Sunday, March 22, 2020

Gaining Insight of Solution Architecture

Problem-solving has a very wide scope and takes an interdisciplinary approach that involves multifaceted disciplines.

Today’s digital business ecosystem has become more complex and dynamic, interdependent and hyperconnected, business problems turn to be much more complex than ever. Solution architecture could be an effective tool to enable strategic and systematic problem-solving.

By definition, “solution architecture is the process of developing solutions based on predefined processes, guidelines and best practices with the objective that the developed solution fits within the enterprise architecture in terms of information architecture, system portfolios, integration requirements and many more. (Techpedia) More specifically, Solution Architecture has the following characteristics:

Solution architecture as a framework provides processes, guidelines and best practices with the goals and objectives: Solution architectures should be used or consumed in general business "solutions." It is the set of principles, guidelines, processes, etc, that describe how the components and standards of the business work cohesively to solve complex problems. The architecture is abstract. Think big picture done very quickly at a logical level; and then, push down towards solution specifics at the physical level, and driven by local needs.

Problem-solving is a multi-stepped process that includes both problem resolution and solution implementation. On the one hand, walk through the scenario from generalization to specification by leveraging solution architecture to clarify: Where do we need framework and guidance? What are optimized processes, practical methodologies and best practices to solve problems? How to handle different stages of problem-solving with attention and proficiency to ensure success? On the other side, to keep perfecting solution architecture, once in a while you might have to take an existing or proposed solution and extract from it, by abstraction and generalization, to come up with an optimal set of guidelines, processes or the next practices.

It is the instance of how the components (process, standard, IT, documents) of a solution architecture are applied in a specific solution situation: Generally speaking, Solution Architects need to have a view of the entire organization and the interaction between the entire business and IT, specify the constraints on problem-solving methodology and techniques; identify the information needed for decision-making and problem-solving, and determine how to collect relevant information for systematic problem-solving. Even though many Solution Architects are operating at a single business unit level and potentially even a single application level, solution practices might be different across organizations, across departments, divisions, and affiliates within an organization and can change over time, they need to enforce cross-functional communication and interaction.

A well-designed solution architecture helps to eliminate confusion, apply a holistic view, and take customized approaches to each problem, and make the continuous adjustment. With the guideline, process, standard, IT, or documents defined in solution architecture, an organization can focus on the deliverables of business solutions by which the scope and granularity of the models are created and improve problem-solving effectiveness and maturity.

Solution architecture provides a systematic view for design and development of applications and enforces the seamless integration: Many of today’s business problems are complex, and information technology is the linchpin of premium solutions. Solution Architecture helps to conform to the well defined industrial standards and make integration and communication easier, and make the tracking of emerging issues and inconsistencies between solutions easier. Many IT-enabled business solutions have tough issues such as integration. Integration has a set of costs and benefits that are determined by the situation on hand and what is integrated. It has to be done with a “big picture,” having the solution architecture in mind.

Solution Architecture provides the governance/oversight to guarantee that solution development maintains conformance to that business need, and ensure that the application development being carried out is well aligned with the business needs and the change that is taking place accordingly. It also helps to prioritize important factors such as requirement, quality, and cost when architecting solutions to make business more productive, collaborative, and smarter.

Problem-solving has a very wide scope and takes an interdisciplinary approach that involves multifaceted disciplines such as science, engineering, art, psychology, social norms, and group behavior. For complex problem solving, leveraging solution architecture to understand business problems is often the first and the most important step in gaining insight, creating the relevant business context to make a more lasting business solution.


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