8. Conduct a gap analysis
The objective of this step is to identify areas of the current and target system for which provision has not been made in the technical architecture. This is required in order to identify projects to be undertaken as part of the implementation of the target system.
A key step in validating an architecture is to consider what may have been forgotten. The architecture must support all of the essential information processing needs of the organization, as driven by the required applications. The most critical source of gaps that should be considered is stakeholder concerns that have not been addressed in subsequent architectural work.Gap analysis highlights services and/or functions that have been accidentally left out, deliberately eliminated, or are yet to be developed or procured:
- Draw up a matrix with all the business functions of the current architecture on the vertical axis, and all the business functions of the target architecture on the horizontal axis. In creating the matrix it is imperative to use terminology that is accurate and consistent.
- Add to the Current Architecture axis a final row labeled 'New Services', and to the Target Architecture axis a final column labeled 'Eliminated Services'.
- Where a function is available in both the current and target architectures, record this with 'Included' at the intersecting cell.
- Where a function from the current architecture is missing in the target architecture (in the
example, "broadcast services" and "shared screen services"), each must be reviewed. If it was correctly eliminated, mark it as such in the appropriate 'Eliminated Services' cell. If it was not, you have uncovered an accidental omission in your new architecture that must be addressed by reinstating the function in the next iteration of the design - mark it as such in the appropriate 'Eliminated Services' cell.
- Where a function from the target architecture cannot be found in the current architecture (in the example, "mailing list services"), mark it at the intersection with the 'New' row, as a gap that needs to filled, either by developing or procuring the function.
When the exercise is complete, anything under 'Eliminated Services' or 'New Services' is a gap, which should either be explained as correctly eliminated, or marked as to be addressed by reinstating or developing/procuring the function.
Table 1 shows an example from the Network Services category when functions from the current architecture are missing from the target architecture:
Table 1: A Gap Analysis MatrixThe inputs to this step are:
- Business Architecture Version 2
- Technical Architecture Version 0.7
- Brainstorm gaps in functions.
- Brainstorm eliminated functions.
- Classify gaps as those that should be developed and those that should be procured.
- Create gap matrix described above.