Architecture Driven Modernization

A process of ‘migrating to the Cloud’ can be very simple, such as moving from in-house Microsoft Exchange email to Google Apps, or it can be very complex – A long term plan to close multiple data centres and consolidate hundreds of applications.

In either case any major IT project should of course be framed by an appropriate business case and change plan. Even the simple email migration project would require a major cultural shift for many users, with entrenched resistance from key user groups that would need to be accommodated, and of course the portfolio transformation project would be hugely complex.

So for every scenario a pre-migration business planning exercise that identifies and plans for these steps is essential to success, and as described in this presentation Business Architecture the Key to Enterprise Transformation the domain of Business Architecture can be utilized for this planning.

Specifically the OMG offers a simple but powerful planning framework called ADM – Architecture-Driven Modernization. As the ADM ‘Horseshoe’ model articulates, as described in this Carnegie Mellon article1, a migration project can be considered with three distinct tiers of scope possible, increasing the size and length of the project with an increasing level of associated business benefit

ScopeBusiness benefits
Technical architecture – The application is migrated as is to a new hardware infrastructure service without modification.

  • Infrastructure-centric cost and performance benefits, such as autoscaling of capacity and utility pricing.

  • Addressing pain point scenarios, such as utilizing IaaS for disaster recovery.

  • Business cases such as moving off obsolete hardware.

Application and Data Architecture – The application and data structures are also upgraded as part of the process.

  • Enable the software development team to adopt Enterprise DevOps methods, achieving faster time-to-market for new innovations.

  • Re-architect from hard to modify monolithic software to change-friendly designs such as Microservices.

  • Build better integrated, Internet-centric software that utilizes shared services like OAuth Identity sign-on.

  • Re-engineer software for key modern features, like web front-end access.

Business Architecture – The business model is also transformed.

  • Transform business software and processes to support strategic goals like omni-channel customer centricity.

  • Build and exploit new Platform-enabled business models.

1.
Information Technology Systems Modernization. Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. https://insights.sei.cmu.edu/sei_blog/2015/04/information-technology-systems-modernization.html. Published July 31, 2017. Accessed September 10, 2017.