Get Instant Access
to This Blueprint

Enterprise Architecture icon

Build Foundational Structures With Information Architecture

Structure the labels and taxonomies that will deliver long-lasting value to the organization.

  • Information is inaccessible since working straight from solutions out of the box lacks structural stability.
  • Finding the relevant information is time consuming because it can be a struggle to navigate to the right place and make sense of varying degrees of ambiguity.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Don’t rush into implementing recently acquired technology too soon. Ensure there are effective foundational structures that exist and align with organizational strategies.

Impact and Result

Our approach in information architecture should help establish the structural foundation that can be utilized in organization-wide solutions:

  • Assess the needs of key stakeholders and ensure that business context is top of mind.
  • Build taxonomies and/or ontologies as foundational structures for the organization.
  • Apply standard naming conventions when labeling terms.
  • Determine the needs of the important stakeholders and keep the business environment top of mind.
  • Create taxonomies and/or ontologies as the organization's underlying frameworks.
  • Label terms using accepted naming conventions.

Build Foundational Structures With Information Architecture Research & Tools

1. Build Foundational Structures With Information Architecture Storyboard - A step-by-step document that walks you through how to properly address information architecture.

This deck contains guidance on how to establish and optimize the following:

  • Naming conventions = A generally agreed-upon scheme for naming things.
  • Metadata = Data about data.
  • Controlled vocabulary = An organized arrangement of words and phrases used to index content and/or to retrieve content through browsing or searching.
  • Data catalog = An organized inventory of data assets in the organization. It uses metadata to help organizations manage their data. It also helps data professionals collect, organize, access, and enrich metadata to support data discovery and governance.
  • Taxonomies = Structural and hierarchical representations of the same type of element (e.g. documents, services, projects)
  • Independent taxonomies = A structural and dynamic representation of the relationship between elements in any given set of taxonomies.

2. Information Standards Guide – A documented summary of best practice information management and information architecture organizations and frameworks.

This guide contains a reference to Information Standards that can be used for metadata, naming conventions, and information management best practices.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

8.0/10


Overall Impact

$9,099


Average $ Saved

47


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

SSFM International

Workshop

8/10

$9,099

47

The Enterprise Content Management workshop is a good opportunity to learn different aspects of managing content. In the process of studying our RF... Read More


Build Foundational Structures With Information Architecture

Structure the labels and taxonomies that will deliver long-lasting value to the organization.

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Analyst Perspective

Information architecture results in assurance that the right information is in the right place to help you deliver your very best.

Information architecture can be the organization's compass in achieving long-lasting value. It can support the requirements for just about any solution.

Information architecture is a sub-component of enterprise architecture. It inherits the ability to realize the business goals and objectives in practical deliverables.

Putting appropriate effort into organizing and structuring the ecosystem that your business-critical data and information will reside in results in expected behavior.

This is a picture of Ibrahim Abdel-Kader

Ibrahim Abdel-Kader
Research Analyst,
Data & Analytics Practice
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary – Information architecture

Your Challenge

The structural state of organization-wide solutions lack consistency, standardization, and fortitude. This leads to the following challenges:

  • The lack of structural reliability when operating immediately from solutions out of the box is making information inaccessible.
  • Even when leveraged properly, finding the relevant information is inefficient.
  • Navigation and search across repositories is a struggle.

Knowledge is either duplicated or lost as a result.

Common Obstacles

Major change is needed; however, the following will make the journey harder:

  • Resources such as time and expertise are scarce.
  • Technology is painful and confusing rather than enabling the business.
  • Populating metadata is evidently challenging cultural behaviors.

The later this initiative is properly addressed, the worse the problems get and the harder the path to success becomes.

Info-Tech's Approach

Our approach to information architecture should contribute to laying the groundwork for organization-wide solutions:

  • Assess the needs of key stakeholders and ensure that business context is top of mind.
  • Build taxonomies and/or interdependent taxonomies as foundational structures for the organization.
  • Apply standard naming conventions when labeling metadata.

Info-Tech Insight

Don't jump the gun and start using newly obtained technologies right away. Make sure there are tailored underlying frameworks in place that support organizational objectives and usage.

