IT Architecture Needs to Be More Seamless
August 7, 2015
IT architecture might appear to be the same across the board, but depending on the industry the standards change. Rupert Brown wrote “From BCBS To TOGAF: The Need For A Semantically Rigorous Business Architecture” for Bob’s Guide and he discusses how TOGAF is the defacto standard for global enterprise architecture. He explains that while TOGAF does have its strengths, it supports many weaknesses are its reliance on diagrams and using PowerPoint to make them.
Brown spends a large portion of the article stressing that information content and model are more important and a diagramed should only be rendered later. He goes on that as industries have advanced the tools have become more complex and it is very important for there to be a more universal approach IT architecture.
What is Brown’s supposed solution? Semantics!
“The mechanism used to join the dots is Semantics: all the documents that are the key artifacts that capture how a business operates and evolves are nowadays stored by default in Microsoft or Open Office equivalents as XML and can have semantic linkages embedded within them. The result is that no business document can be considered an island any more – everything must have a reason to exist.”
The reason that TOGAF has not been standardized using semantics is the lack of something to connect various architecture models together. A standardized XBRL language for financial and regulatory reporting would help get the process started, but the biggest problem will be people who make a decent living using PowerPoint (so he claims).
Brown calls for a global reporting standard for all industries, but that is a pie in the sky hope unless the government imposes regulations or all industries have a meeting of the minds. Why? The different industries do not always mesh, think engineering firms vs. a publishing house, and each has their own list of needs and concerns. Why not focus on getting industry standards for one industry rather than across the board?