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Strategic variability based Operating Environment Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246183D
Publication Date: 2016-May-13

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


The design of the IT operating environment (the structuring of applications and infrastructure into a coherent whole) determines how quickly an enterprise can adapt to changes by adding new patterns of functionality and infrastructure. A design can create significant barriers, when a change needs to be implemented that was not expected. To support strategic adaptability a design therefore needs to anticipate future changes and developments. This invention describes a systematic set of construction techniques that allows to anticipate a spectrum of strategic changes and developments, and embed the impact hereof into the design of the operating environment. Construction of the operating model using these techniques results in an adaptable structure at multiple levels. The techniques can be used intra enterprise to develop solutions that are prepared for change and adaptable, organized into a coherent business model, or across an ecosystem with more organic change.

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Strategic variability based Operating Environment

The core idea is to construct the operating environment in such way that its design is prepared for a spectrum of strategic, tactical and operational changes. The construction is comprised of the following steps:

Isolating the impact of strategic change on the operating environment by


partitioning both operating environment and expected changes into discrete partitions and aligning them.

Establishing the optimum bandwidth of current and future operating patterns that


applications in a partition of the operating environment need to support - given the set of expected changes.
(Optionally organizing operating patterns under current and future elements from


the business model into a coherent business design and strategic positioning). Constructing the platform with adaptability providing units from backbones and


local units, that are joined by integration junctions

    Partitioning: Partitioning of the future changes considers the spectrum of new capabilities that business and technology trends and innovations deliver, the value these provide as part of an enterprise strategy and how they are delivered by resources that populate the operating environment. The substrate for partitioning in the three layers reflects the process of strategic alignment that is applied: resources are constructed to provide capabilities that deliver value [9]. See [footnote 1] Coherently partitioning and aligning these substrates is performed from the impact on the construction of the operating model. Adopting the construction view as the dominant partitioning perspective allows to align the construction structure of the operating model with ranges of future changes. It may produce as impact extensions to existing partitions, or introduce new partitions. This incorporates the impact of a spectrum of possible changes into the design of the operating environment. The actual realization will only select a number from the full spectrum.

    Partitioning of the operating environment is performed in two dimensions combining usage and construction perspective in one view

Topological dimension (on the horizontal axis): creates topological zones that reflect the physical proximity that is created by information flows between components, and creates coherence from the construction perspective (the how). Role dimension (on the vertical axis): produces a further division of the zones to create partitions that reflect the usage proximity from the business perspective, and creates coherence from the functional perspective (the what).

    Impact partitioning is an iterative design process that requires an architectural approach to produce coherent, well bounded partitions with

encapsulated functions that envelope impacts, and reduces touch points between partitions. The analysis performed in this way creates future extensibility for a large set of possible developments and limits the construction effort associated with s...