25th, 2006: Position: Organisations that include an IT Architecture
in the specification of the procurement of an IT-solution usually do
not get the best and cheapest solution possible
from an earlier weblog: An IT-Architecture is the view of IT-professionals
on the technical IT-infrastructure, written down in models, languages
etc. Here we are talking about the world of the IT-vendors who are
creating hardware, networking, systemsoftware etc.: systemhouses.
The IT-architecture is a shared view of the technical IT-infrastructure,
When an organisation
wants to "buy" an IT-solution, the procurement must include
a specification of what the organisation wants in terms of functionality.
It is highly recommended to include conditions, demands, wishes etc.
of the organisation around the procurement and around these functional
requirements. This way the IT-vendor knows what is possible and what
is not possible in this organisation. This should be as complete as
Including IT related
specifications, conditions, demands, wishes etc. may affect the proposals
of IT-vendors to a large extend. In general there are two cases:
- The requested
IT-solution will be part of the IT-infrastructure that is under the
direct control of the organisation.
- The requested
IT-solution will not be a part of the IT-infrastructure that is under
the direct control of the organisation. The IT-infrastructure may
be managed by another party, the solution may be part of an outsourced
(onshore, offshore etc.) IT-infrastructure etc.
Of course it is
important to let an IT-vendor know about related parts of the current
and future IT-infrastructure.
It is dangerous
to specify and prescribe new services,
IT-structures and changes in the related IT in the specification. To
tell an IT-vendor, by including it in the specification, in what way
the IT-solution is to be structured and/or the way the IT must be changed
limits the creativity and the possibilities in which an IT-solution
can be formed and created. In the case the IT-infrastructure is controlled
by the organisation itself it is logical to have a larger number of
requirements on the IT of the new solution than in the case the organisation
does not manage the IT-infrastructure. After all it is the controlling
that will have to manage the result.
The reason for
not including IT requirements and specifications is simple. If an IT-vendor
is forced to create an IT-solution that is specified-in-full it is nearly
always impossible to use existing knowledge and available parts. Therefore
former results can only be used in concept, not in available code and
experience. This can, and usually will, affect the quality of the resulting
IT-solution, because again and again something new is created. If we
can use existing structures and code the quality of the result will
be better from the start, and the price will usually be (much) lower.
These are the reasons
that lead to this position: "organisations that include an
IT Architecture in the specification of the procurement of an IT-solution
usually do not get the best and cheapest solution possible".
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