It is one of the modern world's ironies that the department most often the obstacle to an enterprise's moving forward and adapting to changes in its environment is the very department that is charged with managing technology -- the Information Technology Department.
As an industry we have gotten ourselves locked into a situation where the systems we have built over the years actually prevent enterprises from responding to the changes that are going on all around them in the marketplace.
If the information technology industry has no other mission for the next few years, it is to modify the way we have been doing things to make our systems more accomodative to business change.
The fact that computers are general purpose machines does not mean that the systems we build from them are automatically flexible. To the contrary, we must set out from the beginning to design them to be so, and this requires us to define the architecture of our systems before we build them.
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How do we do that?
Essential Strategies, Inc. recognizes that a sound architecture is essential if systems are to survive the vast changes expected over coming years. We also recognize that architecture is seen by different people in different terms. Moreover, we know how to develop architectures, and can help you do so.
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We understand the perspectives of all people involved in the information systems development effort:
- We look at entire industries and the standard structures available for those industries.
- We examine individual businesses as they are conducted in these industries, from the perspective of their participants.
- We translate business requirements into the rigorously defined architectures required to address those industries and businesses.
- And we work hand in hand with those who then apply technologies to these architectures to implement working systems.
In all of our work, we recognize the importance of communicating clearly in English, without jargon. While we pride ourselves on staying current with developments in our industry, you will not find us speaking in buzzwords or technobabble.
If any technological innovation is genuinely worthy of interest, it must be possible to describe it in a language that anyone can understand. Essential Strategies, Inc. will describe it for you in your terms.
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Areas of Expertise
ESI can produce models describing all facets of an enterprise:
- What are the things of significance to the business, about which it wishes to collect data, and how are they related to each other? These are initially represented by entity/relationship models (data models) and then these models are used as the basis for database designs.
- What does the enterprise do? What are its business functions and processes? This is represented by function hierarchy models, data flow diagrams and process models, and it is ultimately reflected in program code.
- Where does it operate? What is the geographic scope of operations? This involves mapping initially its locations, and ultimately its communications network.
- How is it organized? What organizational issues motivate and constrain the enterprise? This begins with an organization chart that is progressively refined to define specific roles and interactions with computer systems.
- When do things happen? From the perspective of highest levels of management, this means the planning and execution cycle. From the point of view of the architect, what are the interactions between events, states and processes?
- Why does the enterprise do what it does? At the highest levels of management this means examining corporate goals and objectives. Within the operation of the organization, this means understanding the business and other constraints that affect what happents (the business rules).