Reference architecture

What is reference architecture?  

Reference architecture is the blueprint you use to put the pieces of a puzzle together. It is:  

  • what we have learnt from past projects (best practices) 
  • known standards 
  • observations from surveys 

It is continuously revised to give you new insights.  

What is it for? 

You use reference architecture to promote the reuse of common assets, and identify gaps in capability.  It does this by: 

  • creating common language for consistent communication within the organisation 
  • outlining all capabilities needed to achieve the best outcome 
  • improving the ability of systems or software to exchange and make use of information  
  • establishing standard systems 
  • establishing a common way to exchange information. 

How do I use it?  

Identify the problem space and have a clear understanding of the strategic position and architectural vision.  

For example, enabling the electronic delivery of documents can impact on your customers experience and storage.  You should consider whether: 

  • cloud might be the right direction 
  • your organisation is mature enough for it. 

When you understand the problem, it is possible to search for reference architecture that can solve it, e.g. cloud storage and electronic content management reference architectures. You can then adapt it as you need.  

The reference architecture presented here has been developed by agencies with respect to: 

  • their solution landscape 
  • overall strategy.  

When using reference architecture, you'll need to consider your own agency strategy, ecosystem, and project constraints.