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Lesson 5 Issues and concerns
Objective Outline and prioritize key issues and concerns

Issues and Concerns of an ebusiness Architect

Outline and prioritize the key issues and concerns an e-business architect must address when fulfilling his mission. As we have seen, there are numerous stakeholder interests to consider in designing an e-business solution. It is often helpful to think of these issues in terms of a list of key issues or questions that the architect must address.

Purpose of the e-business solution

These questions span multiple facets of the business, and should include the issues described in the table below.

Key Issues and Design Areas impacted by e-business

To the Right: Key issues Technical infrastructure Operational infrastructure and procedures Financial infrastructure and budgets Company policies Contracts
Design areas impacted          
Buying process Does the design include instant, secure credit card approval?        
Fulfillment of sale   Does the design wed fulfillment of sale with current shipping and distribution systems?      
Customer service Does the design include customer care online support?        
Management information     Does the design signoff include the company's financial officers?    
Maintenance of goods         Does the design link warehouse stock with advertisements on the site?
Existing technical infrastructure          
Legal and regulatory requirements       Does the design accommodate legal considerations for the international satellite locations?  
Geographical coverage   Does the design take into account licenses for shipment to foreign locations?      

Content Advantage
If you would like to download and print out Key issues and design areas impacted by e-business, go to the Easy Reference folder on the Resources page where this table is listed along with other reference tables used in this course.
Note that of the issues listed, the purpose of the e-business solution is by far the most important, but quite often the most overlooked. If it is not clear what the design should achieve, then there is no way to measure its success.

E-business Purpose

Remember that the purpose, is the foundation for all other questions.
Key Concerns
  1. What is the purpose of the e-business solution?
  2. What financial resources are available to pay for the development and ongoing license and operational costs of the solution?
  3. What human resources are available to develop and operate the solution?
  4. What existing system and operational constraints might affect the operability of the solution?
  5. What new systems components are available to assist in the design and construction of the solution?
  6. What user interfaces will be required?
  7. What are the management information requirements of the solution?
  8. What are the volume projections for the solution?
  9. What market research information is available?
  10. What will be the impact on other business operations of the introduction of the solution?

Addressing Stakeholders Concerns

How these issues interact

The role of the architect is made more complex by the fact that these issues interact with each other. In many ways, managing these multiple priorities is a balancing act. Let us look at a simple example. If the volume projections for the system indicate that a large system must be constructed to handle significant traffic, then a large portion of the allocated financial budget must be set aside for that development. This may reduce the amount of funds available elsewhere in the budget, for example, funds allocated for management information.

Of the issues discussed in this module, there are two key issues/questions are most likely to derail the e-business plan if you do not address them:
  1. Does the design achieve its purpose?
  2. Is the impact of its introduction understood and accepted by the enterprise as a whole?

Key Issues and Concerns

In considering key concerns and issues, those most likely to cause the success or failure of the project should be addressed first.
In the next lesson, we will define the quality factors that the architect must consider.

Click the Exercise link below to complete an exercise on the key issues and concerns of stakeholders.
Issues Concerns - Exercise