Information First: Integrating Knowledge and Information Architecture for Business Advantage

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Lisa M Given. Although web-based information delivery is ubiquitous, research and practice remains focused on larger organisations.

Architecture Principles

This research attends to SMEs, revealing that the dominant voice in practice belongs to the communications and marketing practitioner, not the information professional. The research problem in context As in many countries, all sectors of Australian society — from government and private enterprise to education and community — use the web for information delivery. The increasing importance of information and the growing prominence of the web as a platform for information provision are current and universal phenomena.

However, information seekers do not always encounter optimal design and presentation of digital information. A disconnection between the desire to inform effectively using the web and the demonstrated ability of organisations to achieve this outcome is claimed by Wodtke and Govella , p. This paper explores this disconnection by analysing the practice narratives of web information architecture IA in small and medium-sized enterprises SMEs.

SMEs defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as organisations with less than employees are a dominant form of business in Australia and around the world. These organisations exist in an intricate coalition with larger enterprises. The formalisation and documenting of the practice of web IA have largely been driven by practitioners Campbell In , Fast para. Professional information architects are more likely to find full-time employment or consultancy in large organisations, thereby privileging that context as theoretical stances emerge from practice.

This paper addresses this gap in the research literature by focusing its enquiry on the activity of web information architecture in SMEs. Burford a, b examined the practice of web IA in large organisations and Morville and Rosenfeld propose a methodology for web IA in large organisations. To date, SMEs have not received the same scrutiny. Little is known about the use and usefulness of generalised design methods and best practice guidelines for web IA within the situated realities of SMEs. The extent to which the internal environment may deter or contribute to success in effectively structuring online information remains unclear.

This grounded research project explored the genuine realities, needs and practices of SMEs to create new understandings that SMEs can utilise in approaching and improving capability to build effective online information-rich environments. The project adds to the research literature by giving voice to the individuals who drive IA practices within these organisations.

How To Create Optimal User Experiences By Improving Your Website’s Information Architecture

Web IA: an overview Web IA is a term used to describe both the information design process and its outcomes. Dillon , p.

The practice of IA, according to Dillon and Morville , is a value-based craft discipline and as such has its weaknesses. Consistent results and outcomes are not assured in a predictable timeframe. Yet evolving and maturing representations of best practice are proposed to guide the work of web IA. Pioneered by information professionals Rosenfeld and Morville , an evolving methodology for web IA is widely acknowledged in the literature, in education and by practitioners in the field. Morville and Rosenfeld , p. In contrast to methodological recommendations, some scholars and practitioners prefer to steer the development of effective web IA by providing guidelines.

The value of guidelines remains contentious. Milne et al. After much introspection about the role of information architects for example, Morville and even more attention to definitions of IA itself Madsen from scholars and practitioners, it is noteworthy that Davis now calls for attention to shift to the practitioner of IA. Everything is dependent on everything else, and everything is connected in multiple ways.

Components never exist in isolation. An enterprise architecture model is holistic and models the whole enterprise as a sum of the parts, from a variety of different perspectives and stakeholder viewpoints. All enterprises are essentially multi-dimensional, and the connections are the way we can understand all the dimensions.

Using a well developed EA model, CxOs will be able to look at all the connections help to understand the way the enterprise works as a whole, as a holistic enterprise. The connection provide the cohesion in the model. CxOs can understand all the connections internally between business units, their business model, their business motivation model and externally with their customers and suppliers.

And to gain an understanding of how the company fits within the market environment and compares with its competitors. The connections provide knowledge and dynamics. To get the right answers you need to ask the right questions. The connections between components will provide the answers and support decision making. More connections in an EA model will make that model richer and more useful. Connections provide the behaviour in a model.

Connections are not just static but are dynamic and may be changed far more often that the components they link. Modelling dynamic behaviour in an EA model is something that is often overlooked. Increased interconnectedness in an enterprise architecture model can stimulate innovation and the emergence of new ideas and possibilities.

A good analogy for an Enterprise Architecture capability is to think of it as the equivalence to an intelligence corps in the military. Military Leaders and business decision makers will use this Strategic Intelligence capability to:. The military intelligence corps is responsible for gathering, analysing and disseminating intelligence and knowledge about the military situation.

