Modern Architectures






Steps to Success through

Modern Architectures





Target Operating Model


What’s Top-of-Mind?


Cloud Provider Capabilities


Data Management & Governance


Staffing & Skill Sets


Ongoing Operations

1. Introduction

Modern Architectures” are a fresh look at how Enterprises pivot towards

the future using both new and existing technologies, specifically cloud


As Salesforce works with some of the largest brands and government

agencies in the world, we have learned that cloud architectures are rooted

in these basic realities:

Agility as a Way of life: rapid prototyping, effective Product Owners, and

visible, defensible backlogs must be supported by the next wave of


Smart “Hybrid”: the data locked in on-premises and legacy systems needs

be quickly “surfaced” to the cloud through lightweight integration, “API

first” thinking, and in-memory analytics (which, in some cases, is cutting

delivery to hours instead of months).

Future-Proof by Design: changing process automation requirements, IoT,

and other data-intensive trends are forcing architectures to evolve rapidly.

Metadata-driven platforms provide the right flexibility to allow Architects

to act instead of react.

Developer Democratization: conventional development approaches are

giving way to “composability” – drag-and-drop application assembly and

functional components that can be “snapped” into the ecosystem. Tooling

needs to continually move up the “food chain” to allow quick assembly of

applications instead of coding them from scratch. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


As Enterprises commit to Modern Architectures, they are faced with a daunting set of decisions and conflicting

messages from cloud providers.

This ebook introduces a simple, “survivable” framework briefly outlining an Enterprise journey through a number

of critical areas, associated aspects of each, and selected go forward best practices. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


Many Enterprises continue to struggle with a number of key Business and IT challenges that are only

exacerbated given the possibilities offered by cloud. It is critical that we understand the true “centers of the

bullseye” by answering these questions:

Backlog: Do you have one? What is the current set of initiatives, strategic

programs and associated success criteria to balance legacy requests

with new business? Taking a hard look at the backlog and setting

regularly-reviewed priorities is a great way to zero in on what is really

important, and course-correct as necessary.

Agility Demands: Are you moving fast enough? What is the delta

between the users’ need for change and IT’s ability to deliver? With nearly

80% of current IT budgets dedicated to “keeping the lights on”, most IT

decision makers are concluding that rapid results imply leveraging cloud.

Architects may have to socialize this message, especially for skeptical

management teams.

Complexity of current portfolio: Does it fit your emerging needs? How

survivable is the current application and infrastructure portfolio? 30+

years of .Net, Java, and similar “big stack” technologies may have served

the business effectively in years past, but continued compatibility

challenges and the plain fact that IT simply cannot sustain complex

infrastructures are leading to a fresh look at emerging trends, including

API-first and Microservices.

Cost: How do you measure? What is the Enterprise’s cost basis for

running IT? Companies often focus on “atomic” savings re: servers,

storage, etc. While this can be an attractive component of the value

proposition, cloud is rarely a “zero-sum” game. The journey of

consolidation, however, typically does result in drastic infrastructure

reduction, but only in the medium-to-long term. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


2. Target Operating Model

arge-scale transformations can be challenging, especially across business

units. Salesforce has found that successful cloud adopters are clear in their

stated approach to organize and conduct decision making, in the context

Lof cloud adoption. Let’s explore this further.

Degree of Standardization of Business Processes: Enterprises are typically composed of business and service

units, municipalities, of agencies, and universities, of departments. However, the amount of process

standardization mandated by the lines of business sets a tone for technology consumption and governance.

Degree of Integration of Business Processes: Integration of key processes is the other dimension to forming the

target operating model. It sets the tone for the overall data strategy, influences the technical integration

approach, and affects the level of what is practical from a design perspective.

This leads to 4 distinct Operating Models*:

• Unification (High for Integration and Standardization dimensions)

• Coordination (High Integration, Low Standardization)

• Replication (Low Integration, High Standardization)

• Diversification (Low Integration, Low Standardization)

The operating model typically indicates other impacts on cloud adoption, including the funding model (i.e.,

budgets run out of the various agencies, Lines of Business (LOB) or department vs. Centrally funded) as well as

the Governance and Center of Excellence (CoE) Models. Salesforce typically sees the following types of CoEs:

Consolidated: Centralized “Command and Control” across IT decision making.

Federated: Centralized decision making for foundational technology approaches, with varying degrees of control

at the LOB level.

*Enterprise Architecture as Strategy, J. Ross, P. Weill, D. Robertson, Harvard Business Press) | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


Confederated: “Laissez faire” or decentralized management and control (note: this is sometimes observed in

early-stage cloud adoptions, but quickly evolves into one of the other traditional models).

