2021 – “Business Resilience” Winner’s Story
The value of having a common Enterprise Model and language, particularly when challenging investment decisions or highlighting data issues, became increasingly important as our company had to digitally transform.
Country: United Kingdom
Industry: Energy and utilities
Company size: 6000+
Revenue: £1,33 billion
Servicing almost seven million people, Anglian Water is the largest water and water recycling company in England and Wales. Their goal is to drive improved customer service through efficiencies and optimization of their enterprise, and Enterprise Architecture is viewed as a key enabler to do this. Although their core Enterprise Architecture community consists of 32 Architects, Business Analysts, and Change Professionals, over 100 people from the wider business including IT leaders, business experts, and analysts attended their annual Architecture Community event.
Why Covid precipitated the need for risk analysis?
Anglian Water started its Enterprise Architecture journey some time ago, by developing a common Enterprise Model and focusing on community-driven work. This work accelerated through Covid when remote working became the norm. Due to the speed of change during the pandemic, there was an immediate need to bring corporate data sets together such as critical business activities and roles, sickness, and self-isolation data to support efficient decision making.
Their Insight and Analytics team created a Microsoft PowerBI dashboard, but this was a time-consuming process with static datasets which provided a delayed understanding of their risk profile. All the required data had to be exported from separate systems, manually manipulated, and cleaned first.
Some of the critical data were mastered in a stand-alone Microsoft Access database, while employee and sickness data were held in external SaaS systems. Each of these systems formed its ecosystems incorporating data management and reporting, which created issues around data sensitivity, European Union data protection laws, data accuracy, and duplication.
The business got to a point where they needed to understand the data landscape of systems, spreadsheets, and reports used within the resilience function. Led by the Operational Resilience team, they set up several cross-functional ‘cells’ coordinated in a team of teams model adapted from the UK Armed Forces known as ‘J Cells’ to tackle their Covid challenge. They identified the value of data and included the Data Architecture team in their initiatives.
The Data Architecture team wanted to connect relevant datasets in a structured way. More specifically, they wanted to connect the prioritization of digital transformation initiatives and data provisioning to the business through models created in BiZZdesign’s platform.
How the Architecture community ensured a resilient business?
Although the Enterprise Architecture team was first to procure and use BiZZdesign’s platform, they were joined by the Enterprise Data Architecture team who required a tool to create Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs) and ArchiMate models which they could share with the business.
The ERDs highlighted the duplication of master data, as well as the missing connection between Anglian Water’s Employee Workday-master dataset, and the Business Impact Analysis Database which included critical roles and a task-master data set. The team used the ERDs alongside ArchiMate models to show the systems the data was stored in and linked those to their Incident Management capability to demonstrate how these systems had elevated importance within the enterprise.
A new Business Impact Analysis Database was built by the internal Digital Services team in accordance with company policy. This was a collaborative effort and the data modeling relied heavily on Business Resilience support and expertise. The data from this system is made available within the data warehouse for combination with other datasets.
Additionally, curated datasets from the Workday-master dataset are now ingested into the data warehouse to represent the master Employee record. The team was able to use this process as a template for ‘tactical’ modeling, and a way of driving benefit by using architecture tools and processes to help visualize business problems.
“The data work that the Anglian Water team conducted during Covid-19 was the key enabler to ensure that a high level of situational awareness and the best possible decision making could take place, particularly during a very turbulent period in those early days of the pandemic. The insights that this team created allowed several cross-functional ‘cells’ created to tackle the Covid challenge to function correctly, which in turn allowed the business to have the adaptability and agility to navigate a highly complex situation.”
Master modeling platform improves business resiliency, communication
BiZZdesign’s platform is today Anglian Water’s master modeling platform for their Enterprise Model and holds within a master catalog of their goals, capabilities, processes, data subject areas, and applications as ArchiMate elements.
Enabling near-live business resilience reporting
The platform is used to communicate to the business by connecting model elements to catalogs allowing business decisions to influence IT delivery and prioritization. As a result, Employee master data is accessed easily. Critical data is linked to employee data and surfaced through reporting tools in a timelier manner to enable near-live business resilience reporting.
Solving business issues through visibility and communication
The process has also added credibility to the Data Architecture team’s work. They’re now able to solve business issues via the visibility and stakeholder communication provided by ERDs and ArchiMate models.
Reporting on the real-time impact of Covid relating to critical teams and activities
As part of their business response to the Covid pandemic, the team undertook a review of their Business Impact Analysis data and processes, using BiZZdesign’s platform to create a model showing the data relationships and highlighting the best ways to link to other corporate data sets. This allowed them to move data into the Data Lake, supporting the creation of powerful reports to monitor the impacts of Covid-19 on critical teams and the activities in real-time, highlighting areas of risk and informing backfill planning arrangements.