009 08:15 AM EDT||
Hype cycles are common in many markets. For technology markets, Gartner® has established a five-phase hype cycle used since 1995 to track a new technology from its trigger phase to the point where it has become widely demonstrated and accepted. For many technologies, these hype cycles typically span anywhere from three to ten years.
When a technology breakthrough gains momentum with the press and possibly launches a product, that particular technology gets triggered. This describes the first phase of the cycle. In the second phase, expectations for that technology are inflated because of a few over-enthusiasts pledging unrealistic paybacks. When these paybacks are not obviously realized, the press walks away from that technology, leading some of the enthusiasts to drop out in the third phase. The enthusiasts who remain on board continue to utilize the technology during the fourth phase and find boundaries within which that technology can be practically utilized. Finally, in the fifth phase, the utilization of that technology within these boundaries is widely demonstrated and accepted.
I have seen several technologies go through these hype cycles. Some of the now widely accepted technologies that traversed through these five phases include Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Linux, XML, Knowledge Workplace, and B2B CRM. These bring back a few memories for many of us. Today, we are going through the second phase of the hype cycle for Master Data Management (MDM), Social Networking Software, Smart Grid technologies, and Cloud Computing.
The hype on Enterprise Architecture (EA) started ever since the Zachman Framework was defined in 1987, and it still continues after three decades. Now in 2009, which phase of the Garner hype cycle does EA find itself in? Believe it or not, there was never a hype cycle created by Gartner specifically for EA. Greta A. James, a research Vice President at Gartner focusing on EA, will tell you that EA is a program, not one technology. Under the EA umbrella we find several hype cycles including Application Development, Application Integration & Platform Middleware, and EA Tools.
If a hype cycle for EA did exist, with thirty years under its belt this topic would have been well adopted by many organizations, and the role of EA probably would have been well accepted within these organizations. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For 2009, Greta has predicted that more than half the existing EA programs are at risk and will be discontinued in the near future. Remaining ones that survive this economy, per Greta, will struggle with framework and information management problems. Many of my friends who didn’t already get cut are now hoping that their EA departments won’t be eliminated.
Why have Hope in the midst of so much Hype? Did we miss the boat on reaping the rewards from the thirty-year hype? Let’s look at other sections of IT. If the Operations department is cut, we know that systems will be on the floor. If Business Intelligence is cut, we know that customers will scream for reports and analytics. If Application Development is cut, we know that new functionality cannot be built to keep the business moving forward. A friend of mine who is the CIO of a company going through a Chapter 11 still keeps scaled-down versions of these departments. But if EA is cut, who will feel the pain?
Changing Hype first to Hope and then to Reality requires us to go back to basics and investigate the purpose of EA. Gartner defines EA as: “Enterprise Architecture is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating and improving the key requirements, principles and models that describe the enterprise’s future state and enable its evolution.” From a tactical perspective, lots of goodies are embedded in this definition.
Translate Business Vision and Strategy
To successfully implement the EA function, we need to ensure that the EA group has a dedicated staff that understands the business. For example, in a publishing company architects need to understand their media products whether they’re books, print magazines, or online magazines. They need to understand how the company makes money through these products. Architects need to become familiar with the business terms and the company’s underlying business processes. Then they need to understand where the business wants to go in the current year in contrast to the company’s objectives for the previous year. Using this expertise, architects need to put together relevant programs to move the organization forward using technology as the vehicle.
Create Key Requirements, Principles, and Models
There must be a different EA staff that brings these programs down to reality through the Program Management Office (PMO). Key requirements need to have a basis of underlying EA principles. These can include strategic principles about the company’s cyber security environment or tactical principles about how EA gets embedded into Change Management. To successfully create these requirements, a set of base architectural models is needed. These models must be specifically tailored for the organization, with direct linkage provided to the blueprints of core systems.
Describe Enterprise Architecture’s Future State
Describing the future state requires the involvement of a few EA staff members with strong technical expertise. They need to understand the current state and define the future. We need to limit these future state objectives to a handful of items to make sure they get the necessary attention. Additional technical details about the future state can be embedded into technology roadmaps and standards. If the main objectives aren’t limited to no more than a handful, though, the purpose of EA and its objectives will get lost.
