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Front End Architecture: Where Business Meets IT

  • June 9, 2008
  • By Jeffrey Ryan
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6. Utilize user analytics because you can only manage what you measure

User analytics are essential in ensuring the benefits are realized. The key metrics toward achieving ease of doing business must be defined. User analytics must be captured across interaction media and communicated through dashboards to provide a feedback loop on progress toward the ultimate goal.


You learned that business meets IT through the front end architecture.

Front end architecture describes how business capabilities are exposed to employees, customers, and partners through the web, mobile, voice, and web services interaction media. You examined the many benefits that can be achieved through a front end architecture including end user productivity gains, top line growth, reduced time-to-market, and lower maintenance costs.

A good architecture first considers the "what" or problem to be solved, and only then the "how" or solution. You examined the "what" through understanding the run time and design time qualities necessary to achieve the desired benefits and the functional capabilities needed across the business value chain. Then, you looked at the "how" or solution including the layers, frameworks, and components that promote thoughtful reuse.

Finally, I outlined six guiding principles to consider in implementing your front end architecture, with the first and most important principle being a commitment to start with the end user, and then work backwards towards the solution.

Has your organization focused on its end users and front end architecture? Does it understand the benefits that can be achieved? Has it defined and communicated its front end architecture? Is it being used to guide projects? If your answer is no to any of these questions, I hope you are inspired to take some of the thoughts outlined in this article and apply them to your organization. The rest is up to you!

About the Author

Jeff Ryan is an enterprise architect with twenty four years experience architecting and implementing thoughtful solutions to business problems. Jeff has served as the front end architect for a large financial services organization and this article reflects his experience in that position. Click here for a list of previous articles on enterprise architecture, SOA, Java, XML and XSLT.

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