In our previous blog, we shared our top 6 tips on how to operationalise corporate strategy. In this blog, we take the ‘how’ to the next level, sharing how enterprise architecture can provide immediate impact. We’re often helping organisations transform, whether it’s through technology or by supporting their digital transformation journey, we’re involved in providing end-to-end solutions for our clients. The most efficient and comprehensive way to do that is by leveraging business-outcome-driven Enterprise Architecture.
What is Enterprise Architecture?
In our world, enterprise architecture is the blueprint for organisational success. It is a discipline that proactively and holistically leads enterprise responses to disruptive forces. It does this by identifying and analysing the execution of change toward the desired business vision and outcomes. That means bringing together the IT infrastructure, data flows, business solutions, processes, KPIs, and any other areas of concern and aligning those to overarching strategic goals and objectives to ensure all the elements are architected to ebb and flow seamlessly together.
The Four Pillars
We consider four key pillars when it comes to Enterprise Architecture:
1 – Business Architecture
Business Architecture is concerned with the functional relationship of the enterprise with its environment in view of its purposeful and gainful activities (the business model). This includes its products and services, customers (and the interaction/relationship with them), the economic model underlying the business, and the relationships with the enterprise (sales channels, market, competitors, social environment, stakeholders). Enterprise architects can help executives and product owners articulate the business direction, goals and targeted outcomes while relating those to the ecosystem in which the business operates.
2 – Organisation architecture
This relates to the internal arrangement of the enterprise (the operating model), including processes, employee behaviour, enterprise culture, management/leadership practices, and various structures and systems, such as accounting, purchasing, payment, or employee evaluation. Organisation architecture helps create a shared understanding and busts organisational silos through capability maps, value streams and roadmaps. It also provides governance and measures, ensuring salient investments align with corporate objectives.
3 – Information Architecture
Data resides at the core of every organisation. Whether it’s the structure and quality of data, the management of data (gathering, storage, distribution), or the utilisation of data, information architecture guides the way information (or better, ‘data’) must be used and handled.
4 – Information Technology Architecture
Understanding how your IT architecture can unleash new efficiency, demands an enterprise-wide perspective to uncover and understand the knowledge, methods, and physical resources used to disperse information across your organisation. We look under the bonnet of hardware, software, networks, and other infrastructure components to recommend solutions to promote and expedite scalability, security and future-proof infrastructure.
By mapping out the range of software applications operating across your application portfolio, we can document interactions and supporting processes to guide technology decisions. This enables us to quickly identify solutions that enhance operational efficiency and agility and those that don’t.
What are the benefits of Enterprise Architecture?
- Strategic Alignment – a unified strategic direction
- Unified Perspective – a comprehensive and independent view
- Agility and Adaptability – knowing how and when to act and respond
- Managing Risk – Identifying vulnerabilities and ensuring compliance
- Optimising Cost – directing investment towards strategic initiatives
- Innovation – identifying opportunities to use technology to do more with less
Want to know how to shape your end-to-end future through Enterprise Architecture?