In the world of fast and permanent progress where the ability of an individual or an organization to manage and process larger and larger amounts of information becomes vital for building success, the means of controlling, structuring, and mapping the organizations and the methods of their data processing acquire crucial importance (Chaffey and Wood, 2004, pp. ). The use of the architecture maps, according to scholarly opinions, might have considerable value for this purpose. The scenario presented for consideration in this assignment is a bright example of the chaos that can be observed in an organization without a clear data structuring and it presents a wide space for improvements. Therefore, this paper will focus on considering the pros and cons of using the architecture maps using the examples from the above mentioned scenario and theoretical considerations by reputable scholars.
Thus, the company under analysis is formed by three people, who lease a small office and operate as a greeting cards’ producer for large corporate customers. The staff of the company includes only those three people operating as a Sales Manager, a Purchase Manager, and a Manufacturing Manager. The sales manager works outside of the office and gathers information on potential clients for the company. The purchase and manufacturing managers work in office and are charged with the responsibility for buying the raw materials for the company and carrying out the very card printing process. The major problems of the company at the current stage of its development include the lack of coordination in the work between the sales manager and the two other partners, i. e. purchase and manufacturing managers and the absence of data structuring as all the information is currently presented in the form of printed and handwritten reports and graphs.
After the major problems of the company in the given scenario are considered, it is now necessary to analyze the theory of architecture map compiling and major areas of usage. Accordingly, Johnston and Wiggins (2003) and Marshall (2000) argue that the essence of the architecture maps’ usage in business lies in the need to structure the data obtained by a business company and the possibility to better structure the very company as a business entity (Johnston and Wiggins, 2003, pp. 25 – 26; Marshall, 2000, p. 196). Drawing from this, architecture maps can be considered the tools for information organization and management that require no extra skills and are comprehensible to any person with any educational background placed in charge of data processing. Finally, Allen (2001, pp. 98 – 99) argues that the use of the architecture maps might be an instrument of establishing a more cost-effective performance in an organization as far as this organization’s time, effort, and funding aspects are clearly structured and easily managed.
Cases of Necessity
Scholars like Allen (2001), Johnston and Wiggins (2003), and Marshall (2000) also single out three major cases when an organization might need the use of architectural maps. These cases include the development of a young company that needs the strict control over its information, the issues of the developed company that observes unexplainable problems in its performance, and the cases when the company is on the way of restructuring or merging with another company. In the first case, as Johnston and Wiggins (2003) claim, the architecture map allows the young company to easily establish the role of the staff and see how resources are managed (p. 37). Obviously, the company from the scenario is at the initial stage of its development and the use of an architecture map that would clearly define the information flows and resource distribution might be of great help for it. Two other cases are inapplicable to the company but might also reveal the need of an architecture map in future.
Accordingly, the use of architecture maps for business companies has a number of basic advantages. First of all, Allen (2001) and Marshall (2000) argue about the already mentioned structuring function of the architecture maps. Allen (2001) points out that architecture maps can help process and manage data at any level of the corporate structure in a company. For the company from the scenario, the use of an architecture map might allow avoiding numerous difficulties connected with handling the printed or handwritten reports and provision of timely connection between the sales manager and his/her partners in office. In any case, handling the digitized data formulated in a laconic and clear map will be easier for this company than remembering, storing, and analyzing great amounts of paper and having to search for the necessary document in the databases often comprising thousands of papers (Ahmed and Moore, 2006, p. 10). Therefore, the simplest way to formulate the advantages of the process of architecture map compiling is to say that architecture maps allow their users to clearly see what and how they are dealing with and how their resources are allocated.
The disadvantages can also be observed in the process of architecture map compilation, although they are not rather numerous. For example, Ahmed and Moore (2006) and Johnston and Wiggins (2003) discuss the occasional problems that an inexperienced company or an individual might face as a result of introducing the architecture map approach in an organization. In more detail, architecture maps might display complexity of elements that are understandable for a limited number of people with respective qualifications, while the improper handling of the company’s services based on the misunderstanding of the map might result in additional confusions and performance problems for fighting which the map was actually created (Ahmed and Moore, 2006, p. 10; Johnston and Wiggins, 2003, p. 28). The company from the scenario might also face these disadvantages as the partner-founders start dividing the functions and duties within the company. The inconsistency, the might occur in a new and inexperienced company, between the duties negotiated prior to the company formation and the ones stipulated by an architecture map might stop the company’s progress and even condition its decline.
Thus, the above presented discussion allows concluding that the use of the architecture maps is currently becoming one of the vital factors of success in the modern highly competitive world of business. The examples of the company from the given scenario reveal that the use of the architecture maps might have it advantages and disadvantages. Among the former, clear structure of business and ability to control and funding and resource allocation are the most important, while the disadvantages are all about the improper handling of the map. In any case, scholarly works considered prove that architectural mapping facilitates success, while the mapping disadvantages are rather the results of improper implementation of this business activity.
Ahmed, Kal and Moore, Graham. (2006) Applying Topic Maps to Applications. The Architecture Journal, 1(1), 10.
Allen, Paul. (2001) Realizing e-Business with Components. Addison Wesley.
Chaffey, David and Wood, Steve. (2004) Business information management: improving performance using information systems. Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Johnston, Andrew and Wiggins, Richard. (2003) Modeling the enterprise data architecture. IBM, 2(13), 24 – 40.
Marshall, Chris. (2000) Enterprise Modeling with UML: Designing Successful Software through Business Analysis. Addison Wesley.