Helping thousands of Enterprise customers, Salesforce has repeatedly observed that the lifecycle of a CoE can be

a multi-year process: Enterprises can start small and simple and step into a more robust CoE model over time. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures



Business Process Standardization




Business Process Integration

Low High

• Shared customers, products, suppliers

• Impact on other business unit transactions

• Operationally unique business units

• Autonomous business management

• Business unit control over process design

• Shared customer/supplier/product data

• Consensus process for designing overall

IT services

• App decisions made in business units


• Few, if any, shared customers of suppliers

• Independent transactions

• Operationally unique business units

• Autonomous business management

• Business unit control over process design

• Few data standards across business units

• Most IT decisions made within business units

• Customers and suppliers may be local

or global

• Globally integrated business processes with

support of enterprise systems

• Business units with overlapping operations

• Centralized management applying

matrixed processes and functions

• High-level process owners design processes

• IT decisions made centrally


• Few, if any, shared customers

• Independent transactions aggregated at

a high-level

• Operationally similar business units

• Autonomous business unit leaders with

limited discretion

• Centralized control over process design

• Standardized data definitions but data locally

owned with some central aggregation

• Centrally mandated IT services

What do we care? This area forces consideration of how the go-forward enterprise will truly function,

including the effects of the funding model, governance processes, and transformation scope. It is an

effective check to remind everyone of the foundational design points of the future state of the business. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


3. What’s Top-of-Mind?



he application portfolio can be hugely impacted by compelling business

and technical events on the event horizon. In addition, systems are

morphing, due to user requests and vendor updates.

Salesforce has found that successful cloud adopters are clear in their stated approach to organize and conduct

decision making, in the context of cloud adoption. Specifically:

Key Systems near to “End of Life”: When legacy systems are no longer being supported by the vendor and

plainly need to be decommissioned, this is a common trigger to consider a Modern Architecture-based


Major Systems to be Upgraded: Many Enterprises leverage a major upgrade to a source system (i.e., ERP) to

re-evaluate their long-term direction and consider adding a layer of agility. They may choose to stay with the

source system, retire selected functions, or execute a complete sun setting program.

New Programs: Key strategic initiatives may be straightforward candidates for cloud deployment (i.e., Mobile,

311, Social, IoT, Big Data, large-scale new B2C offerings, etc.). Salesforce has seen this as a common best

practice for Modern Architecture adoption.

Suitability Criteria: As applications are evaluated for cloud deployment, Enterprises can determine suitability

based on a simple set of criteria:

What are the audiences: B2C, B2B, B2B2C? “Elastic” or unknown scale use cases are perfect to pilot in the

cloud, as they can be massively scaled with near-zero effort and no capital outlay.

What are the requirements including time to market, data residency and volume, and rate of change? These

criteria can be “heat-mapped” against business priority to help flush out a set of go-forward priorities. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


Which Integration Patterns are involved?

Designers can catalog the prevalent data access

methods they require (asynchronous vs.

synchronous, data volumes, exception handling)

and then map them against the available toolset.

Why do we care? This analysis quickly

identifies those programs that are

better or worse candidates for cloud

along with high-level application

designs and a go-forward roadmap,

increasing the likelihood of success. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


4. Cloud Provider Capabilities

Trust continues to be common red flag for cloud adoption for Enterprises

of all sizes. While all cloud vendors have had to address this key issue,

Salesforce has seen that the most successful cloud adopters engage cloud

providers with a list of known requirements, and closely partner to

understand their capabilities and forge joint approaches:

Trusted Security: This includes a layered security approach at both application and the infrastructure level.

Enterprises need to understand the key demarcations at each layer of both levels, and understand any gaps

and associated risk mitigation needs. Also critical here are the specific compliance requirements (ISO 27001,

SOC 13, TRUSTe, FedRAMP, PCI, HIPAA) as well as Monitoring, Encryption-at-Rest, and other security topics.

“Always On” Availability: As Enterprises adopt cloud and hybrid postures, an obvious requirement is availability.

How are the candidate providers ensuring reliability, business continuity and transparency of their services,

and now are updates handled?

Performance at Scale: Market leading cloud providers are continually adding capacity, but Enterprises need to

be assured that performance will continue to improve, especially at scale. As multi-cloud, composite

applications continue to proliferate, each link in the chain needs to be performant and scalable.

(Secure) Application Innovation: Enterprise adoption of cloud approaches occurs for many reasons beyond

simple cost savings. Most transformations are centered on innovation and speed and involve emerging best

practices including “API First” and Microservices.

Approach to Multitenancy: Is the Enterprise comfortable with a multitenant approach? Oftentimes, there need

to be multiple discussions between technical, business and cloud provider leadership to fully understand the

benefits of multitenancy and how data is kept operationally safe and technically segregated. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


Why do we care? This major area helps to lay out the basic requirements that the cloud vendor and

Enterprise need to jointly adhere to. Note that Enterprises may not know all of these requirements a

priori - cloud policies tend to expose and clarify many emerging requirements! Such discussions also

help Enterprises to balance practical approaches with their critical needs. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


5. Data Management & Governance

usiness data is the lifeblood of the Enterprise, and the pivot to Modern

Architectures demands that new applications and approaches do not

jeopardize its management. Salesforce advises our customers to explore

Bthese data-focused areas as they continue their cloud adoption journey:

What are the Impacts to Systems of Record (SoR)?: This includes data residency, integration patterns (i.e., ETL,

batch vs. near real-time, etc.). As new apps (including mobile and analytics) accelerate, a clear line of sight

between the SoR and the app needs to be drawn. Salesforce has seen that, in many cases, data-by-reference

approaches (including OData) are an effective way to quickly deliver value with minor SoR impact.

