The Payment Directive Services (PSD2) regulation in Europe aims to foster innovation and competition among financial institutions across the industry by mandating that banks create APIs for digital banking transactions that can be used by value-added innovative service providers. Additionally, PSD2 aims to prevent customer lock-in by standardizing account switching capabilities, and to streamline payment processing. Read more
On a recent episode of the BiZZdesign EA Podcast, where we had an invitee from Thames Water, an interesting point was made that enterprise architecture can effectively enable companies to predict the future. I found it quite relevant in our fast–moving world. Nowadays businesses are competing more aggressively than ever, and the marketplace is constantly presenting organizations with new challenges. The result is that they need to operate with a keen eye on the future. Read more
As I discussed in my previous blog and earlier, the capability concept is a great help in defining a good business architecture. It is used ever more widely and rightly so. As I mentioned in that blog, the concept itself is rooted in the defense domain, and from there it permeated various other domains. To quote again from the NATO Architecture Framework: “A capability is the ability to achieve a desired effect under specified standards and conditions. […] In NAF, the term is reserved for the specification of an ability to achieve an outcome. In that sense, it is dispositional – i.e. resources may possess a Capability even if they have never manifested that capability.” Read more
In this recent video, I outlined why enterprise architecture is an essential instrument in improving the capabilities of your organization. The notions of capability and capability-based planning have become quite popular and important in enterprise and business architecture in recent years. But there is also some confusion around this concept, in particular for those who are familiar with the similar concept of business function. In this blog, I want to clarify some of this confusion. Read more
Business capabilities are stable building blocks that define what an organization does. They encompass elements such as people, processes and systems that come together to realize specific functions. Due to their relatively lasting nature and the way they consolidate various cross-domain components, capabilities are a very useful tool for facilitating dialogue between stakeholders on the business and IT sides of the organization. Specifically, by managing and planning the way these capabilities and their constituents interact with strategy, with technology components etc. organizations can better navigate the complexity inherent in any large enterprise’s business-IT landscape. Read more
Even when an Enterprise Architecture practice is present in an organization, it is most often understood to be either strictly preoccupied with the management of IT, or at most with the management of business and IT together, but on a horizontal level. The truth is, however, that mature EA is not only capable but also expected to deliver a vertical line of sights between strategy to execution. This, by definition, entails giving guidance on the direction of investments and the orientation of change programs/projects. Read more
Planning and executing change is a key capability for organizations in this day and age. However, in order to do this successfully, businesses – especially large ones – must overcome the heavy burden of complexity that generally adds up as the organization scales up its operations. Complexity often means that an enterprise has little visibility into the full range of consequences for any proposed change or investment. Read more
Enterprise Architecture Means Business
Perhaps it’s in the name – enterprise architecture. Maybe that’s what prevents business stakeholders from engaging in a more meaningful way with the EA team. Architecture summons images of systems design, technology infrastructure, software development – IT, in other words, and that spells techie guys in the basement. “Definitely not what we’re interested in”, the verdict probably goes. It’s quite possible that’s at least part of the problem. Read more
As the Vice President of Customer Value here at BiZZdesign, it’s my job to work with a great many organizations and identify ways for them to successfully achieve their objectives. This means I deal with big enterprises, small enterprises; companies that have a mature EA practice, or are only just now starting out; from retail to tech, and everything in between. Read more
The past few months have presented both challenge and opportunity for all organizations. The problems are immediate; businesses face financial pressures to sustain an existing cost base in a context of reduced staff availability and reduced revenue. Given the changing social dynamics, the opportunities are numerous. Read more
Living in a new normal
It’s been roughly two months since the Covid-19 pandemic has forced everyone into quarantine. Although the situation is ‘exceptional’, it’s nonetheless starting to feel like a familiar sort of exceptionalism, something you don’t really remark as much anymore. Read more
The Covid-19 effect
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Ameren much the same way it affected other large, Fortune 500 companies. We too have experienced a sudden need to facilitate work-from-home (WFH) conditions for a significant number of our staff; we’ve seen a spike in the number of people that require access to VPN, to videoconferencing capabilities; we’ve even gone through hiring and onboarding new employees exclusively online. Read more
Covid-19 – a trying chapter not the end of the story
As we now realize, the effects of Covid-19 on work and home life have focused our efforts on learning to navigate a new normal. The personal and business impacts of this are evident. On the personal side, we are all learning how to be “Alone, Together” and some of us are adjusting to new WFH colleagues. Read more
(The following is a true story that was shared with us by a current BiZZdesign client. All details have been changed to protect the anonymity of the source.) Read more
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.
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.
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.
Capability-based planning is a growing practice in the field of enterprise architecture. Its success is due to the fact that it provides actual value to practitioners and the organizations that employs them. Indeed, capability-based planning helps in a number of ways, from providing a clear understanding of existing capabilities to promoting effective Business-IT alignment. Considering these benefits, we thought it useful to address this practice and bring some clarity to the subject for the benefit of all who might not yet have a good handle on the topic in this paper.
In my previous blog post (https://bizzdesign.com/blog/a-pattern-for-sizing-archimate-diagrams) I described why it is useful to reduce complexity when creating architecture diagrams. It supports the architect by guiding the creation of diagrams and it supports the reader by not creating overly complex diagrams (too many different types of concepts). Each viewpoint addresses a specific concern, e.g. a capability map to show what the capabilities of a company are. In this blog I will focus on the application layer to provide practical examples using the viewpoint creation pattern described in the previous blog post. The examples are quite generic. They are meant to be used as a starting point for professionals looking to learn more on the subject so they appeal to a large audience.