Deconstructing the automated Architecture of Vector Ltd., New Zealand

Updated: Dec 12, 2020


One of the more interesting articles that came across my attention recently is “Automating Architectures for Rapid Delivery and Governance at Scale’. This is about a Program at Vector Ltd., New Zealand. Vector is the largest Utility/Energy company in New Zealand. The author describes how they went about automating Software development architectures.

Enterprise Architecture is understandood in a wholesome manner when we apply the Zachman Framework and understand the Anatomy of Enterprise Strategies, the Business Process Anatomy that enable them, Anatomy of the Systems that support the processes, Anatomy of the Technical component specifications, Anatomy of the Implementation and the Operational Instance.

Anatomy of the Enterprise Strategy

What are the Strategies for the Enterprise here? Elements of the Strategy will consist of Goals, Business Services, Data, Location, Timing and Role.

Let us understand the Organisational Goals:


· Minimise unexpected costs,

· Manage cybersecurity risks.

The above Goals affect the following Business Services:

· electricity and gas distribution,

· smart metering,

· LPG wholesaling,

· fiber connectivity

· commercial new energy solutions.

At the various Location of: New Zealand

The Goals are set and managed as per the Business Cycles of: Digital Capital Plan

Business Process Anatomy

How are the Business Management and Departmental Functions structured to realise the above Strategies here? Elements of the Business Management will consist of Departmental Goals, Business / Departmental Functions, Business Data, Business Locations, Business event triggers, cycles, and Departmental / External Roles.

This Project is primarily to solve the IT Departmental Problem.

Let us first understand the Business Management Goals for IT:

· Reduce project delays due to incompatible technologies,

· To deliver safely at speed

The above Goals are set to be realised by the Business Processes/Dept. Functions:

  • Software Design

  • Enterprise Architecture,

  • Software Delivery:

  • Agile Development

  • DevOps Delivery

Anatomy of the Systems

How are the Systems structured to support the above Business Processes / Departments? Elements of the Systems are System Goals, System Functions, Logical System Data, System Locations, System Times and System Use cases / Roles.

The above Business Processes are enabled by the Systems Functions:

· software-defined reference architectures

· automated testing.

System goals:

· Automation of Reference Architectures

· convergence of the engineering and architecture processes.

· conformance to our architecture standards

Anatomy of the Technology Components and what are their Specifications?

How are the Technical Components specified to support the above Systems? Elements of the Technology Specifications are Technology Rules, Technology component Functions, Physical System Data, Network Component Processing Cycles and User Interfaces.

The above Systems are enabled by the Technology Component Specifications:

· CI/CD pipeline,

· Reference Architecture Templates (RATs)

· pipeline of pipelines known as the RAT Pipe

Tech Goals:

· Automated software creation

· Automated delivery pipelines

Tech Timings:

· multiple times daily deployment to Production

Anatomy of the Implementation

How are the Technical Components configured to implement the above Technical Specifications? Elements of the Implementation are Configuration Rules, Tool / Software Functions, Database Tool configurations, Network Software / Hardware Configurations, Event Processing Tool Configuraions and User Interface Tool Set ups.

The above Technical Components are configured using the Component Funcions:

· set of scripts implemented using a tool like Ansible define the behavior of the pipelines for each of the lifecycle events

· The RAT Framework defines a lifecycle for the products built from RATs, from creation to destruction, and the scripts.

infrastructure as code,

· pipelines as code,

· software-defined networking,

Anatomy of the Operational Instance

What does the instance of the Implementation that has become Operational? Elements of the Operational Model are Operational Performance Measures, Operational Function Instances, Actual value of the Information items, Actual Locations, Actual Operational Cycles, and Operational Roles

Operational Goals:

· scaled our digital capital plan from $17m in FY18 to $44m in FY20.

· developers within the teams have reported tasks that previously consumed two weeks can now be performed in fifteen minutes.

This analysis permits us to look for completeness or lack of the Transformation at each stage. Efforts should also be made to Link, Map and establish connectivity between like elements across the Transformation stages i.e Dependency between Business Services, Business Processes, System Functions, Technical Component Specs, Software / Hardware/Network Configurations. This will bring out all inconsistencies and ensure success of the Initiative.

In November 2019, Vector won global awards for Digital Architecture and Digital Governance at the ICMG Enterprise, Digital and IT Architecture Excellence awards. You can read the original Article at the following site Vector's Original Article


The Aim of this Blog is to highlight the use of Architecture Deconstruction techniques. It is not the intention of the Blogger to rate or otherwise evaluate the Architecture of the System presented herein. The ideas and views presented in this Blog Post are the result of Architecture Deconstruction by the Blogger and as such may not be found directly or indirectly in the original Article. Architecture Deconstruction lets us understand and highlight architecture elements and architecture perspectives that may be available in various formats like model, text, image etc.,

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