A Multilevel Model of IT Platforms for the Needs of Enterprise IT Landscape Analyses


Conceptual modeling supports analyses of IT artifacts and the enterprise action system they are embedded in. However, in this paper it is argued that for IT landscape analyses existing modeling approaches fall short due to, among others, (a) problems with accounting for specifics of the IT domain, e.g., an elaborate technical terminology with various hierarchy levels, and (b) inadequate support for automated analyses within and across those different levels. In this paper, the authors discuss how a designed multilevel model of IT platforms created using the multilevel modeling language FMMLx can help overcome these problems. To this end, limitations of IT platform models created with conventional, two-level modeling languages are shown. Furthermore,  benefits resulting from the application of the selected multilevel modeling language are discussed.

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  1. 1.

    The semantically richer the modeling concepts are, the higher the potential productivity gain as domain-specific concepts do not have to be reconstructed from scratch. However, increasing the semantic richness of the modeling concepts lowers the range of their applicability across different contexts. Hence, semantic richness lowers language reuse. Conversely, the more generic the modeling concepts are, the wider their range of reuse. However, this genericity implies a lower semantic richness and hence, a lower productivity of the modeling process.

  2. 2.

    Deferred instantiation allows to define on each level of abstraction invariant commonalities which are relevant for our purposes, and deferring their instantiation to some not directly proceeding lower level.

  3. 3.

    Virtualization of hardware resources is a common feature of mainframes, in particular it allows (1) to offer redundant (virtual) partitions, which helps with fault tolerance, and (2) to help distributing the ample hardware capabilities offered by a mainframe into smaller, more manageable pieces.


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Correspondence to Monika Kaczmarek-Heß.

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Accepted after two revisions by Prof. Dr. Matthes.

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Kaczmarek-Heß, M., de Kinderen, S. A Multilevel Model of IT Platforms for the Needs of Enterprise IT Landscape Analyses. Bus Inf Syst Eng 59, 315–329 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-017-0482-4

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  • IT landscape analyses
  • Multilevel modeling
  • FMMLx