Glossary

  • Element: Basic unit in the ArchiMate metamodel. Used to define and describe the constituent parts of enterprise architectures and their unique set of characteristics.
  • Metadata: Data about data.
  • Business capability: What a business does to enable value creation. Business capabilities are business terms defined using descriptive nouns such as "Marketing" or "Research and Development." They represent stable business functions, are mutually exclusive and comprehensively exhaustive, and typically will have a defined business outcome.
  • Business process: A business process is the execution of a sequence of activities that are coordinated to produce a specific output for an internal or external outcome.
  • Information architecture: Information architecture describes the discipline of the definition, categorization, and organization of metadata and semantics.
  • Naming convention: A generally agreed scheme for naming things.
  • Controlled vocabulary: An organized arrangement of words and phrases used to index content and/or to retrieve content through browsing or searching.
  • Business data glossary: Glossary of the most-used and most-popular data terms within the organization, with their definitions and semantics. Used primarily to avoid ambiguity.
  • Taxonomy: A structural and hierarchical representation of the same type of element.
  • Interdependent taxonomy: A structural and dynamic representation of the relationship between elements in any given set of taxonomies.

Develop an Enterprise Content Management Strategy and Roadmap

Great information services means a big-picture strategic lens on the whole dynamic lifecycle of information

This is an image of an

Information Architecture is part of the Enterprise Architecture framework

Business Architecture

  • Business strategy map
  • Business capability map
  • Business model canvas
  • Business process flows
  • Value streams
  • Service portfolio

Information Architecture

Naming conventions

Controlled vocabulary

Data catalog

Taxonomies

UX Design

Interdependent taxonomies

Data Architecture

Application Architecture

Infrastructure Architecture

  • Conceptual data model
  • Logical data model
  • Physical data model
  • Data flow diagram
  • Data lifecycle diagram
  • Application portfolio catalog
  • Application capability map
  • Application communication model
  • Interface catalog
  • Application use-case diagram
  • Technology standards catalog
  • Technology landscape
  • Environments location model
  • Platform decomposition diagram
  • Network computing / hardware diagram

Security Architecture

  • Enterprise security model
  • Data security model
  • Application security model

Enterprise to program/portfolio/domain

This is an image of the journey from enterprise to program/portfolio/domain.

Info-Tech Insight

Decisions at the enterprise level apply across multiple programs/portfolios/solutions and represent the guardrails set for all to play within.

Data domain documentation

Select the correct granularity for your business need.

This is an image of a pyramid which will assist you in choosing the correct granularity for your business need.

Sources:
Dataversity; Atlan; Analytics8

Content Audience Value
  • Data concept/term
  • Definitions
  • Semantics
  • Status
  • KPI/Metrics
  • Classification
  • Business Leads
  • Business Line Staff
  • BI Developer
  • Definition
  • Visibility
  • Common vocabulary
  • Data sets/domains
  • Data concept
  • Definitions
  • Semantics
  • Status/Lifecycle
  • Source system
  • Value lists (reference data)
  • Data stewardship
  • Data ownership
  • Availability
  • Refresh rate
  • Retention
  • Usage
  • Rules
  • Data quality
  • Data confidence
  • Classification/Taxonomy/
  • Interdependent Taxonomy
  • Business Leads
  • Business Line Staff
  • Data Analysts
  • Data Engineers
  • Developers
  • Data Scientists
  • BI Developer
  • Definition
  • Searching and retrieving
  • Lineage
  • Transparency
  • Classification
  • Visibility
  • Data quality profile
  • Data confidence profile
  • Data concept
  • Data types
  • Data sizes
  • Default values
  • Value lists
  • Rules (constraints)
  • DBA
  • Data Analysts
  • Data Engineers
  • Developers
  • Data Scientists
  • Specification detail
  • Vendor specifics
  • Deployable

Taxonomy examples

Taxonomy: A structural and hierarchical representation of the same type of element. (One-to-many)

Famous examples and common ways organizations will build a taxonomy.

Famous taxonomy examples:

  • Animal kingdom
  • Dewy Decimal System
  • Audio playlists in Spotify or iTunes

Common areas that can be enhanced with the use of a taxonomy in organizations:

  • Site map
  • Folder structure
  • Metadata fields
  • Organization chart

Find out more in our DIY section

This is an image of a sample blank taxonomic hierarchy.

Image source: MarTech

Build Foundational Structures With Information Architecture preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

MEMBER RATING

8.0/10
Overall Impact

$9,099
Average $ Saved

47
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Talk to an Analyst

Our analyst calls are focused on helping our members use the research we produce, and our experts will guide you to successful project completion.

Book an Analyst Call on This Topic

You can start as early as tomorrow morning. Our analysts will explain the process during your first call.

Get Advice From a Subject Matter Expert

Each call will focus on explaining the material and helping you to plan your project, interpret and analyze the results of each project step, and set the direction for your next project step.

Unlock Sample Research

Authors

Ibrahim Abdel-Kader

Andrea Malick

Visit our Exponential IT Research Center
Over 100 analysts waiting to take your call right now: 1-519-432-3550 x2019