What are Data Lifecycle Approaches? While many cloud adoptions can get mired in “customer master”

discussions, oftentimes simpler, achievable "good enough" data approaches can build momentum when used

with an agility layer. This means that instead of waiting for traditional “golden record” approaches, IT

can quickly deliver apps and continually improve the quality and currency of the data.

What about Internal Infrastructure Requirements? Enterprises need to rationalize internal data internal policies

and “hard” infrastructure impacts (firewall policies, logging, exception handling). Salesforce has seen that such

policies are often out of date and based on the legacy portfolio. The agility layer can accelerate development and

typically leads to increased coordination across the business, IT, security, and infrastructure teams.

SoR Impacts

Infrastructure Data Lifecycle

Requirements Approaches

This set of discussions drives out a partial

data roadmap and identifies practical risks

regarding data quality. It continues to build

maturity across integration strategies and

also surfaces operational concerns, all with

an eye to transparency. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


6. Staffing & Skill Sets



nterprises may find that their IT staffs are not completely equipped for the

migration to Modern Architectures.

areas of focus are discussed below.

New and Modified Roles: As Enterprises accelerate cloud adoption, classical IT roles morph and change. These

roles include Architects, Database Administrators, Environment Management Engineers, and Developers.

Sifting key resource concerns (via CoEs and partnerships with Human Resources) is a critical part

of the cloud planning and adoption process.

Training and Education: What training, education, certification efforts are required for each key role? This

includes the roles listed above, as well as QA Testers, Helpdesk personnel and others. Shrewd Enterprises use

initial projects as incubators to extract best practices and identify gaps in cloud providers’ overall capabilities.

Initial vs. Ongoing Investments: Tactical or strategic System Integration (SI) Partners are often leveraged to

assist in initial projects. Enterprises need to find the right balance between outsourcing and in-house efforts to

meet budgets and timelines and have a vision of what core competencies they truly want to focus on.

New Roles



Why do we care? This helps the Enterprise to

gauge initial resource gaps and identify early

resource risks.

It also assists in identifying the future state of

desired skill sets, investments in (re)-training,




and cost “vectors” when considering

SI partners. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


7. Ongoing Operations



hat are the important areas that Enterprises need to consider to

effectively “survive” and thrive as they adopt cloud-based Modern

Architectures? Salesforce has assisted thousands of customers in

and revising their internal procedures, discussed here.

Change Management: What are necessary adjustments to the Enterprise’s standard change management

processes and standard operating procedures (including Change Advisory Boards and Runbooks)? The

acceleration to Modern Architectures typically challenges the status quo and demands lighter documentation,

with increased process effectiveness. Truly adopting Agile or Lean methods can pave the way here.

Managing Composite and Hybrid Applications: How will monitoring and exception handling change if cloud

and on-premises-based data are all part of the same application? While Salesforce’s product portfolio,

AppExchange partners, and our SI ecosystem have combined to push the envelope on what is possible,

Enterprises continue to help us identify trends and address market needs.

Helpdesk and SLA impacts: Enterprises need to augment their current Helpdesk processes to ensure that all

customers are adequately served. Traditional Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are rapidly dropping in priority

in favor of innovation and automation:

“The entire concept of an SLA is offloading risk, transferring responsibility to another party. In the new

world of applications, unfortunately, that’s not feasible.. Practitioners [will] come to grips with designing

and operating applications to fit the new paradigm of redundant, partitioned components.”

(CIO Magazine:

The key here is continued discussion and partnership with cloud service providers to drive to even greater

transparency and collaboration, from the technical, business, and contract perspectives. | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


1 2 3



Composite App


Helpdesk and SLA


Cloud Provider Review: Enterprises also need to periodically review the cloud provider‘s overall performance

according to the a checklist of business criteria:

• overall performance (uptime, response time)

• resiliency and ability to scale

• feature and function additions

• transparency (esp. with service interruptions)

Why do we care? The operations model of the Enterprise will evolve as cloud adoption increases.

Getting ahead of this and managing it against critical internal Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is

critical to the Enterprise’s ability to be nimble and maximize the value of these new approaches.


Enterprises readying to adopt Modern Architectures via cloud need to understand their internal business and

technical goals and also consider their own maturity and ability to absorb change. An Enterprise armed with

this self-knowledge can move more effectively and achieve sustainable success. Also, considering cloud

vendors who are truly committed to a successful journey is often the difference between just another failed

technology project and true transformation and competitive advantage.

With over 130,000 customers and 16 years building a massively scalable multitenant cloud app platform,

Salesforce has been at the forefront of Modern Architectures, leveraging Enterprise data for sales, service,

marketing, analytics and mobile apps.

Get started now by visiting | Steps to Success through Modern Architectures


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