Enterprise Architecture is a business capability that collects information about the whole enterprise and uses various modelling and analysis approaches to create knowledge about the enterprise, provide advice and guidance to CxOs and heads of business units, and provide intelligence in support of their strategic decisions. Most enterprises maintain some kind of business intelligence capability to collect information and analyse it, but this is not enough. An enterprise architecture capability is also needed. For a long time the high level decisions made by executives and senior managers have often purely been based on intuition, personal experience and anecdotes.

This is woeful ignorance in todays fast moving and complex business environment.


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Often CxOs and senior decision makers are simply copying the decisions made by their competitors, for better or worse. If one of their competitors is playing with Blockchain, so that must be a good strategy right? Another silver bullet or a waste of money? Does your enterprise architecture capability give you a competitive weapon?

Enterprise Architecture – Consulting, Training, Mentoring and Coaching

How many CxOs does it take to change a light bulb? Connections between components in an enterprise architecture model are the basis for identifying, creating and providing knowledge, analysis and intelligence. In other words, Enterprise Architecture creates the Situational Awareness model for the organisation. The battle map on which the strategies and tactics can be plotted. Both for the current state and future target state, or indeed multiple alternative future states based on alternative business scenarios. The target operating model is the same as the target enterprise architecture model.

The Enterprise Architecture capability provides valuable knowledge, intelligence and experience of the dynamic changes going on and not just as a static set of deliverables or inflexible process. When the strategic situation changes, then the Enterprise Architecture body of knowledge and intelligence needs to rapidly provide the answers. A better way to change that light bulb. Leaders focus on the most important decisions, answering questions such as:. Achieving instant readiness with Enterprise Architecture is better than not being ready at all, or too late.

eHealth integration and interoperability issues: towards a solution through enterprise architecture

The most successful leaders in business already have a Strategic Enterprise Architecture capability established, providing the organisation with Intelligence and Knowledge. Strategic Enterprise Architecture Intelligence corp capability includes the following sub-capabilities that enable the most successful leaders in business. The term Operating Model is a fuzzy one. What does it really mean? What is in an Operating Model? It appears that often some consultants totally go out of their way to avoid mentioning Enterprise Architecture and instead focus solely on the term Operating Model.

This may well be a side effect of the misunderstanding of Enterprise Architecture as only concerned with IT Architecture. Or may be because those consultants want to invent new terminology to make their services sound unique? Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Sign me up! Taking Immediate Action with Enterprise Architecture initiatives Introduction Enterprise Architecture will enable Business Agility, increase flexibility and the long-term viability of an organisation. Business Agility is a mindset about business, not about software development or IT-Specific. Mapping their strategies, tactics and business capabilities.

Knowing: Where to defend Where to attack Tactics for Business Agility What are the tactical manoeuvres that an organisations will need to think about? Ability to do something different Preparing for various Business scenarios Consequences of alternatives Business Trends Strategies for gaining a competitive advantage Organisations have traditionally responded to change with strategic planning Change today can be fast Many strategies are 3 to 5 years Aim to be active and prepared to make quick decisions and not just reactive Gain fluidity to be able to adapt to new business models quickly Business Agility with Enterprise Architecture How does Enterprise Architecture and Business Architecture help?

Enterprise Architecture Principles for Business Agility Reducing bureaucracy Reduce constraints Avoiding blinkered approaches Freeing up power structures Put the customer first Keep up with the customers journey Lean Management Use EA for modelling people, process, policy, applications and technology EA provides a portfolio of initiatives and investments Avoid the pitfalls of automation Ad-hoc Business Processes Data Driven processes Faster decision making Deliver experiences instead of just products Better communications Omni channel communication Purpose of Business Agility What is the purpose of Business Agility?

This will: Enable more innovation Improve value propositions Reduce systemic risks Business Agility is the new key to success Is your organisation stuck in a rut?

KMWorld Magazine

Business Agility is the capability to quickly sense and respond to new events Ratio of available resources to uncommitted resources — planned redundancy Less constraints for implementing strategic change Increased Requisite variety The law of requisite variety governs the capacity of a system to respond to changes in its environment. Automated versus manual processes. Business Agility is the capability to make rapid changes when required and not be constrained by static designs Having the capacity to deal with unexpected business events Providing some slack or unexploited capacity.

A new Business Capability is needed. This is not simply another name for: Risk Management Change management Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with change both from the perspective of an organization and the individual.