How do I implement Data Agnostic Services (DAS)?
Data Agnostic Services (DAS) is a fundamentally different approach to building out business solutions. The implications created by that difference are both subtle and profound.
By eliminating much of the cost, effort and risk of developing application components, we have fundamentally shifted the functionality/software return on investment calculation. We need to look at the business holistically and use IT to create sustainable competitive differentiation.
How a business goes to market, how a product works, and how a business differentiates itself is unique in many ways. That differentiation for most organisations should stop at the IT level.
Most business solutions run on servers that are connected to a network. They store their information in databases or file shares. They share information with other applications or third parties. They run office applications including email. At best, they have implemented High Availability solutions and have created Disaster Recovery Plans and Sites.
For most businesses, it is no longer necessary to create a unique solution architecture to support their operations. Indeed, creating a unique architecture can increase the cost and risks associated with solution development and operation, making it harder to recruit and train staff.
Over the years, the IT industry has coalesced around a few core architectural designs and best practises for the creation of business solutions. Be warned - best practices aren’t simply a pick and mix buffet – you need to ensure that you adopt a coherent approach that spans the whole organisation, from strategy to operation.
Pick a mature DAS implementation framework as a starting place, and work from there. The framework should cover the following areas:
- Strategy – Identifies how business and IT can work together to create business value
- Architecture – Covers the architectural design, guidelines, standards and processes for the creation of IT solutions
- Transformation – Focuses IT work on solutions that maximize business value
- Components – Ensures IT components are developed and reused consistently within business solutions to minimise the effort, cost and risk of software development
- Implementation – Ensures new software is developed efficiently and effectively within the agreed architectural framework
- Operation – Keeps IT solutions running to support the business operations
Adopting a mature set of industry best practises makes it easier to onboard new staff and reduces operation risks associated with attrition of “key employees."