Ontologies are the Esperanto for the Babel Fish of the 21st Century (part 05)


Enterprise Architecture

Every large enterprise now has an Enterprise Architecture (EA) practice. These practices will be interested in involvement with the standards base, from a corporate but also a personal career perspective. This is very different from 20, 10 or even 5 years ago. Also CIO and CTO are becoming board level as pervasive influence of IT on business becomes ever more prevalent. IT now impacts every part of and organization. EA practice and CIO/CTO involvement at board level means more joined up thinking and governance of IT procurement and greater strategic as opposed to tactical point implementations to meet business need. Furthermore TOGAF recommends COO, CFO and other CxO involvement in EA cycle.”The Architecture Board is the sponsor of the architecture within the enterprise, but the Architecture Board itself needs an executive sponsor from the highest level of the corporation. This commitment must span the planning process and continue into the maintenance phase of the architecture project. … A frequently overlooked source of Architecture Board members is the company’s Board of Directors. These individuals invariably have diverse knowledge about the business and its competition. Because they have a significant impact on the business vision and objectives, they may be successful in validating the alignment of IT strategies to business objectives.”[54]

The following image shows the various standards mapped against the Zachman framework. The image displays the mapping onto the Zachman Framework of the various Ontology Definition Metamodel (ODM) related standards under the auspices of the OMG. The image explicitly shows how Sandpiper Software, inc. view of Ontological applicability across all of the Zachman inquisitive columns.

 Sandpiper Software OMG Standards View In Zachman Enterprise Framework[29]

The Sandpiper view is though only mapped to the 1st and 2nd rows. It is the contention expanded in this article though that the applicability of Ontologies is to all columns and all rows in the Zachman Framework. However the author does also acknowledge that the initial drivers for Ontological development will be in relation to the 1st and 2nd rows as these are directly visible to the business and will impact on the business ability to trade and manage the enterprise.

Ontologies shall be manifest in enterprise in the three ways that are often used when analyzing the enterprise business and it’s systems; top down, bottom up, and middle.

TODO: more on ontologies and top down, bottom up, and middle implementations in enterprise.

The trend, of involvement, of CxO board level officers in Architecture Board is likely to increase as legislative compliance Sarbains-Oxley etal have direct board level accountability and responsibility implications. Ontological implementation shall require much governance by the Architecture Board. Ontologies are directly traceable through EA to IS & TI technology to business data and data management. Auditing for legislative compliance shall, therefore impact directly, on the rigor of the enterprise data management capabilities and, require strict governance of Architecture Board. This issue alone is compelling reason enough for Ontological adoption and implementation is the enterprise. Particularly the large enterprise, with many distributed systems each with their own view of business data, which requires a unified, consistent, accurate, complete view of business data for audit fulfillment. More on this in a bit.

TODO: more on ontologies and EA governance



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