Architecture is (typically) about buildings, cities and infrastructure (and the like). You can see it around you and everyone has an opinion about it. You either like the style of that building or you do not and all the nuances in between.
Between the Style of an organization and the goal it pursues (although not everyone shares this approach of goal-oriented organizations) unfolds the area of systems.
Systems are a response to functional needs. A library provides the function to exhibit the public word. Accessibility is there an additional non-functional requirement.
Once you or your organization is aware of the functional requirements it can start building Systems providing the appropriate Construction.
This Function-and-Construction matching exists of three pairs, like the three pairs of wings of a building:
- The organization (human resources and organizational structure) that responds to the business process.
- The information and functions that are accommodated with systems.
- And the non-functional requirements that are solved with infrastructure.
The metaphor of a building is not exactly appropriate, because between the different wings and each floor there are many connections …
In that way, the systems that companies use are accommodated on the middle floor and play a central role in the organization. The structure of the systems exhibits much of the style and the business priorities.
This is a list of the systems of which one or more could be present in your organization:
- ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning. Systems that manage the internal operation.
- SCM – Supply Chain Management. Dedicated to the management of information with third parties.
- DMS – Document Management System. Controlling the flow of documents.
- CMS – Content Management System. Organize content that is to be shared by everyone.
- HRM – Human Resource Management. Systems that are to manage the human resources.
- CMS – Contact Management System (e-mail responders for example).
- DWH – A Warehouse of corporate client and product data.
- TCS – Telecom Systems. A wide area of systems that manage telephone traffic.
- … etc.
If you think that this list represents the left or right wing on the second floor, you can imagine that many powers influence this area. Every company, with whatever size, struggles with area. First because it is predominant and eye-catching; everyone is dealing with it. Managing information systems is like managing politics; everyone has an opinion about how it should be. The challenge is about managing new business and taking these systems with you … on your way …
© 2006 Hans Bool