System and Enterprise Architecture

The figure below shows a notional representation of an integrated, plant-wide control system for a type of modern strip mill. I installed one- and two-line tunnel furnace Level 2 control systems in several plants just like this. I’ve highlighted the furnace Level 2 system near the center with a red border and bolded text.

The interior architecture of the Level 2 system is shown next.

I am entirely comfortable designing, implementing, and managing system architectures of this type. To the degree that the plant-wide system components up to Level 3 approach being something like enterprise architecture I am entirely comfortable working with something like that as well.

When it comes to the Level 4 sections, the pure enterprise sections, I have done some types of analysis, design, and implementation while there are other parts I haven’t done. I have definitely traced data sources and transformations through such systems for review, rationalization, requirements analysis, design, and so on. I’ve also looked at a wide range of complex business processes to see how they can be automated, characterized, parameterized, and controlled. I have designed data schemas for large, business process reengineering projects. I have not worked on the design of large scale data centers, security issues, large automated build processes, and some other aspects of enterprise computing. I have not trained in ITIL, BSM, ITSM, or the like, although I have certainly designed software systems with an eye toward reliability, fault tolerance, and recoverability. I’ve also worked with systems that have defined performance and uptime guarantees.

I have definitely worked more with the logic and flow of information in larger systems while being less concerned about every facet of the implementation. I can pick up whatever parameters and constraints that describe and bind such systems quickly enough to work meaningfully with specialists in those areas. I have done this kind of analysis and design work across a wide variety of different systems, enough to know what is unique about each one, enough to know what is the same, and enough to see what can be made as modular, repeatable, and flexible as possible.

I would say that I have done a lot of work in the area of system architecture but only partial work in the area of enterprise architecture.

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