In the article The EA Chasm: Open Repository Strategies for Enterprise Architecture, Vijay Sharma asked the question: “Where does IoT [Internet of Things] fit in?”. Vijay, you couldn’t have chosen a more perfect example or a better question.
The one-word answer is “everywhere” – no sarcasm intended.
The “1000 word” answer can be found in the following diagram based on the Progressive Enterprise Architect Map (PEAM) model (click to enlarge):
The first thing that strikes me about this diagram is: with the need to complete 15+ major, cross-functional, interdependent activities, it is completely understandable why major digital business initiatives fail or, otherwise, “wither and die on the vine” before they’re completed. This applies to all digital business initiatives – not just IoT.
Second, what happens when an IoT (or any other enterprise) initiative starts off as a “skunkworks” project? Placing the question in the context of the above diagram, what if IoT starts off on the far, far right (activities 12-15) as unplanned, uncoordinated activities by a group without any defined business drivers, linkage to the business strategy, or connection to the enterprise architecture?
Food for thought (and time for breakfast).
Michael Herman (Toronto)
p.s. Why was activity 16 (IoT Platforms and Tools) placed inside the Enterprise Architecture Chasm?
It’s mostly unrelated to the above discussion but it hints at the idea that IoT approaches can also be used in a non-traditional way to Listen to signals in the Enterprise Assets, Systems, and Processes (performance data, usage information, planned and unplanned changes in the operational processes and systems, etc.), and then use this data to annotate the Core Enterprise Architecture. BI techniques can be used to analyse and visualize the annotated EA model to create new Designs. The coordination of the building and deployment of the new Designs hopefully results in Transformative Changes being applied to the Enterprise’s Strategies, Systems, Assets, and Processes to produce additional, meaningful business value.
IoT Platforms and Tools are enablers for listening and responding to the “hum” of an organization’s systems, assets and processes, and, when fully realized, can also be used to distribute Transformative Changes in a software-defined enterprise.
To read more about using IoT to create, maintain and manage an enterprise architecture, check out External IoT vs. Internal IoT: Beware of the Hype Cycle.