Enable Enterprise Architecture’s Evolution
The evolution of an organization’s technical capabilities requires well defined, well organized, and well managed technology proposals. This can be achieved only by creating well defined standards, clear lines of communication on why these technology standards are in place, and a well managed process for technology governance. If we are ready to implement a technology law, we need to make sure that there is some staff on EA dedicated to processing the requests for waivers and providing the necessary reasoning for such standards.
In conclusion, when these simple principles are followed, Hype becomes Reality and the term Hope will no longer be needed. When Enterprise Architecture is able to prove that it can bridge the business vision to IT’s tactical operations, its function will no longer be Hype and EA staff members will no longer need to Hope they won’t be cut. Enterprise Architecture will become an organization without which the company will feel the pain just as it would if other departments within the IT organization were cut.
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
Mar. 29, 2015 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,225
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...
Mar. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,027
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional S...
Mar. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,833
When it comes to microservices there are myths and uncertainty about the journey ahead. Deploying a “Hello World” app on Docker is a long way from making microservices work in real enterprises with large applications, complex environments and existing organizational structures. February 19, 2015 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET → 45 Minutes Join our four experts: Special host Gene Kim, Gary Gruver, Randy Shoup and XebiaLabs’ Andrew Phillips as they explore the realities of microservices in today’s IT worl...
Mar. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,811
OmniTI has expanded its services to help customers automate their processes to deliver high quality applications to market faster. Consistent with its focus on IT agility and quality, OmniTI operates under DevOps principles, exploring the flow of value through the IT delivery process, identifying opportunities to eliminate waste, realign misaligned incentives, and open bottlenecks. OmniTI takes a unique, value-centric approach by plotting each opportunity in an effort-payoff quadrant, then work...
Mar. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 827
Cloud computing is changing the way we look at IT costs, according to industry experts on a recent Cloud Luminary Fireside Chat panel discussion. Enterprise IT, traditionally viewed as a cost center, now plays a central role in the delivery of software-driven goods and services. Therefore, companies need to understand their cloud utilization and resulting costs in order to ensure profitability on their business offerings. Led by Bernard Golden, this fireside chat offers valuable insights on ho...
Mar. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 796
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
Mar. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,443
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
Mar. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 989
For those of us that have been practicing SOA for over a decade, it's surprising that there's so much interest in microservices. In fairness microservices don't look like the vendor play that was early SOA in the early noughties. But experienced SOA practitioners everywhere will be wondering if microservices is actually a good thing. You see microservices is basically an SOA pattern that inherits all the well-known SOA principles and adds characteristics that address the use of SOA for distribut...
Mar. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,015
Microservice architectures are the new hotness, even though they aren't really all that different (in principle) from the paradigm described by SOA (which is dead, or not dead, depending on whom you ask). One of the things this decompositional approach to application architecture does is encourage developers and operations (some might even say DevOps) to re-evaluate scaling strategies. In particular, the notion is forwarded that an application should be built to scale and then infrastructure sho...
Mar. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,458
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Ras...
Mar. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,088
Microservices are the result of decomposing applications. That may sound a lot like SOA, but SOA was based on an object-oriented (noun) premise; that is, services were built around an object - like a customer - with all the necessary operations (functions) that go along with it. SOA was also founded on a variety of standards (most of them coming out of OASIS) like SOAP, WSDL, XML and UDDI. Microservices have no standards (at least none deriving from a standards body or organization) and can be b...
Mar. 29, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,153
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Mar. 29, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,276
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Mar. 29, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,131
Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be v...
Mar. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,855
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
Mar. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,635
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Mar. 29, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,257
An explosive combination of technology trends will be where ‘microservices’ and the IoT Internet of Things intersect, a concept we can describe by comparing it with a previous theme, the ‘X Internet.' The idea of using small self-contained application components has been popular since XML Web services began and a distributed computing future of smart fridges and kettles was imagined long back in the early Internet years.
Mar. 29, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,176
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microser...
Mar. 29, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,048
Exelon Corporation employs technology and process improvements to optimize their IT operations, manage a merger and acquisition transition, and to bring outsourced IT operations back in-house. To learn more about how this leading energy provider in the US, with a family of companies having $23.5 billion in annual revenue, accomplishes these goals we're joined by Jason Thomas, Manager of Service, Asset and Release Management at Exelon. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal A...
Mar. 29, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 769