Friday, June 16, 2006

Wilshire Enterprise Architecture Conference Presentation Proposals

Wilshire Conferences
has scheduled an Enterprise Architecture event for Chicago, November 7-9, 2006. I submitted three presentation proposals included below.

How To Build and Communicate an EA Taxonomy
By Jeff Tash, ITscout

Workshop (2 hours)
Audience: Introductory

The best way of communicating EA taxonomy information is to think in terms of a 3-dimensional cube:

  1. Along one dimension you have models.  EA models describe Business Architecture (i.e., processes), Data Architecture, Application Architecture, and Technology Architecture.  When describing the last component, you’ll want 4 models that can visually depict a technology portfolio as 3 layers:

    • The bottom layer (Layer 1) specifies Infrastructure (Model 1)

    • The middle layer (Layer 2), on top of Infrastructure, corresponds to Applications which can either be built (Model 2) or bought (Model 3)

    • The top layer (Layer 3), above Applications, refers to the application-generated data that yearns to be mined for its Business Intelligence (Model 4)

  2. The second dimension for communicating taxonomy information refers to views.  Different views target different audiences.  Some views can be targeted to architects, others to developers, and still others aimed at business-oriented end-users.

  3. The third dimension involves time.  Think of it in terms of current state and future state(s).
This workshop will engage participants by challenging them to look at what kinds of information Enterprise Architects ought to capture and communicate using a taxonomy.  Attendees will receive complimentary Roadmap wall posters that describe ITscout’s 3-layer/4-model graphical taxonomy which visually depicts the typical universe of IT products that comprise an enterprise’s technology portfolio.

Consolidation & Standardization
By Jeff Tash, ITscout

Conference Session (1 hour)
Audience: Intermediate

The biggest lesson for effective consolidation is to "standardize wherever possible."  Consolidation should yield decreases in TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).  Analyzing the global spend and identifying consolidation opportunities not only leads to economies of scale and reduced headcount, but also improves security and increases systems management capability.

When building a business case for consolidation you want to show how facility costs, headcount, annual maintenance fees, etc., will be reduced.  You should also explain intangible benefits such as simplifying the organization's overall Enterprise Architecture, or providing the opportunity to establish strategic relationships with key vendors.  Before embarking on a consolidation project, it's vital to understand the financial implications related to matters such as scale-based license pricing or asset depreciation policies.

The bottom line is that consolidation is one of the most critical aspects of any IT organization's Enterprise Architecture blueprint.  For each IT asset, the question periodically should be asked, "If we didn't already own this, would we now go ahead and purchase it or develop it?"  And, if the answer is "no," the next question should be: "How do we get rid of it and how fast?"

This session will explore the rules for consolidation:
  • Why Consolidate?
  • Business Justification
  • Technology Architecture Issues and Drivers
  • Architecting, Planning, Documenting, and Implementing

What’s the Value of IT Architecture?
By Jeff Tash, ITscout

Roundtable Session (45-minutes)
Audience: Advanced

Architects are responsible for bridging the chasm between the cultures of business and technology.  Their job is to communicate complexity by simplifying and synthesizing.

The best way to conceptualize the architectural bridge is to envision a twisted rope made up of three intertwined strands.  One strand corresponds to models.  The second relates to populating those models.  The third involves communicating the documented information organized around the models.  What’s the value of EA if its contents are not communicated effectively?  How much can EA be worth if the only ones who ever read what the architects have written are the authors themselves?

The overriding goal of architecture is to allow an organization to think about and manage technology in precisely the same way that it currently knows how to think about and manage money, people and property.  IT Architecture generates ROI by aiding managers in making better, more informed technology decisions.

In this roundtable session, participants will discuss how IT Architecture creates value through:

  • Consolidation and standardization

    • Enterprise Architecture
    • Technology Architecture

  • Governance and compliance

    • ITIL
    • IT Service Management

  • Innovation and effectiveness

    • Software Architecture
    • Architectural Styles


Jeff Tash is CEO of Flashmap Systems, Inc. (  He also maintains two free web sites: ITscout ( which organizes information about IT products and vendors; plus the "Architecture ‘Resources’ Repository" (  Previously, for over twelve years, he was President of Hewitt Technologies, a Division of Hewitt Associates. Prior to that, he was employed by Digital Equipment Corp, IBM Corp., Control Data Corp., and Arthur Young & Company.  Mr. Tash has lectured internationally to tens of thousands of IT professionals. Also, more than a million copies of his ITscout Roadmap wall posters have been distributed worldwide. He is currently a Microsoft MVP Architect and an IASA Fellow.


Anonymous Robert Pearson said...

Wonderful presentations. Once again you display that exceptional grasp of very intricate, tightly woven entities, concepts and processes and produce a "picture worth a thousand words".

Your topics bring to mind some of W. Edwards Deming's basic statements:

In the 1970s, Dr. Deming's philosophy was summarized by some of his Japanese proponents with the following 'a'-versus-'b' comparison:
(a) When people and organizations focus primarily on quality, quality defined by the following ratio:
Quality = {results of work efforts}/{all costs}
then quality tends to increase and costs fall over time.
(b) However, when people and organizations focus primarily on COST, then costs tend to rise and quality declines over time.
( and I are in exact agreement on this. Vendors have fostered and maintained the "cash cow" approach using this very technique)

A Lesser Category of Obstacles:
1. ...
2. Relying on technology to solve problems.

One of my favorites is from Walter A. Shewhart

His more conventional work led him to formulate the statistical idea of tolerance intervals and to propose his data presentation rules, which are listed below:

1. Data has no meaning apart from its context.
2. Data contains both signal and noise. To be able to extract Information, one must separate the signal from the noise within the data.

[I changed "information" to "Information"]

4:13 AM  

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