EA 874 Blog Topic 1 Digital Disruption and Stack Overview; Cloud Technologies Influence
What is digital disruption? As described by Riemer and Johnson, digital disruption is the changes to social interaction, business and value creating using technology. One of the best known digital disruption companies is Amazon. With their store front, Amazon Web Services, Amazon movie and content services, same day delivery and now personal assistant technology Alexa. They also just recently announced the desire to acquire Whole Foods to disrupt the supermarket business. They are constantly challenging and changing the way we do business and disrupting markets and businesses in their wake.
When I was a boy, we used to take pictures with a camera that we would have to purchase film for. Once all the film was used we would take it into a store to have the film developed, this would take a week or two depending on the vendor. Then 24 hour which became 1-hour photos became popular and those film developing businesses either evolved or went out of business. Now you can use your smart phone and either print your digital picture at home or at a drug store such as Walgreens or CVS and have the photos almost instantly.
These types of digital disruptions are still here today but are occurring far faster and with more advanced technologies. Let’s take Alexa, the personal assistant. With this tool, you can turn your lights on and off, order a pizza, play a movie and call or text your family and friends, all with voice commands. Think of this type of technology in the work place. Giving voice commands to personal assistance that prepare your expense reports, collect, generate and print reports of customer spend or new leads. The applications are endless. Companies are going to need to create a foundation for executing to keep up with these digital disruptions or risk being put out of business.
Cloud technologies is a necessary foundation for the digital age. Companies that want to be nimble, cost effective, and data driven will need to embrace some level of cloud technologies. Whether they are leveraging Software as a Service, Platform as a Service or Infrastructure as a Service, these core capabilities will be key to enabling the digital business platform and creating a competitive advantage. Software as a Service (SaaS) is key to providing software to enable the business for very routing types of business applications and services. This is the technology where there is very little administration, no hardware or software to purchase and provides a consumable service to the business.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) enables companies, by allowing them to develop and deploy applications rapidly, along with deploying applications closet to the end user. This is less costly then renting data centers, buying servers and storage and deploying applications typically out of one region. With PaaS you eliminate all of that overhead and move to a quicker pay as you go model.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) also provides a cost and agility benefit to organizations as this also relieves the burden of purchasing servers and storage, as well as network and software to support the infrastructure. It provides companies the flexibility to provide server and compute workloads with an elastic capability. Sometimes companies may need to ingest a tremendous amount of data and do some level of data analysis. They can spin up terabytes of storage to stage the data, and spin up multiples compute serves to do the processing of the algorithms, once the analysis is done. They can turn off all the resources and only paid for what they used. If this was done in a local or leased data center, companies would still need to purchase the storage and computer hardware. Once the analysis was done, what would they do with all that hardware that they did not need.
In summary Cloud Technologies is becoming the new utility services for the digital age. We should embrace cloud technologies, but ensure we are clear as to how we are using these services and mindful of the impact to our operations and security.
The Enterprise Architecture stack is actually quite intuitive in that all flows from the business, to business operations to systems that support the operations to the technologies that support the systems. This allows for end to end alignment. Once mapped, this can help with changes to the architecture at any of the levels. If a business process changes, one can understand the entire ripple effect by looking through the Enterprise Architecture Stack. For example, there is a change in the PO process; The Enterprise Architects can review what in the business operational process is being changed. Then can look at all of the impacts in the information and data architectures or any application architectures that maybe impacted. Additionally, but less likely, there may be a change required in the technology stack. These stacks can all be updated based on the new process as necessary, all relevant parties can be trained and informed. Without this level of architecture, what usually happens is systems, processes and procedures break down.
Riemer, K., Johnson, R. (March 7, 2013). What is Digital Disruption. Retrieved from https://byresearch.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/digital-disruption/
Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/p/feature/rzekmvyjojcp6uc
Gray, M. (October 21, 2010). Cloud Computing: Demystifying IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.com/article/cloud-computing-demystifying-iaas-paas-and-saas/