Data and Architecture: Business Architecture and Capabilities

Does your organization talk about connecting the execution of work to its strategy? Are you building a roadmap on how to get there and achieve desired goals? To help your organization achieve the strategy and goals, model the business architecture by understanding the organization’s strategy, communicating business outcomes, and aligning these outcomes to the appropriate business capabilities.

Business architecture is illustrating what the business does and how the business operates. Gartner defines business capabilities as  “what the business needs to do to achieve the business strategy.” Business architecture uses business capability modeling, to visualize and influence people, processes, and technologies needed to maximize stakeholder value, achieve organizational goals, and execute on the business strategy. This model should map out the future state capabilities needed to support where the business is going over multiple years, as defined by the organization’s strategy.

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APIs Are The New Language of Collaboration

“Survival of the fit,” in Darwinian evolutionary theory, describes the mechanism of natural selection. The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success. But could this also apply to modern business? Sustained growth might be the criterion for fitness in a business context. So why is sustained growth so difficult to achieve? Surprisingly, it is not for the lack of ideas but lack of ability to adapt to change and competition.

The fittest business can quickly innovate and adapt to competition and it can use its core competencies to extend itself in new ways. These organizations are often lean, mean, and learning machines using application programming interfaces (APIs). They are built on a foundation of cloud, mobile, big data analytics and social computing and they are generally connected to the internet of things, to extend and monetize the organization’s core assets for growth and  new value and revenue streams.

Even organizations born in different eras of digital transformation (mobile, internet-based, and client/server) that are successfully using APIs to achieve disruptive growth in their respective industries.

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Architecture, Process, Platform

Digital transformation is a hot topic in enterprises these days, and like any such topic it’s associated with a wide range of use, overuse, and misuse. But the phrase does get at something that we can all sense is really going on, a truly profound change. As different businesses undergo or undertake variants of digital transformation, we see a number of common characteristics of the more digital world:

  • More things happen (or are expected to happen) in real time
  • More different sources and kinds of data are brought together
  • Activities are more decentralized and ad hoc
  • There is a broadening of participation in both the building and the use of I.T.
  • There is a shift from analysis and planning to trial-and-error experimentation

Each of those ideas deserves elaboration–topics for future blogs–but going for the moment with whatever came to mind for those bullets as a rough characterization of digital transformation, let’s explore the interplay of architecture, process, and platform in helping enterprises compete and succeed in this emerging digital world.

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Five Links: Culture Is the Way We Do Things Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

True story: I was at an OpenStack conference a couple of years ago, and on a whim, I signed up for a contest to install OpenStack in a certain configuration. I did it on a whim because I wanted the T-shirt, but I found out later that this was a huge deal — guys had been prepping their automated installs for weeks leading up to the event. I went to the organizer and tried to back out, and he got this panicked look and begged me to stay, just to show up — he had already told his manager that they had their first woman in the competition ever, and if I just showed up, no matter how badly I did, I was guaranteed the “diversity prize.” Long story short, I did terribly, but I got a T-shirt and a Venue 8 Chrome tablet.

I mention this, because I have stumbled across probably a half dozen stories on diversity in IT departments in the past couple of weeks, which seemed like an oddly-specific trend in articles. But that’s not all I’ve been seeing! I have hit a lot of really great articles on team work and productivity in general — attributes of healthy teams, setting effective priorities, and managing your talent.

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The Shared Economy for your IT

Don’t forget that Red Hat’s JBoss Middleware is part of the Shared Economy, too.

Whether it’s Uber, Airbnb, Waze, Snapchat, or Spotify, the new shared economy is the way of the future, or at least it seems so right now. In 2017, the Shared Economy is going to be a buzzword. What will happen to the Shared Economy under the U.S government’s new administration, what about taking Shared public in the Snapchat IPO, how is the Shared Economy going to deal with regulation issues? Regardless of the specific ponderings of the day, the Shared Economy is more often than not, at the front of most of them – just read the latest copy of Fortune Magazine. According to Investopedia, the definition of the Shared Economy is  “… an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else. The sharing economy model is most likely to be used when the price of a particular asset is high.” Huh, that sounds a little like Red Hat’s Open Source approach to Middleware, doesn’t it? I know it’s a big claim to make, but Open Source was one the originals of the Shared Economy, and Red Hat belongs in conversations on the topic. Further, Open Source is needed now more than ever.

