Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Business Model Canvas and ArchiMate

I recently read a research paper by Boris Fritscher and Yves Pigneur titled Business IT Alignment from Business Model to Enterprise Architecture. It descibes how to translate a business model into an enterprise architecture model such as ArchiMate. This model consists of three layers; Business, Application, and Technology. Using their technique the same architecture may be applied to my fictional LEGO builder’s web community website mentioned in a previous post.

Illustration of the ArchiMate Architectural Framework, crated by Marcel Douwe Dekker.
Illustration of the ArchiMate Architectural Framework, crated by Marcel Douwe Dekker.
businessmodelcanvas-legosite
Business Model Canvas of LEGO community builder website. Referred to as a BMO in the Fritscher and Pigneur paper.

At the bottom of the Archimate model is IT Infrastructure layer consisting only of Key Resources (6) from the BMO. Obviously this would include cloud application hosting. The application would be maintained by a development team running on a cloud application administers by an IT team, or perhaps the developers themselves depending on skills. Community managers would not be part of this layer. Perhaps this is redundant and can be removed from that part of the BMO.

Sandwiched in the middle of the Archimate model is the Application layer including from the BMO model Key Activites (7). The lower IT layer enables the middling application layer including community management and website administration consisting of development and support. This could also include social media and other communication tools manage relationships  with partners and customers identified above it in the Archimate model.

The top layer of the ArchiMate model is the Business layer. In that layer on top are external roles and actors which include from the BMO Key Partners (5) and Customer Segments (1) consisting of Bricklink (unofficial LEGO marketplace), The LEGO Group, and our core audience; LEGO builders. To support them there are external business services which include items from the Value Proposition (2), Customer Relationships (4), and Channels (3). In our case this would consist of direct brick sales via Bricklink or LEGO Group and the user community data and contributions. Users would create their content using tools on the website and build them using bricks either purchased or out of their collection using parts lists generated by the website.

 

 

 

To Quit Or Not To Quit My Job

running businessman

Last week Chris Hanks from the Terry College joined us to discuss Entrepreneurship. According to Hanks the primary reason people start their own business is because they hate their boss. Another reason people start a businesses is so they can do what they love to do. These two reasons resonated with me. I have always wanted to quit my job and start my own business. The problem is I don’t hate my boss, my co-workers rule, and I love what I do. Based on my experience and conversations with friends it appear that my situation unusual. This is quite a conundrum.

Working for someone as opposed to working for yourself means that you don’t reap the rewards of your work in the same way. When you are the boss you take the monetary risk and reap the rewards. These rewards can be huge…or not. In my case I work for CDC and my job is relatively secure compared to similar jobs in the private sector. This perceived security coupled with my work environment are a massive hurdle to the possibility of making massive money. How do you value a good work environment? What if I quit my job, fail, and end up in a job that sucks!? Ugh.

I think a third way for me may be not to quit my job. My job affords me the work/life balance to work in my off time on a small business. A small business on the side allows me to supplement my income with other income streams. This augments my job and makes and enhances an already secure situation. If something bad happens with the business, meh, I still get paid every two weeks. The question for you though is what should you do? Well, that’s up to you.

Further reading

The Future of the Internet

I just watched three fascinating videos about the future of the Internet (embedded below). They present differing views for how the Internet (and the Web) are going to evolve. Vint Cerf discusses the future from an infrastructure perspective. He proposes several ideas that make the Internet more robust such as multihoming, Internet broadcast augmentation, sensor networks, mesh networks, bit-rot over time, and an interplanetary Internet. Tim Berners-Lee explores the future from the perspective of the World Wide Web by making raw data available through Linked Data. Finally Kevin Kelly speaks about the Internet as an Internet of things that are fully interconnected and communicating thus creating a super-organism.

Their talks were very similar in that they all discussed the internet becoming more mobile. This will be enabled by mesh networks that can sense other devices and multihoming networks that enabling users to remain unique while their service provider changes. Users will be able to query data related to their current location and update the data when it is lacking. Those data will be aggregated and organized by more and more sophisticated applications and provided to end users.  Indeed we are already in a world where no one knows phone numbers anymore and arguments in bars are settled in seconds via a Google search on a smartphone. We moving towards a world of co-dependence with our machines that will ultimately bring us closer together, make us more productive, and realize a high quality of life through interconnection that never before experienced by humans.

I thought their talks were lacking in the areas of augmented reality and nanotechnology. They touched on it from a data and connection perspective though. Advances in brain-computer interfaces are advancing rapidly. I foresee a day when we have a tiny machines in our body sensing our vitals signs, killing cancer cells, and maintaining the integrity of our DNA. They would use mesh networks to communicate with one another. An interface to a computer embedded in our brain could process this information and communicate it to our visual cortex or perhaps our thoughts. That may sound like true science fiction but do you know what the one thing almost no science fiction writer ever envisioned? It’s the Internet. Perhaps real life is in fact stranger than fiction.

Want to know more? Check out these videos:

History of the Internet

Map of Internet, February 1982
Map of Internet, February 1982

I recently watched a fascinating video (see below) that presents the history of the Internet from 1958 to present. There were several important technological events mentioned that led to the Internet of today. Below are five that I think are the most important.

DARPA

In the 1958 the United States set up Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) response to the Sputnik launch by the Soviet Union. The mission is to prevent strategic surprise and ensure the United States stayed at the forefront of military technology. This mission required the agency to coordinate research conducted by institutions throughout the country. It supported the evolution of the ARPAnet in order to prevent duplication of research and to speed development. The ARPAnet was the foundation that modern Internet is built on.

Packet Switching

Packet Switching is an innovation important to the early ARPAnet for it made this shared networks more efficient. Packet Switching networks are designed to divide data into equally sized packets before transmitting those data over a network. These smaller packets of data allow networking hardware with limited computing resources to queue and buffer data was it’s transmitted over nodes. The ARPAnet could then effectively manage network capacity allowing it to grow into the Internet we use today.

CYCLADES

In the early 1970’s the French developed a research packet switching network called CYCLADES. It was the first network to make hosts, rather than the network, responsible for the reliability data delivery. This greatly reduced the complexity of packet switches and proved that host-based responsibility was indeed workable. Though CYCLADES was shutdown by the French in 1981 the lessons learned were incorporated into the OSI model.

X.25

The X.25 protocol was developed by the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) to provide access to the Internet via telephone company connections. This had the benefit of lower costs to users all over the world because they could connect using installed phone systems. It was developed before the OSI model and consists of three layers. These layers are similar though to the three lowest levels of the OSI model’s seven layers. In my opinion the most significant impact of X.25 was the ability for it to provide users in the 1980’s access to Internet without requiring costly new infrastructure.

TCP/IP

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) were developed and integrated into the ARPAnet between 1973 and 1983. The US Department of Defense was the first to declare it as the standard for all military computer networking in March 1982. Its adoption exploded in 1989 when AT&T agreed to place code developed for UNIX into the public domain. Software companies such IBM and Microsoft incorporated this code into the TCP/IP stacks for operating systems into the 1990s thus standardizing the Internet based on TCP/IP.

Still interested? Check out this video for an overview the history of the Internet.