Alliander’s Business Architecture brings resiliency and agility to digital transformation initiatives

Alliander’s Business Architecture brings resiliency and agility to digital transformation initiatives

“Business Resilience” Finalist

Business Capabilities are at the heart of our Business Architecture and it helps to cut through complexity by providing a common vocabulary of what is common across our business. This provides an enterprise-wide overview from a business perspective, and it is the ‘Rosetta stone’ for digital business.

Martijn van Glabbeek, Product Manager,  Quality and Business Architecture, Alliander  


Country: Netherlands
Industry:  Energy and utilities
Company size:  
Revenue:  $ 1,9 billion


  • Business capabilities create organizational transparency
  • New digital solutions to facilitate change at speed
  • Application portfolio and data management abilities increase resiliency
  • Improved collaboration between colleagues and business partners

Alliander is the largest grid operator in the Netherlands and provides the infrastructure and services for the distribution of electricity, natural gas, and heat. The energy industry is transitioning from gas and heating to electricity. With more consumers installing solar panels and with wind farms being built to generate electricity, the utility provider is looking for smarter ways to transport electricity into their infrastructure and for deploying digital transformation initiatives. BiZZdesign’s platform is helping their Enterprise Architecture team to gain vital insights to ensure that they remain future-ready and business resilient.

Why Alliander wants to be resilient and support future change?

Alliander is under time pressure to perform activities to adapt to a move towards electrification in the energy industry. In the coming 10 years, Alliander has to perform the amount of work equal to the past 40 years. They’re also continuously faced with challenges to reduce costs on their infrastructure and they, therefore, have to plan investments wisely.

The utility provider subsequently introduced a Digital Business Program to make the most of the capacity in their network. This program has 140+ autonomous scrum teams in six digital programs working on creating digital solutions – all at the same time. These teams work on shared platforms like SAP, Salesforce, and GIS.

Alliander wanted to connect all their digital solutions to understand how new initiatives interact with legacy infrastructure, to connect different competencies of IT and business, as well as to improve processes. They turned to BiZZdesign’s platform to give them insights about their architecture, and for all their diversified teams to communicate change in a common language. Their ultimate goal was to ensure that all their teams had a common vision for the future to speed up change initiatives.

How a resilient Business Architecture supports digital change

Using BiZZdesign’s platform, Alliander designed a Business Architecture with use cases that provide meaningful insights to the business. At the heart of the Business Architecture is a Business Capabilities Model which eliminates complexity among its diversified teams by providing a vocabulary of what is common across the business.

The Business Capability Model consists of three capability roadmaps or tracks that link to diverse enterprise structures and data repositories via APIs.  These capability roadmaps focus on:

  • Capabilities and processes linking to the current objectives, goals, strategies, and measurers
  • Systems architecture to translate future visions and customer wishes into capability development over time; and
  • Redesigning business digitization with end-to-end processes.

These roadmaps answer the questions: what do we need, and what are the investments that we need to make to get there? With a strong Business Capability Model in place, the teams conduct analyses and obtain valuable data-driven insights to support digital transformation initiatives. They continuously add data and insights to the Business Capability Model to help them understand the value of their portfolio and the impact of their work on the portfolio. Stakeholders navigate through the Business Architecture with multiple suitable visualization options in real-time.

A resilient Business Architecture ensures a future-ready business  
Alliander has embraced BiZZdesign’s platform to create a resilient and future-ready Business Architecture – at scale and speed.

Business capabilities create organizational transparency   
Business capabilities provide an enterprise overview from a business perspective and create a narrative of ‘what the company does. Capabilities are easily recognizable and enable all stakeholders to communicate on Alliander’s strategic mission.

New digital solutions to facilitate change at speed  
Alliander has the ability to analyze their processes ensuring that their organization remains efficient. They identify ‘waste’, as well as opportunities of where to digitize or automate their processes. As a result, new digital solutions are introduced based on data-driven decisions to make the most of the available capacity in the network.

Application portfolio and data management abilities increase resiliency  
Alliander utilizes its Business Architecture for application portfolio management allowing them to plan for investments and to construct future capabilities. They’re also empowered with improved data and privacy management and they can identify data objects in activities and classify it as  ‘privacy sensitive’ or ‘new risks’.

Improved collaboration between IT and the business, and partners  
The Business Architecture enables meaningful conversations between business, IT, and the stakeholders of their digital transformation program. By using a common language, the team works better internally but also with their partners in the eco-system ensuring successful projects with other grid operators in the Netherlands relating to the energy transition.

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