IT Landscape Diagram Definition

What does IT Landscape Diagram mean?

What is an IT Landscape, IT Landscape Diagram, IT System or Technical Diagram? Read the Dragon1 Term Definition.

In The last ten years a new term has made its way into our organizations. First just a few, but now a lot of large to medium enterprises (LMEs) have an IT Landscape or Technical Diagram on their premises to manage IT risks. But what exactly is an IT Landscape, what is landscape meaning and why do organizations (should) have or use it?

Landscape Definition

An IT Landscape is a simplified Dragon1 architecture drawing, mainly at a logical level, showing the structure and workings of IT in an organization. In more detail, an IT landscape diagram is the visualization of the types of available IT Assets of an organization, i.e. the set of computer software and hardware plus 'connected' things. Arranged in a specific configuration that serves as the current IT Infrastructure to support the business operation of an organization, preferably in an optimal way.

As an IT Landscape Diagram presents a technical view of IT and not a functional view. Therefore often the information systems of the organization are not visible or clear in the IT Landscape. Although the diagram may show many parts of the Information Systems.

Example IT Infrastructure Blueprint Diagram

An example visualization of an IT Infrastructure Blueprint is shown here below. You see an overview of the type of assets and the actual assets. Not the concepts, principles, rules, or standards.

dragon1 it infrastructure architecture blueprint

IT Legacy and Innovation

As every IT Landscape is created over a period covering different IT Technology ERAs, it is very interesting to see what the legacy IT systems are and what the new IT systems are in your IT Landscape. This situation increases the complexity of your IT Landscape and should be managed well. Especially where the old and new IT systems connect, things can get very complicated. Create an IT Landscape Diagram to get an overview of this and use it to manage the risks.

Saving Costs with an IT Landscape Diagram

Two well-known ways of saving costs using an IT Landscape Diagram are:

1. By knowing when the end of life of IT assets is, helps to prevent disinvestments. This means you only replace IT assets when they are fully worn out and not before the end-of-life date.

2. By standardizing and normalizing your IT assets the complexity will be reduced, IT issues will decrease and the necessary IT asset knowledge for IT service management will be reduced, leading to lower costs for your IT Landscape in the end.

IT Landscape vs IT Infrastructure vs IT Architecture

An IT Landscape Diagram shows an overview of all the IT assets of the organization, only with less detail than an IT Infrastructure Diagram. An IT Infrastructure Diagram would show the actual assets, and an IT Landscape is about the type of assets. It is also not an IT Architecture Diagram. An IT Architecture Diagram shows the concepts, principles, norms, standards, and guidelines to which the IT Landscape must or should comply.

An Application Landscape Diagram can be seen as a subset of the IT Landscape Diagram focusing on applications only.

IT Management using the IT Landscape

IT Management has a lot of benefits from having an IT Landscape available. Below we mention three common benefits:

  • Improving business information management
  • Seeing the end of life of applications and other resources, so you know when you can renew or innovate your IT Infrastructure.
  • Having an overview of on-premise source versus outsourcing (SAAS-based) services.

Uncommon but getting more popular is visualizing the IT security measures and other processes in the IT Landscape Diagram. What you do is visualize the process of monitoring and risk management concerning a certain IT asset, like how often a firewall is checked on policy compliance.

Online Real-Time View of the IT Landscape

Today organizations need to be able to react quickly to situations and issues. With that, the need for an online real-time IT Landscape arises. Dragon1 provides you with the ability to have an online real-time IT Landscape Diagram available.

Why don't all Organizations have an IT Landscape Diagram?

Four reasons often play a role in an organization not having an IT Landscape Diagram, and thus spending more time, money, and resources on IT assets than necessary:

  • There is not enough knowledge, in the form of IT architecture present in the organization
  • Organizations are caught up in strategic change so no one has time to be busy with creating an IT Landscape Diagram
  • The IT Landscape is (thought to be) too complicated to be put in a single overview
  • The organization does not have all its tactical (business information management) processes in place. When costs on IT assets are reported an IT Landscape Diagram is either easy to create or used to calculate the costs.

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