Sunday, July 11, 2010

ENMS Architecture notes...

From the Architect…

OK. You’ve got a huge task before you. You walk into an organization where you have an Event Management tool, a Network Management application, a Help Desk application, performance management applications, databases ad nauseum… And each becomes its own silo of a Beast. Each with its own competing management infrastructure, own budget, and own support staff.

I get emails every week from friends and colleagues facing this, as well as recruiters looking for an Architect that can come in for their customer, round up the wagons, and get everything in line going forward.

Sounds rather daunting, doesn’t it. Let’s look at what its going to take to get on track towards success.

1. You need to identify and map out the Functional Empires. Who’s running what product and what is the current roadmap for each Functional Empire.
2. You need to be aware of any upcoming product “deals”.
3. You need to understand the organizational capabilities and the budget.
4. In some instances, you’ll need to be strong enough technically to defend your architecture. Not just to internal customers but to product vendors. If you’re not strong enough technically, you need to find someone that is to cover you.
5. You need to understand who the Executive is, what the goals are, and the timelines needed by the Corporation.
ITIL is about processes. I tend to label ITIL as Functional Process Areas. These are the process areas needed in an effective IT Service. FCAPS is about Functional Management Areas. It is about the Functional Areas in which you need to organize and apply technology and workflow. eTOM adds Service Delivery and provisioning in a service environment into the mix as well.

The standards are the easy part.

The really hard part is merging the siloes you already have and doing so without selling the organization down the river. And the ultimate goal – Getting the users using the systems.

The big 4 Wares vendors are counting on you not being able to consolidate the silos on your own. I’ve heard the term “Best of Breed” is dead and “A single Throat to Choke” as being important to customers. These are planted seeds that they want you to believe. The only way to even come close to merging in their eyes is to use only one vendor’s wares.

When you deviate from addressing requirements and functionality in your implementation, you end up with whatever the vendor you picked says you’re gonna get.
You need to put together a strategy that spans 2 major release cycles, and delineate the functionality needed across your design. Go back to the basics, incorporate the standards, and put EVERYTHING on the table. Your strategy needs to evolve into a vision of where the Enterprise Management system should be in the 2 major release time cycle. The moment you let your guard down on focus, the chances that something thwart movement forward, will present itself.

Be advised. Regardless of how hard you work and what products and capabilities you implement, sometimes an organization becomes so narcissistic that it cannot change. No matter what you do, nothing gets put into production because the people in the silos block your every move. There are some that are totally resistant to change, evolution, and continuous improvement.

And you’re up against a lot of propaganda. Every vendor will tell you they are the leader or market best. And they will show you charts and statistics from analysis firms that show you that they are leaders or visionaries in the market space. It is all superfluous propaganda. Keep to requirements, capabilities, and proving/reproving these functions and their usability.

And listen to your end users most carefully. If the function adds to their arsenal and adds value, it will be accepted. If the function gets in the way or creates confusion or distraction, it will not be used.

Cross posted at :


  1. Dougie - so true and so very well stated. Remember, we're not getting old, but it was the same truth in the MVS, as always, and I'm sure someone else said it long before me, but I often repeat it "it (IT) is always about people, not the technology". People, by nature, gravitate to the happy story of the technology pitch and not enough about actual effectiveness and efficiencies. Keep up the great blog, and the good fight for what's right for your customers. Best, Ted

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