Blog Feed Post

How a Metadata-Driven Architecture Creates Organizational Agility

There is an application gold rush taking place within enterprise organizations. Business leaders in every industry recognize that automation is the key to both survival and competitive advantage. And they don’t want to get left behind.

The unsurprising result is pent-up demand for both new applications and functionality updates to the existing application stack. And also unsurprisingly, IT is having trouble keeping up.

Enterprises have responded in a number of ways including increasing development resources, engaging outsourcers, and adopting both low-code and no-code development platforms to speed IT development and enable so-called citizen developers, respectively.

While this gold rush of development has helped organizations meet their short-term automation needs, it is also perpetuating an age-old problem when it comes to the proliferation of applications in the enterprise: each new application actually limits an organization’s ability to be agile, increases its security risk profile, and decreases IT’s ability to support more automation in the future.

The Problem with the Application Stack

There has been a mostly unstated, but very real inverse relationship between the size of an organization’s application stack and its ability to introduce further automation and innovation over time.  This conflict is because each new application that it adds to the environment brings management overhead with it in the form of on-going maintenance and security needs.

With each new application added to the stack, the IT organization must spend more and more of its time and resources merely maintaining the underlying architecture and identifying and closing security vulnerabilities — leaving less time to respond to new application needs or add new functionality to the existing application stack.

The latest generation of low-code and no-code application development platforms are part of the solution – but also part of the problem. They have helped organizations respond to the need for more automation and faster development, yet they continue to add to the enterprise application stack and have done little to solve this more foundational problem.

Metadata for an Agile World

Some technology companies, however, are re-exploring an approach that has been developing in the industry for some time: metadata-driven application development architectures.

This type of development architecture abstracts an entire application into a single metadata file that defines all attributes of the application and executes on a purpose-built delivery platform. While not new, these types of metadata-driven application architectures — mostly in the form of no-code development platforms — have primarily been limited to creating stand-alone applications, as they lacked the sophistication necessary to develop enterprise-scale applications.

A new generation of such platforms, however, is extending the approach and promises to help enterprise organizations take advantage of this architecture and apply it at enterprise scale.

Metadata-driven architectures, from companies like ClaySys, enable organizations to separate application functionality from the underlying application architecture — where most of the maintenance and security challenges exist. This abstraction allows organizations to simplify and centralize their management efforts and also enables intrinsic version control, automated rollback and extensible and reusable integrations at the platform-level — all essential elements that drive organizational agility from within the application stack.

The Significance of Abstraction

It is easy to miss the significance and lasting impact of this abstraction process — particularly its impact on the IT operational model. According to numerous studies, enterprises spend the vast majority of their resources on maintaining the organization’s technology stack.

A large percentage of that commitment is in the form of identifying and patching security vulnerabilities and maintaining the application infrastructure —critical tasks, but which add no incremental value to the organization.

The use of a metadata-driven application architecture helps organizations overcome this operational paralysis through abstraction. When the security team identifies a new security vulnerability, they patch the delivery platform once in a central location, and all deployed applications automatically benefit from it.  Likewise, when the organization requires an update to the underlying application architecture, they update it once centrally and without any additional application maintenance — as the abstraction enables full and on-going backward compatibility.

The result is an end to the continuous stream of resource-intensive IT projects that do nothing but maintain already-deployed systems, add no incremental business value, and do nothing to help the organization respond to changes in the market or seize new business opportunities.

The Intellyx Take

Low-code and no-code platforms hold much promise for enterprise organizations. On the surface, they help them address the need to increase automation and empower business users to create applications for themselves.

But creating more automation only solves part of the problem. Enterprises must also address the need to reduce their maintenance and security overhead if they hope to increase their organizational agility and seize emerging opportunities.

A new generation of development platforms built on metadata-driven architectures, such as Claysys, help organizations solve this hard problem.

Using this type of architecture, organizations can create complex, enterprise-class applications in an entirely no-code environment. Moreover, this architectural model enables organizations to both update core functionality and patch security vulnerabilities within the delivery platform itself, rather than within individual applications — eliminating two of the most significant challenges they face as they exponentially increase automation.

Enterprise organizations are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. They must relentlessly increase the use of automation in every aspect of the business, yet somehow try to manage the increased risk profile and maintenance headache that comes with the increased complexity of the resulting application stack. Metadata-driven application development architectures hold the promise to help organizations finally find a way out of this conundrum.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. ClaySys is an Intellyx client. Intellyx retains full editorial control over the content of this paper.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

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), and several software and web development positions.

Latest Stories
Moroccanoil®, the global leader in oil-infused beauty, is thrilled to announce the NEW Moroccanoil Color Depositing Masks, a collection of dual-benefit hair masks that deposit pure pigments while providing the treatment benefits of a deep conditioning mask. The collection consists of seven curated shades for commitment-free, beautifully-colored hair that looks and feels healthy.
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
We all love the many benefits of natural plant oils, used as a deap treatment before shampooing, at home or at the beach, but is there an all-in-one solution for everyday intensive nutrition and modern styling?I am passionate about the benefits of natural extracts with tried-and-tested results, which I have used to develop my own brand (lemon for its acid ph, wheat germ for its fortifying action…). I wanted a product which combined caring and styling effects, and which could be used after shampo...
The precious oil is extracted from the seeds of prickly pear cactus plant. After taking out the seeds from the fruits, they are adequately dried and then cold pressed to obtain the oil. Indeed, the prickly seed oil is quite expensive. Well, that is understandable when you consider the fact that the seeds are really tiny and each seed contain only about 5% of oil in it at most, plus the seeds are usually handpicked from the fruits. This means it will take tons of these seeds to produce just one b...
Steaz, the nation's top-selling organic and fair trade green-tea-based beverage company, announces its 2017 "Mind. Body. Soul." tour, which will bring authentic experiences inspired by the brand's signature Mind. Body. Soul. tagline to life across the country. The tour will inform, educate, inspire and entertain through events, digital activations and partner-curated experiences developed to support the three pillars of complete health and wellness.
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Platform9, the leader in SaaS-managed hybrid cloud, has announced it will present five sessions at four upcoming industry conferences in June: BCS in London, DevOpsCon in Berlin, HPE Discover and Cloud Computing Expo 2019.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...