In order to achieve consistency, not only between the different workstreams, but also between the complexities of prescriptive design principles vs. descriptive best practices, an architectural framework is necessary, in which the individual workstreams can operate and deliver consistent outcomes. This framework consists of three major components:
- Zero Outage Map: describing the taxonomy of the modern IT Landscape as a holistic, end-to-end IT Value Chain, which articulates “WHY” this approach is crucial to achieving Zero Outage and “WHAT” the key required capabilities are, like a business architecture. This provides a consistent canvas for the workstreams to structure the standards content, and helps the readers navigating through it in an intuitive fashion.
- Functional and Information Architecture (forming the reference architecture): drills down into the integrated IT capabilities described in the Zero Outage Map to understand and articulate the underlying functional and information model. In other words, it specifies the functions required, articulating “HOW” to achieve the capabilities (including the information they hold), and “HOW” the functions need to interact in order to preserve the quality and integrity of the data. The reference architecture is a framework in which many specific implementation architectures can be defined in the context of a specific provider-consumer relationship.
- Layered Model: the functions of the reference architecture implement the end-to-end delivery of services on top of IT technologies. These technologies are not independent, but organised as an interconnected stack, e.g. infrastructure typically consists of network, storage and computing layers that depend on each other. However, these connections can be very diverse and dynamically changing. Therefore it is essential to provide design principles “HOW” and “WITH WHAT” to implement the stack, for which the layered model provides a fundamental and generic structure.
Graphic 1 illustrates the different elements of the Zero Outage architectural framework, how they build on each other, and the related components.
Based on the motivation for the architecture framework described above, we concluded the following driving objectives for the Zero Outage Map component:
- Describe the landscape/taxonomy of end-to-end Zero Outage compliant service delivery in the modern IT environment. In doing so, take an outside-in, customer value focused perspective, explaining “WHY” such an approach is essential to achieving Zero Outage.
- Leverage and complement existing standards and frameworks as much as possible (IT4IT, ITIL, CoBIT, ISO, etc.).
- Position and outline the required capabilities to the sufficient level of specificity to explain “WHAT” the value chain approach looks like in order to structure and guide the Zero Outage Industry Standard development work across People, Process, Platform, and Security.
- Serve as a structure to organize the publication of the best practices and design principles, as well as a navigation and drill-down pane to consume the value in an intuitive and easy manner.