Subject: RE: [tgf] OASIS TGF TC - 19th JUNE MEETING PAPERS
I was a little more positive on the last call about this topic, but thinking about it more, I am tending more towards Colin’s line of thinking on this. What is great about the TGF is that (in my over-simplification of it) it is a recipe book for using the power of technology for good. And “good” in our case is achieved by putting the citizen as our focal point.
It’s not about the technology per se – and that’s the point of the TGF.
Another way to state it is – how do you orchestrate all the cloud/web/technology services in a manner that benefits citizens? In many ways, if I’m stitching all these services together, I really don’t care if the service is delivered by 2 dogs and a cat – so long as it meets all my requirements – including security, data protection, availability etc.
Why would you look beyond the service and into the platform itself? Well, I would think the main reason would be that a particular platform might be used for multiple services – and therefore many of your requirements could be satisfied at the platform layer – thus effectively aggregating your requirements across a number of services. Like this:
In the picture, you’ll see a bunch of rectangles representing platforms. The services run on these platforms. Some of these platforms will be in-house, some in the cloud and some will be multiple layers deep (eg a cloud service provider ‘white labeling’ other services, which themselves are delivering apps and services). Some of these platforms will therefore be “virtual” (because they are combinations of other platforms) and some of these platforms might be “micro” (because they run on your TV, phone or device).
As an example, it may be possible to say a particular platform meets your requirements for data protection and availability. That might be the black box in the picture above. You may therefore be able to say that the services on this platform inherit those requirements – and that might simplify service requirements for you on that platform.
I think most of this is consistent with Nig’s perspective. But I’m not sure the end result is a “Platform Management Framework” – that sounds kind of inward, or technology focused, rather than outward/citizen focused. I’m also not sure that Colin’s suggestion of expanding the “Technology Management” section is right because a lot of this is more about supplier management and business processes. Perhaps it should go under “Service Management” (though with “platform” we’re talking more about the inward-looking or supporting services rather than the citizen-centric perspective on services – which I think should remain our focus).
The other thing to consider is the role of SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) in this discussion. There is plenty of work going on in this area (eg ISO/IEC 19086 – Cloud computing – service level agreement framework and terminology) so the intersection of SLA’s with the idea of platforms could be interesting – although again I would see “platform” as really just supporting infrastructure for “services”. Specifically, what does the “platform” concept add to SLAs? And with that perspective – is this work something that should be done in the TGF?
I look forward to further discussion.
And a special thanks to Nig for the work on the Platform pattern.
The extra detail and Nig’s careful attention to the things being emphasised and the things it is silent on, shows the effort put in to get a more balanced result.
I guess I could live with it, and I can even offer up a diagram from NZ’s Govt Enterprise Architecture ..which nicely and agnostically abstracts everything such that you can make it fit pretty much any government related architecture framework you like, including support for the platform pattern.. J.
As those on the last call may remember, I was not in favour of the new pattern.
I am more predisposed to Chris’s suggestion of extending the Technology Management section if we do anything at all.
It was a strategic viewpoint – that we were heading into dangerous territory by indicating more technical direction than is already in the Framework, and it risks ‘tipping the balance’ in favour of technology over culture and behaviour and..and.. and being ‘written off’ as technocrats by our detractors.
Despite Nig’s most valiant efforts, I’m still of that view. But I accept I am probably in the minority, given what a great job he has done… J
We have developed the framework to what I see as a finely balanced piece of work. We have given some broad guidance around technology without over prescription. This is a classic case of ‘less is more’. By leaving it the way it is, we allow deployers to add more of their own interpretation. And that will change as the years go on. If ‘platform’ is introduced there’s an implicit presupposition about the what a TGF architecture might entail. And that will change over time, as it has already done since the TC was formed. And as I said on the call, it’s not about the technology. It’s about the culture, the behaviour, and the approach to the ever increasing range of challenges that Public Administration face. Technology is no doubt an enabler for whatever the public service wants to achieve. For example, let’s say that in 10 years, some countries cannot afford the tax burden to run public services as bloated as they are now and the public service is radically cut to just being a governance/risk/compliance overseer, with everything else done by the private sector. In that case, let’s say the toll road owner has its road sensors, working with the car, and how many times the driver crosses his curb into his driveway, in order to take micro-taxes. Apart from GRC, there is no public service ‘platform’ as such..not in an architectural sense anyway. The toll road owner may be federating with multiple other private sector parties without any government involvement or any kind of ‘hub’.
As the TGF stands today, I think its ‘agnosticsm’ /abstraction allows for that kind of scenario. With a platform pattern included I’m less certain…
Attached are the papers for our TC call on Thursday (Wednesday for Peter and Joe). The call details are contained in the zip file but if you have any problems please contact Geoff Clarke.
I would appreciate some more comments on the draft Platform Management pattern before the call please, either positive or negative.
A note of any absences would be welcomed in advance.
Finally just a reminder that this call is at the new times of 07.30 UK / 08.30 CEST / 02.30 EST / 23.30 PST (18th) / 18.30 NZ / 16.30 AUS.