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How Cloud Computing Transforms Enterprise Architecture

Much of the practice of enterprise architecture (EA) can be categorized into these three topics:


  • Governance – Roles, Responsibilities, Processes, Tools, Standards, Metrics, Portfolio, Projects.
  • Framework – Architecture Development Method; Business, Application, Information, Infrastructure & Security Architecture.
  • Strategy – Reference Models, Landscapes, Current Architecture, and Architecture Strategy.


In the traditional IT shop, these topics of EA define the current organized IT environment, along with the future vision of what IT will transform to, in response to the business demands of IT (whatever they happen to be).  In the traditional IT shop, these topics tend to be well defined to support the steady-state operations and the structured development of IT systems.  EA Governance is continually referenced (but relatively static), EA framework changes slightly, EA strategy evolves with the business.


Deploying cloud systems with this relatively steady-state architecture practice of the traditional IT shop may be difficult, if not impossible. Consider these impacts:


  • Cloud EA Governance – By definition, the cloud services must be standardized. Traditional IT services only recommend moving toward standardized services, but cloud services demand it.  Customizing instances of deployment in the cloud is limited or prohibited, depending on the service.  Roles and responsibilities for EA are geared toward service management, capacity, availability or finance while operations and deployment roles are minimized.   
  • Cloud EA Framework – The hundreds or thousands of applications, data models, infrastructure options, and security permutations of the traditional data center are reduced to that lean set of selections offered in the cloud service catalogue. The leaner EA practice is focused on new cloud service development rather than policing the consolidation and inefficiencies of manual operations and bloated IT portfolios.
  • Cloud EA Strategy – This changes substantially.  IT Strategy will develop the business case for private, public or hybrid cloud deployments, and the EA Strategy must transform to accommodate the new models.  EA transformations will tend to be more radical to transform to the cloud services, then less so as EA evolves to support the steady-state operations of the cloud services.  Initiatives such as Service Oriented Architecture become a mandate instead of a best practice recommendation.  Reducing the cost for each specific service becomes a key driver, rather than the common, ubiquitous and vague goal of total IT cost and overhead reduction.


I don’t want to leave the impression that IT has a single choice of traditional IT services vs. cloud services, since hybrid computing models will incorporate both. To that point, EA needs to accommodate the hybrid models as well, and supporting both indeed adds complexity to the EA practice.


Creating the cloud environment for success is one benefit of an enterprise architecture based strategy. It is tied to business architecture, application architecture, information architecture, and security and infrastructure architecture through governance, requirements and vision. HP Strategic IT Advisory Services (SITAS) is prepared to assist you with enterprise architecture planning and design as well as appropriate cloud services

Nadhan | ‎09-08-2011 01:47 PM

Ken, This is a great synopsis of the three key areas within Enterprise Architecture that are impacted by Cloud Computing.  Interestingly enough, as I review another post on the Tenets of Enterprise Architecture that impact Applications Development, I sense the transitive impact that Cloud Computing can have on Applications Development as well.

KenL | ‎09-08-2011 03:34 PM

Without a doubt there is an effect on the applications and application development, both in the content of the application, and the application development process itself.  Your article is an excellent drilldown of the app development considerations in EA framework.  Similar detail would be good blogs for data, security and infrastructure, including network.  

A good example is seen by any group that has employed an "software-as-a-service" (SaaS) public cloud service. They realize eventually that they generally have substancial new boundaries to what they can influence in the application development. Those that manage the SaaS service realize that they are a slippery slope if they overly customize the applications of the service for each user. BUT, there is a compelling argument to offer interfaces and customizations to other services and systems. A good example would be a cloud CRM SaaS service that needs to interface to a separate order entry service or email service outside the cloud.  The design of the app considers the flexible options that can be customized by the consumer, rather than rely on a back office, one-time customizations for each group.  Internal (to the enterprise), private cloud services tend to have even more decisions regarding their applications.

Any system development lifecycle in use requires a transformation to leverage the cloud benefits without tightening the noose around the value of the service by austere lockdown of changes.  EA governance is the key to such decisions, especially in the application space.

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Golf Simulator(anon) | ‎01-05-2012 09:52 AM

those three steps are important to complete the process??

Web Design Company(anon) | ‎02-14-2012 01:26 PM

Clod computing really more helpfull.....




India Car Rental(anon) | ‎08-24-2012 02:59 PM

Cloud has really help young enterprises startup quicker.

jack mathews(anon) | ‎08-26-2012 08:19 AM

where can i read more about cloud services?

KenL | ‎08-26-2012 05:45 PM

I could read your question in two ways.

  1. References to how to provide services (Software-as-a-Service, et al) through the cloud
  2. References to where one can find services to build a cloud environment or develop a cloud strategy

The question #1 seems easy to answer, but is a bit complex. A consumer of cloud services can select commodity services from a variety of public sources. HP Cloud Services offers IaaS and PaaS opportunities, Microsoft offers Office365, and SaaS through are all notable examples. Cloud Storage is almost ubiquitious these days.  Each vendor has reference and help that provides some insight to the service offered.
If you are interested in building your own private cloud service, or leveraging a private managed cloud (owned by your enterprise, but managed by others), this blog applices to some of those aspects, but some of the best general education resources I have found are on the research sites like Forrester and Gartner.  Wikipedia for Cloud Computing isn't a bad start. They have a variety of external links to read. Nadhan's (see his comment above) blogs on cloud are good summaries. If your enterprise is interested in the potential of the cloud services, but is not sure what it would do, HP offers a Cloud Discovery service to build your knowledge,  consensus and expand your horizon about what services would offer your enterprise..   


There is a wide variety of cloud vendor services to the enterprise concerning #2. My group in HP Technical Services offers cloud strategy, roadmap, business cases and financial modeling, transitioning to a deployable private, public or managed cloud, for both providers and conumers of cloud resources. There are a variety of HP cloud infrastructure solutions that I believe are best in class.


I hope this answers your question.

jack mathews(anon) | ‎09-04-2012 03:04 PM

Thank a lot for the links KenL.

I appreciate that.

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Ogniwa fotowoltaiczne(anon) | ‎10-21-2012 02:08 PM

Good work - very interising post!

Shanon Android developer(anon) | ‎11-09-2012 01:37 PM

Cloud computing has increased the load big sites can handle also, cloud computing is much cheaper and cost effective compared to tranditional web hosting solutions. Running on cloud allows more security and robust solution to businesses around the world. HP servers are known for its robustness and durability and are highly recommended by me for those companies who wish to start web hosting solutions.

Swayam Web Development(anon) | ‎11-25-2012 07:06 PM

Very good information about cloud computing.. I am learning clouds and at first step.

Mark Zend Framework Developer(anon) | ‎11-26-2012 11:33 AM

If the IT organization wants to remain relevant, it needs to provide additional value for the business when it delivers cloud solutions.  In turn, the IT organization needs to be a trusted and preferred partner to engage cloud or any other IT service.

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Ken Larson has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology aligning business to technology. As an Enterprise Architect, he has del...
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  • I’m a Global Strategist, a certified (PMI) Project Manager, specializing in business to IT alignment, agility consulting, Infrastructure Transformation and Strategic Architecture for Big Data, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. I drive the strategy, vision and content of strategic consulting services in the Big Data IT Infrastructure services area at HP. As part of this, I meet with senior level customers to understand their challenges, conduct workshops to determine future vision and roadmaps as well as presenting at industry and analyst events.
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