Enterprise architecture for AWS: Why it’s essential and how to get started

 In AWS, Cloud, Professional Services

Most enterprises recognize how essential the cloud is to their business.

It enables them to respond faster to business requirements, provide agility to development teams, ensure resilient and always available workloads, and offer predictable costs. With the cloud, enterprises can experiment with new technologies, adopt agile frameworks, and reduce go-to-market timelines.

But to take full advantage of the cloud, you should make the move with the right controls in place. The right controls will ensure you can maintain compliance, security, and management of your workloads.

How can you advance your cloud initiatives while maintaining traceability across your IT landscape?

The answer: enterprise architecture.

Let me explain.

Why you can’t apply traditional IT frameworks to the cloud

The traditional IT operating model has been a siloed framework with IT roles and actors that provide support for enterprise workloads that are aligned to their conventional job descriptions. These traditional actors are application stakeholders, developer and database teams, storage engineers and networking engineers, and server administrators.

When an IT organization adopts a cloud-first strategy, the enterprise must adjust to a model that allows its organization to consume the cloud as an end-to-end team working in alignment. This means all actors use the same framework for making decisions and allowing their teams to manage their infrastructure as code.

When your IT organization decides to move into the cloud with traditional silos still in place, adoption isn’t standardized and you end up without centralized controls for management and compliance. When parties aren’t aligned, competing interests within the organization and inconsistency can arise, as enterprise workloads may be built to different standards. For example, your IT organization might not know where or how a workload is being deployed, if you have the necessary metrics for monitoring, what API calls are being made, or which of your workloads might be susceptible to security vulnerabilities.

This is obviously a major compliance risk since there are no controls and no audit trail. There’s no assurance that developers are even following industry security standards. There’s no centralized management.

You need to get all this under control and put up guard rails. Which brings us back to enterprise architecture.

What is enterprise architecture?

Enterprise architecture creates consistent standards for planning, designing, and deploying your workloads in the cloud.

Think of it as your rules of engagement – a framework that ensures there’s only one way to build your workloads, one way to determine where they go, and one way to decide how they get there.

For example, if you’re a bank that needs to keep its data in North America, you can place a guardrail within your policy that gives you control over where that data is stored. You won’t have to worry about someone accidentally spinning up a workload in a different region.

By developing your enterprise architecture, everyone from server technicians to network engineers to database administrators (DBAs) all use the same framework for every action.

When you agree upon an enterprise architecture for your workloads, your business process, and your change management, you can be sure that everyone’s following the same agreed-upon method. This prevents competitive interests within your organization, gives you increased visibility into your workloads, and confirms compliance.

SHI’s new offering for AWS

To help organizations implement a strategic approach for adopting Amazon Web Services (AWS), SHI is providing a new offering: Enterprise Architecture Assessment Framework for AWS.

Using AWS enterprise architecture tenets and AWS enterprise architecture domains, SHI works with you to develop architectures that align with your organization. This provides you with standardized, secure, and predictable outcomes for the services and enterprise workloads being implemented on the AWS platform, enabling you to deliver workloads in a consistent and compliant manner.

The fact is, IT leaders want traceability across their IT landscape. They want to make sure that, if they have workloads deployed on AWS, they’re secure, compliant, and where they’re supposed to be. By developing an enterprise architecture, they lay out the framework to do just that.

Learn more: Dive deeper into this new offering and how you can achieve end-to-end compliance across your IT landscape by reading my whitepaper, “Developing Enterprise Architecture on Amazon Web Services.”

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