Earlier this year, we published a blog about how enterprise architects can contribute to innovation. In this blog series, we want to further explore the different roles enterprise architects can play in innovation in their organization. In general, we see an increasing need for and contribution of an architectural perspective on innovation. That’s because most large organizations have become pretty complex beasts and innovating there is not always easy. Lots of moving parts need to be coordinated but not many people have the necessary overview. This is typically where enterprise architecture can add value.
Across the globe, Enterprise Architecture teams deliver three key organizational functions. Firstly, they provide understanding of their current organization; this enables the organization to effectively control and regulate its existing operating model. Secondly, those teams provide a window into the organization’s potential, insight into where value can be found and unlocked, and an insight into the future. Thirdly, EA teams drive, enable and support the iterative improvement of this direction setting insight, and with that they translate strategy into reality, creating real business value.
In today’s business landscape, effective transformation is critical for enterprises to stay competitive. By definition, transformation happens over time.
Enterprises (or some subsection thereof) have a current state which needs to change for the better. That change – however small or large – results in a different future state. With the widespread adoption of Agile working practices and DevOps-based continuous delivery, these changes can be very small and very frequent.
-Nick Reed and Bart Molenkamp
Previously, I have blogged about stakeholder management and showed you some useful techniques to support this important part of enterprise architecture. In this blog post, I want to address different ways to share architecture information with different types of stakeholders involved in changing your enterprise.
In modern enterprises, change is no longer a simple, top-down affair. All levels of the organization need to be involved, and everyone from shop-floor employees to the CEO need to work on local improvements to business processes. Lean projects and agile product development teams must rapidly innovate digital environments, strategists need to invent and experiment with new business models, project and program portfolio managers have to decide on investment allocations, and those responsible for domains like risk management and regulatory compliance have to do their part. This “all hands on deck” approach requires enterprise-wide transparency and visibility of plans, structures, opportunities and constraints.
Defining a good strategy is difficult, especially in this rapidly moving digital world. But realizing your strategy is even more complicated. After all, how do you ensure a strategy is implemented in a coordinated, coherent way? How do you manage all of the moving parts?
The effective use of digital technologies for Digital Transformation is paramount in a competitive environment. To succeed, you don’t need a separate digital strategy; you need a business strategy for the digital age. But digital transformation is difficult to manage because it requires you to change many moving parts of your enterprise, much like redesigning and rebuilding an airplane while in flight.
In today’s turbulent business environment, organizations need to be excellent at designing and implementing change. The ‘Digital Enterprise’ requires continuous innovation, which means that organizations are in a constant state of flux. At the same time, they need to stay in control. They have to deal with regulatory pressure, financial constraints, and the risk of disturbing their going concern while implementing major change.
Information Mapping – Business Blueprints are an essential instrument in every business architect’s toolbox. The Guide to the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge (BIZBOK Guide®) defines four core business architecture domains: Value Streams, Capabilities, Organization and Information.
Dependency Analysis – In my previous blog post, I outlined the value of using analysis techniques to get more business value out of your models. I described one of the most common analysis techniques, impact analysis, and showed how color views and heat maps can be used to depict, for example, the use of applications to support capabilities.
In the past, my colleagues and I have written several blogs on the combination of enterprise architecture and agile ways of working (e.g. Enterprise Architecture and Agile Development: Opposites Attract?, Enterprise Architecture and Innovation: A cultural change, Escaping the Jaws of the Project Monster). In this blog, I want to focus in more detail on the use of the ArchiMate language in the context of agile methods, in particular the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). Read more
A useful technique for service design and innovation is the Service Blueprint. It is related to customer journey maps (see our previous blog) in its emphasis of customer touchpoints, but focuses more on the realization of services by underlying activities and less on the quality of the customer’s experience. Read more
Many organizations with large legacy application landscapes can no longer postpone a major overhaul of their IT. But how do you avoid creating tomorrow’s legacy today all over again? And how do you spend your IT budget in the most sensible way? Next to appropriate design and development practices (e.g. enterprise architecture, agile and DevOps, as we addressed in our previous blog) you need to manage your application portfolio as a whole, to decide where it is most important to invest.
In a previous blog on the ‘Digital Customer Intimacy’ strategy of our example insurance company ArchiSurance, we outlined that they intend to use more detailed customer data to improve customer interaction and satisfaction, and to determine customized insurance premiums. To this end, they want to use the Internet of Things, acquiring data from smart, connected devices such as personal fitness trackers, black boxes in vehicles, home automation gateways, fleet management systems, in-store RFID devices, or smart building sensors.
As we have seen in the previous blog, ArchiSurance wants to establish several new capabilities to support its ‘Digital Customer Intimacy’ strategy, such as Digital Customer Management, Data-Driven Insurance, Data Acquisition, and Data Analysis. Positioning these in the context of its current capabilities leads to the following figure, using the ‘highlight’ function of Enterprise Studio to emphasize these new elements. Read more
In our previous blog, we outlined the relationship between business strategy and capabilities at a high level. But we have not given you any guidance yet as to how to create a good overview of your capabilities. In this blog we look at why identifying capabilities is important for organizations, how they can be defined, how to classify them, and how to include them in a capability map.