A great many organizations have migrated their workloads (databases, back office systems, web applications etc.) to the cloud over the last decade or so. A great many more have still to do so, either because they’re dealing with industry-specific regulatory requirements or, more likely, because of the disruption this change would cause. In any case, the benefits of a cloud migration are well-known at this point, so we won’t waste time talking about those.
Our recent blog post on abstraction levels in architecture models resulted in a lively discussion on LinkedIn. As part of that discussion, the notion of layering was questioned, and in particular the layers that are built into the ArchiMate language. In this post I want to clarify the thinking behind the language structure.
One of the biggest challenges in making Enterprise Architecture successful is ensuring proper communication with business stakeholders. Enterprise Architecture is quite often perceived as a discipline of the IT organization (where unfortunately also many EA teams are operating), and the traditional EA diagrams are not always the best visualizations for business stakeholders. To create better alignment with the business organization, it is important to create business-friendly visualizations, both from format and content perspective. This will help in improving the maturity of your EA practice and establish it as an enabler of strategic decision making and continuous change.
Digital transformation initiatives are relatively commonplace these days. That’s because there is a pretty wide understanding that you can’t really keep doing what you’ve been doing and expect to be successful in the long run – not with technology advancing so quickly, consumers being so demanding, and a rapidly falling barrier to entry. That much organizations have internalized. Read more
Organizations today are faced with an ever-increasing speed of change. To enable faster transformation, they implement agile methods, which impact the whole enterprise. Obviously, change need to be communicated, but one cannot document all the details because otherwise they would be outdated the next week, or perhaps the very next day. Read more
In my previous blog post on using the ArchiMate modeling language together with the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), I briefly mentioned the need for modeling the intent of the enterprise. In an agile context, this notion of intent and intentional architecture is quite important. In this blog, I want to explore that further.
How can Enterprise Architecture help your organization become more secure, reliable, and compliant? Read more
Enterprise Architecture and Business Process Management are two change disciplines often closely associated. But how exactly do they relate to one another? Read more
Having the right focus
The customer is the most important variable in the equation of success. Please them and you’ll do well; ignore their needs and desires, especially in this age of speed and lower emotional attachment, and you invariably go out of business. Read more
An enterprise architect friend of mine recently posed an interesting question: “I lead a relatively mature EA practice that delivers good value to our organization. We are digitally transforming the organization and adopting agile ways of working across the enterprise, which is improving our outcomes for individual initiatives. But I am worried these efforts are sometimes wasted on delivering capabilities managers tell us are important, rather than the ones that are truly game-changing. How do I get in front of this, and help lead us to the right strategic outcomes?”
A while back we put out a post meant to give enterprise architects a hand with successfully passing a job interview. In a similar vein, today we’re offering architecture practitioners some great pieces of advice that we’ve come by after consulting with some of the more experienced members of the BiZZdesign team, people who have counseled countless EA practices and successfully carried out a wide range of business change initiatives. Read more
ArchiMate provides a powerful language to visually describe the architecture of an enterprise at different layers – from strategy to implementation. Read more
Cybersecurity is one of the key issues the business world has to deal with, and its importance will only rise. As technology steadily evolves to take over increasingly more aspects of business (and personal) life, the need for security is being made pressingly apparent by incidents such as the breaches at Yahoo and Experian, or the WannaCry ransomware attack. Every year, a huge number of companies are hacked. Here are just some of the most famous cases to give you an idea. The result? Countless people worldwide being affected, with the cost of poor cybersecurity easily running in the millions.
Talent is rare
Well, the right talent is, anyway. As new technologies make their way into the marketplace and their adoption becomes generalized, organizations are experiencing a personnel squeeze that poses a risk to both ongoing operations as well future plans. The newer (and more sophisticated) a technology, the scarcer the talent to support it, and ultimately the more difficult it is for an enterprise to ensure it doesn’t miss out in favor of the competition.
In previous blogs, we have written about the combination of structure and data to create novel insights into your enterprise, and about how this can support creating a Digital Twin of your organization. To reiterate, a digital twin is a digital representation of a real-world entity or system.
All over the world, retailers seem to be having a hard time lately. In the UK, for instance, over the last several years, their woes have become part of the national narrative, alongside the lack of housing, or an underfunded NHS. Whether in the local paper, online or on television, one hears about retailers’ troubles regularly – at times it seems the only thing disappearing faster than retail stores in Britain are the polar ice caps.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the most important new technology today. It has clear use cases, and the value that it’s produced so far is indisputable – just think of the digital assistant on your phone, driverless cars, even Gmail uses it. But it’s no longer the sole remit of huge tech companies. With AI becoming more established, many organizations are starting to get access to and try their hand at running artificial intelligence initiatives. The business world is after all similar to an arms race, and having the latest ‘weapon’ to help you get ahead of competitors is an irresistible prospect. The forecast? A large wave of new AI deployments in the near future… and with it, a lot of heartache.
Making the case for Enterprise Architecture in your organization is not always straightforward. That’s because management and, generally speaking, business stakeholders tend to want numbers up front, which is impossible to calculate beforehand. Now, there are plenty of studies that have been done that prove the value of Enterprise Architecture, but that’s only possible after engaging in the practice.
Today, organizations need to move at speed and adapt their business to a volatile environment, while at the same time dealing with many inside and outside stakeholders and influences, ranging from customers and partners in the ecosystem to regulators, competitors, and the uncertain effects of politics (viz. Brexit or the US-China trade war). To be an adaptive enterprise, business architecture is an indispensable discipline. Without an architectural approach to your business, you will quickly get mired in the myriad changes and effects, without a clear path forward.
It seems like an unlikely pair, doesn’t it – Agile and Enterprise Architecture? Yet, as Agile awakens to the reality of having to move fast but in concert with other parts of the organization, and EA itself becomes more engaging and business goals-oriented, it actually makes a lot of sense to want to combine the two. Both practices bring significant benefits to an organization. Together they promise to unlock efficiencies that would increase business performance to a whole new level. Who could say no to a mix of organizational agility and solid strategic decision making? That would boost any business or digital initiative.