7 Powerful Analysis Techniques to Get More Business Value from Your Models

Jul 20, 2017
Written by
Marc Lankhorst
Marc Lankhorst

7 Powerful Analysis Techniques to Get More Business Value from Your Models

Strategists, architects, process experts, software developers, data managers and other professionals involved in changing the enterprise often put substantial effort in creating all kinds of useful models of their designs. In many cases, such business models, enterprise architecture models, business process models, software models, data models and more are only used to specify some design, i.e., to describe what should be built. But there is much more value to be had from these models, by using powerful analysis techniques to create new insights. In my upcoming blog posts, I will cover 7 of those analyses, show you how Enterprise Studio supports them, and discuss the business outcomes you can support in this way.

7 powerful analysis techniques to create business value

  1. Impact analyses that traverse the structure of your models to assess, for example, the business importance of applications, the contribution of change initiatives to strategic objectives, or the enterprise-wide effects of changes.
  2. Dependency analyses that explore the coherence between architecture elements. What are the critical elements of your architecture, where do you run risks, what are bottlenecks?
  3. Process analyses that look at the efficiency of your business processes. What are the critical paths in your processes and how can you improve the throughput?
  4. Lifecycle analyses to address the evolution of your enterprise over time. How can you plan change initiatives and control the lifecycle of the elements in your architecture landscape, taking care of dependencies between for example different projects, the processes and systems they realize or change, and the desired business outcomes?
  5. Business value and technical value analyses for application portfolio management. How important is an application for your organization, and how well does it do its job?
  6. Financial analyses, for example in application cost calculations or project portfolio management. Where do you spend your money and is this aligned with your business goals?
  7. Risk, security and compliance analyses, for example in the context of regulatory compliance, privacy and cyber security.

Of course, you can also use these techniques in combination, and I will show examples of this as well.

Provide business focused information on the health of your IT landscape with Impact Analyses
To kick off this series, let’s start with one of the most common types of analyses: impact analysis. Enterprise Studio supports you in traversing the relationships within your models in a very easy to use manner: simply walk through the Navigator from one element to another, possibly across multiple relationships and even different types of interconnected models. When you arrive at the element you were looking for, use the context menu to select for example a Color or Label view.

As an example, see the screenshot below. Here, we navigated from a capability to the underlying applications, via the business processes and functions in between. The resulting color view shows how the capabilities of the enterprise depend on support by these applications. This can be used to find which capabilities rely on which applications, to see where the impact of replacing an application may be. Of course, in creating these types of analysis you pay close attention to the different types of relationships that you traverse. This is also where the power of ArchiMate and other modeling languages comes to the fore: because of the specific meaning of the different relationship types, you can perform these analyses at a level that would be completely impossible when you create pictures with simple boxes and lines in e.g. PowerPoint.

Download our VIVAT customer story and discover how VIVAT rationalized their application landscape and reduced costs.

Analysis Techniques – Impact Analysis

This kind of analysis can easily be extended to address more advanced questions. First, note that when you create a color view, it appears as an unsaved viewpoint in the viewpoints browser (here at the bottom left of the screenshot). This is in fact a script in the built-in scripting language of Enterprise Studio, which can be edited and augmented in many ways, and saved as part of your model. With these scripts, you exploit can the semantics of the modeling languages supported by Enterprise Studio to the full.

Several of these and other analyses can be combined in multi-level metrics that provide business-focused information on the make-up and health of your IT landscape. This is useful input for application and project portfolio management, and for prioritizing and planning the requisite changes. Later in this series, I will address this use of analyses in portfolio management in more detail.

Of course, there are many more ways to use this kind of analysis. Please let me know how you have used this, and stay tuned for the next installments in this series!