Cognizant: Digital Enterprise Architecture: Four Elements Critical to Solution Envisioning
The digital revolution continues to transform our world. Mobility is rapidly ascending as sensor and actuator capabilities bring intelligence to devices of all varieties via the aptly named Internet of Things (IoT). According to IDC, our digital world is now “doubling in size every two years, and by 2020 the digital universe – the data we create and copy annually – will reach 44 zettabytes or 44 trillion gigabytes.”
As data proliferates exponentially, a new class of applications is emerging, one endowed with the intelligence to redefine the business, operating and technology models in place since the onset of the 21st century.
Companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn and Uber are leading the way in monetising big data and disrupting markets through data-driven strategies. In this regard, McKinsey has emphasised the importance of an integrated approach to data sourcing, model building and organisational transformation.
The pivot to digital depends on a suite of technology developments in the areas of sensors, actuators (for triggering actions), networking/ integration and computing (data management, processing, analytics, etc.). This white paper outlines the key architectural elements for undertaking an integrated design approach and thereby accelerating the journey to full-scale digital. The foundational aspects of our approach are guided by TOGAF, the industry-leading enterprise architecture (EA) framework. The proposed architecture elements focus on what we call the four M’s – materials, machines, models and mesh.
The overarching perspective of the digital enterprise architecture
The business world is increasingly interconnected via constituent nodes of networked computers. These nodes pervade business, IT systems and applications of varying size, individual devices and even sensors.
The digital architecture of a connected environment forms the foundation of an information ecosystem that provides business services to customers, business partners and employees. Such business services are composed of finer-grained constituent services and data from other nodes – which may be either within or outside the business unit’s boundaries. New services are formed by slicing, consolidating and repurposing information contained within the extended enterprise and then, by applying analytical and processing intelligence, generating new services of interest.
As a result, the functional logic, information used, system and technology involved often cut across applications, application architectures and even enterprise boundaries, which are transparent to the consuming user. Therefore, a digital architecture blueprint is vital for the successful implementation of a digital enterprise. However, service-level architectural parameters such as uptimes and response times remain tied to services in a real-time service integration scenario and need to be factored in when the architecture is defined.
For more, see the full report…
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