You are operating in a VUCA (volatile, unpredictable, complex, ambiguous) environment. Are you aware of it?
Business ecosystem is getting complex, and your enterprise has to transform itself to thrive in the future. Change is in the form of competition from startups and legacy companies, technology is introducing new business models, customers have higher expectations and regulations are changing fast.
So what do you do?
This is where you incorporate Enterprise Architecture (EA). EA is a way by which businesses plan to adopt and utilize appropriate technology to meet their desired business vision. In other words, EA results alignment of business strategy with technology strategy. EA identifies the primary components in your enterprise and establishes the relationships between them. It then formulates a way to optimize the relationships so that your business derives the optimum value like it needs to.
How does Enterprise Architecture work?
Enterprise Architecture ensures the enterprise and its systems are secure, connected, practical and usable by designing components for function, efficiency and improved user experience. It captures the vision of your enterprise and aligns the business strategy with technology strategy according to four main domains, namely:
- Business Architecture – lays the foundation for an effective technology group. Click here to read more on business architecture
- Data Architecture – lays the foundation for automation, reporting and analytics. Click here to read more on data architecture
- Application Architecture – lays the foundation for UI, integration, workflow. Click here to read more on application architecture
- Infrastructure Architecture – lays the foundation for automated environments and automated platforms. Click here to read more on infrastructure architecture.
Benefits of Enterprise Architecture
EA benefits include, but not limited to, the following:
- IT Cost Reduction
In organizations many things happen where not everyone is constantly busy with thinking: how necessary is what we do in relation to the strategy? When working with EA, every project that is not related to or necessary because of strategy, gets the advice to be stopped.
Rationalizing every solution, based on benchmarks, standards, experience and reference will reduce costs.
Furthermore, having more overviews and insights in dependencies and interrelationships make sure you will eliminate duplication in systems and functions, thereby reducing costs and complexity.
- Reducing miscommunication and misunderstandings
The most well-known benefit of EA is to create common insights and overviews of relationships and interdependencies. This leads to reducing miscommunication and misunderstandings. And also more confidence in making a decision.
- Impact of Change Analysis (What-if Scenarios)
EA affords you the opportunity to visualize and use the knowledge on the impact of change. With this, you can prevent showstoppers in projects better.
- Strategy and Transformation Realization
Enterprise Architecture is most helpful for reviewing, feedback and using the strategy: the strategic priorities and initiatives can be connected to programs and projects that realize them. Architecture can provide the integral blueprints and landscapes for the strategically required concepts, principles, standards and solutions and guide projects with them.
- Standardization and Risk Mitigation
You may want to collaborate seamlessly with other organizations or have your business units efficiently collaborate more together. For instance with one consistent client view.
If you would only have solutions built on open standards, then integrating processes, services and applications are easy to do.
- Reduced Complexity, High Availability
The less diverse an IT landscape is, and the fewer relationships or interfaces there are, the less complex the IT landscape is. Lower complexity leads to higher availability, an improved way of working of the IT landscape and much fewer risks it will fail.
- Better data gathering and reporting
Improved overviews and insights in dependencies and interrelationships results in clear data flow processes. This results in improved data capturing, processing and reporting
- Process and Capability Improvement
The fundamental lean redesign of chains of activities, complex services and products requires global and detailed insights and overviews. Architecture visualization can quickly provide information on the impact of change a redesign of a process, service or product has.
When processes are improved, fewer mistakes are made, resources are used more efficiently and effectively and customers and clients immediately will experience the improvement.
- Improved innovation
Working with Enterprise Architecture leads to increasing the ability to change and transform.
You may want to implement new technologies and concepts like artificial intelligence, block chain and IoT in order to innovate your business model.
Having EA documented and used in projects, ensures that you know exactly how everything is currently configured, related and works in your organization and what the impact of change on anything is in the near future.
With that, the infrastructure or outdated standards and technologies that may be blocking innovation can be removed or phased out step by step. With EA you really become ready for the future.
- Better services and quality
Every process, service, system or infrastructure that is not adding value to the business model or strategy, gets flagged to be stopped. This significantly reduces complexity and with that increases stability and overall quality.