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Five Links: A Little Bit of This Edition

Happy Friday, everyone!

I’ve still been running through year-end retrospectives and new year predictions, and I haven’t hit on a theme yet. (The character of 2017 is still enigmatic.) As always, though, there are lots of good things on the interwebz, and this week covers the gamut — containers, big data, machine learning, and Alexa.

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Adding complex business logic to processes with JBoss BPM

In June 2016 the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP) started for the book Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM.

What is a MEAP?

The Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM MEAP gives you full access to read chapters as they are written, get the finished eBook as soon as it’s ready, and receive the paper book long before it’s in bookstores.

You can also interact with the author, that’s me, on the forums to provided feedback as the book is being written. So come on over and get started today with Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM.

The way the MEAP works is that every month or so Manning puts a new chapter online. Lost a bit in the holidays, but chapter 6 was made available and those already in the MEAP will have had access to start reading the chapter.

As mentioned when chapter 5 released, I expected to split out the chapter into a second as the content covered was too expansive. I divided it into the simpler basics of creating business logic with rules and moved on into more advanced topics.

Enjoy topics such as modeling complex domains with domain specific languages (DSL), capturing complex logic in decision tables and leveraging DSLs in your guided rules. All this takes you a step closer to effectively implementing your business logic with JBoss BPM.

To give you an idea of what’s available so far:

You can read this excerpt online before you decide, but I look forward to hearing from you on the content and stay tuned for more.

 

See more by Eric D. Schabell, contact him on Twitter for comments or visit his home site.

Five Links: I Can See the Future Edition

Happy Friday, everyone! And happy new year.

Full disclosure: I cannot, in fact, see the future. I need to emphasize that. But this is the time of year when people take a few moments to reflect on where they’ve been and where the year could take technology. We had some nice stuff on some of my Red Hat sister blogs — 3scale has a review of API management trends and the Services Speaks Blog had a nice link round-up.

I look at a couple of traditional listicles on trends, but there are some posts and  news coming out that I think hint at larger changes, and that interests me.

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Let’s enjoy this new year.

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Red Hat launches 3scale APIcast – faster, flexible, open source API gateway

Dockerized version of APIcast 2.0 deploys on OpenShift for easier installation and operation in microservice environments

Today we’re happy to announce the general availability of Red Hat 3scale APIcast gateway 2.0. The APIcast gateway (NGINX-based) is open source and has served hundreds of happy customers over the last four years. Now we’ve taken it to the next level, supporting both a cloud gateway or hybrid model with an on-prem gateway. In fact, the new on-premise version introduces significant upgrades in terms of performance and flexibility. 3scale was the first in market with on-prem and now we are pleased to offer the second generation.

The API gateway, which is configured within 3scale’s Admin Portal, is part of the 3scale API Management SaaS offering. The Admin Portal allows customers to define desired authentication methods, set rate limits, get analytics on the usage of their APIs, and create a developer portal for their API consumers. APIcast 2.0  is the first of two on-prem releases. With the upcoming 3scale on-premise release, customers will be able to deploy the entire 3scale API Management Platform on-premises. Stay tuned!

Companies are increasingly migrating to microservices architecture, so the average number of API services managed with 3scale have significantly increased, and continue to do so. To accommodate to these requirements, APIcast changes the way it pulls the configuration from the Admin Portal. For starters, now it’s now possible to pull the configuration for just a subset of services. In addition, it makes it easier to automate the deployment of multiple gateways by providing the gateway configuration via a JSON file which can be fetched by an API. It also supports two environments out-of-the-box (staging and production) with options to enable always-up-to-date configs in staging, and control of updates in production. For example, you can set the reload config variable to true so it reloads the API gateway configuration with each request, which comes in handy during development phases.

Another big change introduced with APIcast 2.0 is the enhanced integration with Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform, which leverages Docker and Kubernetes for an easier deployment and DevOps experience. The new OpenShift template pulls the dockerized image of APIcast from the Red Hat container registry and lets you enable/disable key features of the API gateway by just changing the value of the corresponding template parameter.

Get started with APIcast 2.0:

Five Links: Dusting the Bookshelf Edition

Happy Friday, everyone!

There really isn’t a trend to the types of articles I’ve been hitting this week; there’s been a cornucopia of different topics, from security to leadership.

happy-friday-pics

Image credit: Quotes n Thoughts

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