An example of an application component of a Digital Roadmap Toolchain is the new CurateFx service from the TM Forum.
It's an especially powerful tool to use because it invokes and makes use of the extensive TMF knowledge base, such as their Frameworx and eTOM programs, an asset base of best practices, process models and architecture capabilities, derived from years of inter-collaboration between the world's largest Telco operators.
Digital Transformation - Challenges & Opportunities
Organizations seeking to define a Digital strategy and roadmap will find a variety of complex challenges make the process somewhat overwhelming, most notably the sophistication of the Digital Ecosystems they must anticipate, build and grow, combined with the obscure and intractible nature of their legacy IT and business process estate.
This is an especially acute problem in the Telco sector, where new entrants, digital 'OTT - Over The Top' providers, are specifically defined by the fact they carry no legacy infrastructure cost indeed their business model is based upon exploiting the investment made by others in it. The particular expertise that underpins their competitve advtange is their software engineering skills that can deploy new Cloud services that achieve this.
However this also defines the opportunity - These same capabilities and approach are available to any organization to harness and that includes existing legacy players. Identifying unmet market needs and meeting them through innovative new, 'XaaS'-based modular solutions is an ever-present opportunity for services providers of all shapes and sizes.
Model-Driven Planning: Process template "recipes"
Tackling these issues is the key strength of Business Architecture, the dimension of Enterprise Architecture that concentrates on connecting business strategy with IT and process change implementation. In particular it is adept at mapping complex legacy estates, through Capability and Value Stream Mapping et al.
However if this mapping exercise is itself conducted manually then of course it's not as efficient or automated as it could or should be, and this is where Digital Roadmap Toolchains come in, intended to provide this automation.
CurateFx is an example of such a mapping tool and it's primary feature and strength is an approach of "Model-Driven Planning", meaning a repeatable, template-based approach to implementing new roadmap plans, and how it works with and across the TMF knowledge base highlights its general value for all organizations in this regard.
In short the TMF is like many enterprise organizations, it has cultivated a massive knowledge base of best practices, process models et al, the 'Frameworx' TMF knowledge base, all based on years of detailed collaboration between a global consortium of the largest technology spending companies in the world, a veritable gold mine of Telco 'How To' blueprints.
The core challenge is that they're not really blueprints, not yet, but rather individual 'pieces of a jigsaw', a certain best practice that comes to life when it is combined with others that compliment it towards a larger transformation goal. Like a large organization much of these individual pieces are developed within siloes, isolated innovation project groups who produce equally standalone deliverables that don't reference a single, overall architecture or indexing system.
So the forming together of combinations of best practices can be thought of as a process of 'recipe' building, defining a combination template that someone else can easily follow later, and they can be assembled to meet specific transformation goals, for example Building a Digital Marketplace to implement a NFV platform ecosystem.
CurateFx enables you to do this by selecting Frameworx modules to include in your project builder visual interface:
Implementing Platform Models
The TMF also has their finger on the pulse of the 'Platform Business Model'. It's a regular feature of their thought leadership Inform blog, and the knowledge base offers a number of invaluable assets that can help articulate and plan a Platform Ecosystem.
In particular the Milton Keynes case study alone offers a complete reference model for a sophisticated 'DevOps Ecosystem' that blends a developer sandbox environment with onboarding processes, IoT infrastructure APIs and an Apps Store. The TMF has further documented 'Ecosystem Role Models', defining the key activities for participants like software developers publishing and maintaining an API to a certain standard.
This highlights another especially powerful CurateFx feature, the ability model ecosystems including these types of API relationships.
The TMF knowledge base is mainly a collection of valuable but individual intellectual assets, a standards document that addresses one technology scenario for example. These are like 'lego building blocks', their value is only realized when they're used in combination with other pieces that form the other parts of an overall shape.
As CurateFx grows so it will add a further layer of refinement that starts to form these overall connections, joining projects and knowledge base resources into 'recipes' that add an extra integrators process of defining how they can all be used as part of a larger transformation exercise, a planning process that CurateFx enables.