Lecture 8
Information Systems
Spring 2011
Houman Younessi
ISM- © 2010 Houman Younessi
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System Architecture
A Rich Picture that:
Models the hardware platform wrt the interactions of the
system and its environment
Models the software components onto the hardware platform
Models the major functionality onto software components
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ADLs (Architecture Definition Languages):
- C2
- Darwin
(US – Academia)
(Australia – Academia)
(Italy – Academia)
(US – Academia)
(UK – Academia)
(Spain – Academia)
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Architecture Layers:
1. High-level - System within the
enterprise environment or functional lines
2. Hardware level - Hardware platforms
within the system and their major
3. Software level - Software components
mapped to hardware platforms
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High-level Architecture: System within the
- Enterprise components
- System boundary
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HW-level Architecture: HW Platforms
within the System
- Placement of HW
- Physical servers
- Networking model
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SW-level Architecture: SW Components
within HW Platform
- Middleware
- Presentation protocols
- Servers
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The Q word
Qprod  f (Qproc)
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We aim to minimize
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The main objective of process
management is to reduce risk
as we go forward in
The quality of a process is therefore measured in terms of its
effectiveness in reducing risk.
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A value (quality) judgment?
Process attributes:
We must optimize along given – often conflicting - lines
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Short-term effects:
Core competency shift
Employment shift
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Long-term effects:
As it has always happened
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Long-term effects:
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Long-term effects:
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Long-term effects:
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And on and on it goes
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As a manager………
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• How well do you understand the linkages
among your strategies, the capabilities
and infrastructure built to execute those
strategies, and the value that can be
created for all stakeholders (e.g.,
customers, suppliers, partners,
employees, investors)?
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• Is your business infrastructure best-inclass in terms of asset efficiency and
strategic flexibility? How can IT be used to
improve your ability to leverage
infrastructure and assets to drive profitable
growth and create strategic options for the
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• How well do you understand the key
factors that drive business performance in
your organization and industry? What
must be done well to reduce costs, grow
revenues, and improve asset efficiency?
How can IT be used to drive profitable
growth and achieve proprietary
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• Conduct an audit of your digital business
infrastructure. How much are you
spending to run and maintain current IT
operations? On average, how long does it
take and how much does it cost to
implement a new IT-enabled business
product, service, or strategy? What are
key bottlenecks that slow down the ITenabled business innovation process and
the key activities that increase the cost?
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• Create a list of IT-enabled business strategies and the
solutions that could be developed that would leverage an
open standard networked infrastructure. Are there
opportunities to:
• a. Improve internal operating efficiency and quality?
• b. Improve knowledge worker performance and enhance
organizational learning? c. Increase employee satisfaction,
engagement, and loyalty and attract and retain top talent?
• d. Increase customer/supplier satisfaction, engagement, and
• e. Attract and retain high value-added customers, suppliers,
and partners?
• f. Add "information value" to existing products and services
or create new information-based products and services?
• g. Streamline and integrate channels to market, create new
channels, and integrate multiple online/offline channels?
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• From the above list, identify one or more simple, yet
powerful, "big wins" where IT could significantly improve
business performance. What are the realistic business
goals you expect to achieve? Define measurable
performance improvements that can be achieved quickly
(usually within one year) and the follow-on benefits that
will accrue as you pursue strategic options. How will
these performance drivers link to financial and capital
market performance? Validate your analysis by talking
with others who have implemented similar systems. Ask
for lessons learned and areas of high risk that must be
managed closely. Collect benchmark data on the
benefits that can be expected.
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• Do you have the resources, expertise, and
skills required to successfully complete
these projects? Can outside partners be
identified when the organization's
resources are not sufficient?
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• Do you have the political support required
to ensure that the project can be
completed quickly and effectively? Do
project leaders have the resources,
authority, and accountability required to
get the job done?
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• Have you considered ways to limit the
scope of the project? Keep in mind the
"80/20 rule": you can often achieve 80
percent of the benefit with 20 percent of
the effort. Don't push to include hard-toimplement features and functions that are
not critical to overall project success.
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• Has an effective change control process been
implemented? Can you ruthlessly manage "project
creep" while not losing sight of the good ideas that
emerge during implementation? To assist with the latter
task, create two task forces to search for follow-on
"options" benefits. One task force can be charged with
identifying new IT-enabled business building
opportunities to drive profitable growth and build scarce
resources and capabilities. The second task force can be
charged with searching for ways to continuously
enhance infrastructure performance to ensure that the
organization achieves and maintains best-in-class
status-through partnering or internal development.