• 1.  Software Tool to Support Enterprise and Solution Architecture

    Posted 02-09-2022 11:59 AM
    Hi Architects/Digital Professionals,

    I am a member of the IP Australia Architecture Practice.

    I am keen to find out what software people are using to support their Architecture Practice?

    We are looking to go to market for something that will help us with:
    * Management of our infrastructure and software portfolio
    * Estimate Total Cost of Ownership
    * Map out Roadmaps for our business and technical components
    * Assist in developing a 10 year Roadmap with estimated costings for licence, implementation and support
    * Assist in providing these costings to our Finance area
    * Support scenario based analysis, technical debt mitigation
    * Possibly support the identification of staff skills required now and into the future
    * Support TOGAF, Archimate
    * Ingest configuration items from our ServiceNow CMDB
    * Record any dependencies between configuration items (infrastructure and applications)
    * Provide a repository for architectural artefacts - reference architectures, architectural patterns, architectural decisions, architectural diagrams for on-premise and AWS/Azure clouds
    * Assist our Solution Architects with a good diagramming capability using common industry icons/diagrams for on-premise and AWS/Azure clouds.
    * Provide a repository of solution designs, both graphical and written, to provide some ability for re-use.
    * Assist with the development of architectural documents for presentation to an Architectural Working Group and Review Board
    * Dashboard capabilities
    * Integration with other products via APIs (e.g. Sharepoint, MS Teams)
    * Preferably SaaS based

    I know that is a rather large wish list, and probably unlikely to get one product to fulfil them all.

    I would really appreciate hearing others experience.

    Thankyou in advance.

    Tony Mills
    Platform Architect
    IP Australia

  • 2.  RE: Software Tool to Support Enterprise and Solution Architecture

    Posted 05-09-2022 12:16 PM
    The problem with doing a software search is that there are lots of excellent tools out there which will do the job (but do cost some $$). That can be problematic when it comes to switching costs if the product doesn't work out for your organisation. I work for a small APS department (1100 peeps) and we can't really afford to buy a stand alone architecture product and then ditch it quickly. So we might try a cloud platform architecture tool that integrates well and test the waters.
    So for us the issue is not what is the best product to select, but what is the best process for us to try a product and fast fail (in a glorious agile way) into the best possible solution... We don't want to assess the stand-alone product characteristics, instead we want to look at the fit with our needs. (We don't need the best product out there. We need the most suitable). Wish we had a bottomless pit of $$ :(

    Iain Garrett-Benson
    Technology Governance Lead
    Administrative Appeals Tribunal

  • 3.  RE: Software Tool to Support Enterprise and Solution Architecture

    Posted 18-10-2022 12:59 PM
    Hi Tony,

    I don't have the silver bullet for you here. My experience of this is that while a tool might be able to do all these things (I had one called Troux, rebadged as Planview), the issue was that the data either was not mastered anywhere (e.g. costings) and was certainly mastered elsewhere. This requires either lots of manual re-keying or integration with systems. CMDB is a great example - the design master system should define the business end of the CMDB (export to CMDB) but then may wish to import the technology end to understand as-built.

    Good luck with the project, that's a big business and information management capability to set up.

    Geoff Manning
    Lead Enterprise Architect
    Australian Federal Police