Blog Feed Post

How a Fresh Approach to Enterprise Architecture Drives Transformation at DuPont Pioneer R&D

DuPont Pioneer, the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics and seeds, is executing an organizational transformation of its R&D data management approaches to better coordinate architecture planning and transparency. I recently spoke with R&D Architect, Gene Shoykhet, about the challenges they faced in mapping their architecture in a time of rapid change.

Markets are shifting rapidly, leading to increased product pipelines, shortened product lifecycles, shifts in customer expectations and even entirely new business and organizational models.

These business-level changes have resulted in new technology deployments, continuous internal reorganizations and merger and acquisition activity as organizations attempt to adapt and find the strategy that will deliver competitive advantage.

The increasing complexity and interconnected nature of the supporting technology stack multiplies the inherent risk of change. As organizations attempt to make more changes more rapidly, the implications broaden and the possibility of unforeseen consequences increases.

The traditional approach to managing these change-induced risks has been to use enterprise architecture (EA) frameworks such as The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), and EA management systems that enable organizations to model and analyze their complex environments. But while necessary for compliance and related requirements, these approaches actually introduce more complexity, demand high levels of organizational maturity, and ultimately fail to deliver the ability to manage change effectively.

The need for data integration and synergy at DuPont Pioneer

DuPont Pioneer found itself with this need to manage rapid change in a large and complex environment. As a research organization, it has a wide range of technologies and processes that create coordination challenges and difficulty integrating data between research areas.

It needed to combine both its organization and its supporting systems to improve its data integration capabilities and to derive further insights from its data.

“I looked across all of our systems and found that it was hard to identify all of the dependencies and interconnections between our systems,” explained Shoykhet. “So I started with a blank slate and asked people what they had and what they were working on. The need for a tool became immediately apparent.”

Seeking speed and flexibility

As it began its search, DuPont Pioneer quickly realized it needed a tool that would offer it the flexibility to rapidly build a repository of its systems and get full visibility without getting caught up in the formality of the process.

“We didn’t want a tool that forced us to follow a model that was not appropriate for an R&D organization, and that would instead create a burden for us,” shared Shoykhet. “We didn’t need the kind of compliance or regulatory benefits of something like TOGAF. We just needed to understand what our systems were doing and where our data was flowing so that we could plan our architecture and have a single place to see all of the connections and potential impacts.”

DuPont Pioneer selected SAMU by Atoll. It found that SAMU’s ease-of-use was critical as it enabled its teams to start quickly and begin gaining insights from the tool immediately.

Shoykhet explained that with SAMU, DuPont Pioneer could start with very small amounts of systems and logical information — even if it was incomplete — and still gain value and insights. It didn’t encounter the heavy upfront work that was common in competing tools.

It found that SAMU’s best-practice meta model covered 95% of its needs enabling it to start quickly. By the end of their three-week initiation process, it had modeled almost 25% of their applications and had a roadmap for the rest of the process. It found that SAMU’s simple approach enabled it to model everything from business processes down to IoT sensors with a common meta model — enabling it to spend more time on analysis rather than on managing the modeling process.

Enabling organizational transformation

While speed and flexibility were critical, it was the tool’s ability to help drive organizational adoption and transformation that was the greatest, albeit unexpected, benefit.

“We were surprised by how quickly we could model our environment,” enthused Shoykhet. “Now, we have a lot of people in the organization asking for access to the SAMU system. They see the value of having everything documented and the benefit of seeing how things are interconnected. They are uncovering connections they didn’t know existed as different groups model their systems.”

Shoykhet explained that teams modeled their own area and saw how they co-existed within the larger system. The result was that rather than resist, teams embraced the process — giving the organization the ability to execute its internal integration much faster.

Laying a foundation for the future

While this initial integration is important, the team at DuPont Pioneer realize that this is the beginning, not the end. With the expected merger of parent company DuPont and Dow Chemical, the team will need to integrate another group into the fold. And they know that as the pace continues to quicken, change will be constant.

By leveraging SAMU, they believe that they now have the capability to rapidly and effectively manage change as it comes — without needing an army of architects to manage the environment. This capability enables DuPont Pioneer to maintain visibility and transparency as the environment shifts and evolves over time — which may make all the difference as the ability to execute organizational transformation becomes a competitive advantage.

The Intellyx Take

The transition into the digital era is affecting every company in every industry. Organizations must cope with fast-moving markets and changing customer expectations. The inevitable result is that everything that was once mostly static within enterprise organizations is now in a constant state of flux.

Organizations must create capabilities that enable them to manage their technology architectures, systems and data flows while in a constant state of change — and to do it in a way that creates advantage. By focusing on simplicity, ease-of-use and fluidity, tools like SAMU offer organizations the ability to effectively manage change and drive continuous organizational transformation.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Atoll is an Intellyx client. At the time of writing, none of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx clients. Intellyx retains full editorial control over the content of this paper.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...