Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Communicating Taxonomy Information

I like to think of communicating taxonomy information in terms of a 3-dimensional cube.
  • Along one dimension you have models. In terms of IT assets, I prefer to classify information according to four models:

    • IT Infrastructure
    • Application Development
    • Applications (either COTS or custom-developed)
    • Business Intelligence
  • The second dimension is what I like to refer to as views that target different audiences. Some views can be targeted to architects, others to developers, and still more aimed at business-oriented end-users.

  • The third dimension involves time. Think of it in terms of current state and future state. Obviously, you need a roadmap or strategy to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

A really important issue you need to think about is what kinds of information you want to capture and communicate using your taxonomy. For someone just starting off, I recommend you begin by identifying IT standards. Communicating your standards will enable consolidation and that will result in an almost immediate return on investment.

For IT groups that want a quick and inexpensive way to get started, I'd suggest you consider ITguide. For less than $100/month you can use the ITscout taxonomies to communicate your IT standards. To get a sense of ITguide's overall look-and-feel, check out the Architecture 'Resources' Repository at I used ITguide as the code base for capturing and communicating everything I know about "architecture."


Anonymous Jack Krupansky said...

I would quibble with your loose terminology here... I think you mean to refer to a client's *inventory* of assets rather than the taxonomy by which a client *catalogs* that inventory.

So, someone could *audit* their inventory of assets using a taxonomy that they acquire from an outside party, such as yourself.

Developing a comprehensive, robust, and easy to understand taxonomy is a *huge* task that is beyond the capabilities of most client organizations, but *using* a pre-defined taxonomy (such as you can supply to clients) is more feasible.

I think the term "taxonomy information" is somewhat meaningless. It lacks clarity as to what you're really referring to.

A taxonomy is essentially a tool, a tool to produce an audit of your inventory of assets.

I think most managers are clueless as to what a taxonomy really is, but they can and should be able to make sense out of the end-product of the process even without having to understand what goes on under the hood of this "car" that you're trying to sell them (tools for capturing and expressing an audit of IT assets.)

So, your post is about "Communicating an Audit of IT Assets". Or, "The Power of Taxonomies in Communicating an Audit of IT Assets".

-- Jack Krupansky

9:53 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home