Category Archives: Reference Models and Architectures

Architectural Reference Models related to Smart, Connected Devices

Lately I figured out that I haven’t covered resources on the topic of Smart, Connected Devices (aka Internet of Things (IoT)) in the knowledge base. As the topic spreads across multiple architectural domains (business, application and infrastructure), I’ve updated several knowledge base pages. Please note that the current resources are just a start.

Views on the Business Model & Business Architecture

The high-level business view on the topic of Smart, Connected Devices is excellently described in two Harvard Business Review articles by M. E. Porter and J. E. Heppelmann (see the section Smart, Connected Devices (aka Internet of Things) on the knowledge page Business Strategy and Business Models). As far as I know, Porter and Heppelmann coined the term Smart, Connected Devices to separate their work focussing on the ‘changing nature of “things”‘ from the technology that enables and connects the “things”. Although they don’t refer to the concepts explicitly, Porter and Heppelmann elaborate on the business strategy and business architecture related to Smart, Connected Devices.

In detail they developed:

  • a definition of Smart, Connected Products,
  • a capability-based reference model for managing Smart, Connected Products,
  • a capability model for Smart, Connected Products,
  • a composition of ten new strategic choices in relation to Smart, Connected Products,
  • a summary of the change impacts in relation to the generic, high-level value chain and
  • a summary of the implications for the organizational structure of a company.

My personal takeaways related to Smart, Connected Devices are:

  • Software should be a key component of the product development cycle of a lot of industries and
  • Software architecture and development capabilities are mandatory to design and deliver Smart, Connected Products (see also Marc Andreessen’s essay Why Software Is Eating The World).

Views on the Application & Technology Architecture

There are a lot of reference architectures on the topic Internet of Things available. In particular, a lot of major software companies have some IoT-related product and/or service in their portfolio. However, if the focus is set on non-proprietary reference models, I recommend the deliverables of the European research project Internet of Things Architecture (IoT-A). Essentially this project delivered:

  • an in-depth architectural reference model,
  • definitions of initial set of key building blocks and
  • several accompanying deliverables like introductive guides and initial API designs.

All deliverables are publicly available. You can find a list and corresponding links in the section Smart, Connected Devices (aka Internet of Things) on the knowledge page Reference Models and Architectural Styles.

Do you know further resources which you consider as fundamental in relation to the topic Smart, Connected Devices or Internet of Things (IoT)?

Sound off in the comments!

The Open Group Released a Business Reference Model for the Natural Resources Industry

The Exploration, Mining, Metals and Minerals (EMMM) Forum of The Open Group developed a business reference model that has been approved as an Open Group Technical Standard (see The Open Group Blog post here). The reference model focuses on the natural resources industry, i.e. the high-level business processes of different mining organisations dealing with all metals and minerals. It consists of a documentation describing the concepts and definitions of the reference model and a model poster providing an abstract one-page-view of the model. These deliverables are available for download from The Open Group Bookstore (see here).

Welcome to the Architectural Change Management Blog!

My name is Dr. Stefan Malich and I devote myself to the disciplines of enterprise and software architecture. I started my career as a freelance IT consultant and software developer. In 2001 I joined the global management consulting company Accenture. Within the consulting business I developed many architectures and led several architecture teams mainly in whole sale, the financial services and energy industry. In a sabbatical leave I was engaged
at the Institute for Computer Science and Business Information Systems and worked on a personal PhD research project which dealt with pattern-based architectural knowledge. After finishing my doctoral thesis I’ve focused on enterprise architectures and worked on several enterprise architecture projects within the financial services and energy industry. I led projects to build up or enhance enterprise architecture capabilities and gained explicit knowledge of the various aspects of an enterprise architecture capability (processes, models, governance, roles and functions, tools, maturity models etc.).

Lately I’m looking into the change management aspects of the enterprise architecture management discipline and that’s what this blog is all about.
My observations led to the thought that – especially when building or enhancing an enterprise architecture capability – enterprise architecture management is even more than e.g. staffing an enterprise architecture team, defining an EA meta model and deploying an EA tool. It is about developing
an EA team with the right skills, building up the relevant architectural knowledge and positioning the results of the EA team for use within the company. In many companies this situation leads to a fundamental change in the way it is concerned with enterprise and software architectures. Existing capabilities, goals, skill sets, processes, governance and organizational structures etc. are questioned and major change transformations are needed to build up or enhance the enterprise architecture capability.

This blog will adress the challenges of such an architectural change transformation. Currently I think of the following questions that guide my work:

  • To develop an EA team with the right skills and relevant architectural knowledge you need know the state of art of the enterprise and software architecture disciplines. You do not want reinvent the wheel, right? This blog already contains a pretty large list with links and knowledge sources covering enterprise architecture, software architecture and other topics. Of course this list is not exhaustive but to my mind all entries are valuable.
  • How do you effectively build up architectural knowledge? With regard to the architecture itself patterns and ‘best practices’ are a proven approaches. Take a look at the Patterns and Good Practices page. But how  do you build up knowledge  concerning the enterprise architecture management capability (e.g. processes, models, governance, roles and functions, tools)?
  • What is the state of the art of the change management discipline? What can we learn and reuse from this discipline?

If you interested in this challenges revist this blog, subscribe to it or contact me directly.