Enterprise Architecture

Architectural modelling

We have several design techniques that show how systems can work together to provide consistent information and an integrated user experience. We can use these techniques with project teams, to let stakeholders review a design before it is implemented.

Data flows

One technique for sketching a high-level design of how different IT systems can interoperate is to show how data flows between them. 

As an example, we worked as partners of the Lecture Recording project to address a technical problem regarding the flow of e-mail addresses between the University's identity management system, the Learn virtual learning environment, and the Echo360 lecture recording system. 

The project faced a tight deadline and the full solution would not be implemented in time.  With our help, the project team identified a workable first stage that delivered almost all of the benefit for a smaller amount of work. 

We provided architecture diagrams to  illustrate the evolution of the implementation from the situation before the project, through the first stage or 'plateau', to the eventual full implementation.  The diagram below shows the first stage.

Lecture recording first plateau

Service dependencies

Another example is a diagram produced in partnership with the Finance Transformation programme. This shows the main dependencies between the eFinancials system and other IT systems.

Cropped image of an Archimate diagram showing systems that integrate with eFinancials

This picture shows a part of a diagram taken from the central EA repository, which can also display the same information in a spreadsheet format.

Business services and processes

There is a large variety of other modelling techniques that we can bring to the table. This example shows the University finance services, as identified by the Service Excellence Programme, and the business processes associated with each service.

Archimate model of finance services and associated business processes

This diagram is taken from the central EA repository, which also stores more information about each process, including a Visio diagram of the business process and which IT services that it depends on.

 

End-of-life analysis

EA is helping the Production Management section keep track of when various technologies will reach their end of life. 

Most of the IT technologies that we deploy in the University have a date after which the supplier will no longer support them, and running a technology beyond that date would potentially lead to problems if a failure were to occur, or security vulnerabilities leading to attackers identifing a flaw in the system.  Therefore it is important to keep track of these 'end-of-life' dates.

By storing this information in the EA repository, we can keep the information up to date, and show which services depend on each technology as it approaches its end of life.