Effective management of system capability is crucial for business success and sustenance of competitive advantage. System Architecture needs to maintain a balance across multiple factors viz. rapidly evolving technology, dynamic business scenarios, and integration with diverse systems, without increasing the cost of software development and the complexity of software systems.
Architectural thinking needs to be expressed effectively for addressing key business concerns such as the following:
- Modernizing the hardware and software environments (reduce the complexity of IT infrastructure)
- Increasing the portability of applications
- Addressing the security challenges associated with the integration of multiple applications, devices, and data sources
- Facilitating the system to communicate changes in a scenario or convey new ideas through multiple channels to the right stakeholders
- Monitoring the capability usage of system features and resources
The practice of system development can provide benefits in terms of quality and cost gains by adherence to architectural guidelines. A key premise of this logic is that important decisions may be made early in system development in a manner similar to the development of civil architecture projects.
To these ends, Cybage recommends an approach based on the generally accepted practices for architectural description and provides a technical framework for further evolution in this area.
Cybage initiates a criteria-based selection approach to describe how the system or product will be constructed; what the critical components would be; and their fitment from a high-level, logical perspective.
Mapping such a selection against the available templates helps to consider architecture principles for defining the system architecture, which addresses the visibility, changeability, and collaborative aspects to meet defined quality expectations of the customers.
Analysis of various system or product scenarios
- Domain, industry practices, and statistics
- Tools and technology usage
- Costs and timelines
- Learnings from a similar system
Identification of key parameters before working on the architecture
- Architectural principles applicable
- Best practices to be followed
- Quality of Service (QoS) to be achieved
- Integration need
- Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product consideration
Besides standard description, sections included in the output are
- Behavioral facts or metrics of the existing environment along with the structural integration and operational behavior of an organization
- How the concerns raised by various stakeholders are addressed along with the mapping metrics
- Rationale behind the selection of architectural principles and tradeoff considerations
- Metrics about the expected and targeted quality if architecture description is followed
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