Enterprise Architecture is about business and technology alignment. It ensures business strategy and outcomes are translated into the best possible solutions to meet business demand.
It is the discipline of optimising fragmented technology into an integrated environment that is responsive and supportive of your business strategy.
Enterprise Architecture creates clear and shared goals between the business and IT and a clear line of sight between business outcomes and IT execution, putting the business and IT on the same page.
Basically the role of Enterprise Architect is to act as the glue that binds your technology investments to your business strategies.
The need for change drives the requirement for Enterprise Architecture.
If you are a senior Decision Maker (CEO, COO, CIO, CFO, etc.) the chances are that you are already involved in decisions around complex IT transformation projects. On that basis Enterprise Architecture is an important area for you to consider and understand.
Businesses are continually evolving and responding to demand and this demand requires investment. To understand the impact of investment you need to make key decisions around technology choice, scope and outcomes.
Without this you cannot plan and manage. If you cannot plan and manage you are unlikely to be successful.
Enterprise Architecture allows Decision Makers to get a handle on this by addressing the following key questions:
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do, why you’re going to do it and in what sequence, Enterprise architecture enables you to govern and manage change effectively using established and proven methodologies (e.g. Togaf and Zachman).
The simple truth is that nowadays every business is dependent on Information Technology.
The business world has become a technology arms race in which everyone must engage. Success and often survival are now determined by investment choices being made in technology.
Change is just a given. Enterprise Architecture allows you to be in control of the change agenda.
The alternative is to be at its mercy.
You’ve probably seen what happens to those who embrace and manage change. They’re the new entrants who disrupt sectors and upset the established order of things.
Unencumbered by bloated, complex and fragmented legacy architectures, they’re able to leverage digital and create agile enterprise architectures long before established players can respond.
Even when established businesses do respond, their response is often a panicked knee jerk reaction. Money is poured into large programmes without a clearly defined scope and outcome or even worse, multiple projects that are completely unaligned.
Large programmes rumble on, consuming all existing investment planning and capital. Costs spiral out of control, project plans become huge and unwieldy. Re-planning takes weeks.
Multiple, competing projects operate in silos with no common goal, they deliver multiple versions of the same thing on incompatible technology stacks.
Eventually the overriding need is simply to deliver something, anything! - whatever it is.
Without an Enterprise Architecture business change is less likely to be successful. Programmes fail or don’t deliver what is required, costs spiral out of control, and parallel and competing initiatives deliver poorly aligned solutions and result in technical debt.
Change becomes more difficult, expensive and sometimes impossible to deliver. Businesses fall behind unable to respond to change and adapt to be successful.
The need for Enterprise Architecture services differs by business IT scale and business type. There is no one size fits all approach.
For example, businesses focussed on providing technology driven services in constant flux to millions of consumers such as telecommunications will have different requirements to organizations that are looking to digitalise more established processes such as supply chain businesses.
Some businesses will have mature Enterprise Architecture practices, already evolved by the need to deliver at scale, sometimes across hundreds of projects per year.
Whereas smaller or less complex organisations might be in the process of realising that investment planning needs to be underpinned by a clear set of outcomes and plan to succeed.
Below are some typical scenarios triggering the need for enterprise architecture:
Each organization will have different reasons and objectives for their IT change initiatives. Equally, each of your stakeholders will have a slightly different view and expectations.
No matter whether you are at the very early planning stages or are stuck in the weeds on an increasingly frustrating change project, we will assist you in putting forward a compelling Business Case to your Board and senior stakeholders.
Here are some examples of the benefits our services will deliver to these key individuals:
Ultimately success in terms of effective Enterprise Architecture translates into direct business outcomes such as:
Enterprise Architecture is a rigorous discipline that has been tested to destruction and proven to work in organizations of all sizes.
There are a number of established and recognised frameworks and for applying Enterprise Architecture from Togaf to Zachman. The frameworks inform the process to be used and the key artefact needed to support the process.
All Mosaic Island Enterprise Architects are Togaf certified which means that you can depend on us to deploy experienced practitioners to address your situation.
Ultimately the process is always follows a consistent process:
These steps are applied and iterated continually. They are circular, not linear.
Frameworks provide guidance on process (e.g. Togaf ADM) and the key artefacts required at each stage of the process.
Whilst frameworks are helpful, they are not designed to be followed slavishly, an experienced Enterprise Architect consultant will tailor the approach based on circumstance and use their judgement throughout the change process.
Our approach consists of three distinct phases which provide a logical and controlled path to defining a successful Enterprise Architecture outcome. They are:
This is all about understanding and articulating the question or challenge that you are looking to address. This is key to ensuring that the scope of analysis is clearly defined and provides an anchor against which all subsequent analysis recommendations are based.
A short, sharp exploration and analysis of the problem, requirement or question that needs to be addressed. A lightweight approach to clearly framing the scope and requirements of the business challenge.
A report clearly articulating the requirement in the form of a problem statement, scope and central pivotal question framed in business and IT terms. An initial view of scope, options and recommendations and clarity of requirement.
It provides confidence that the right question is being asked and that the scope is understood and articulated. It provides high-level, actionable insight based on IT and industry knowledge and best practice and is an independent view of what can be achieved and the options available.
Once you know that you are asking the right question you can determine the answer based on expert, fact-based analysis of the options available. Rarely is a challenge so unique that part or all of it has not been solved before in another industry that can be referenced.
We’ll provide a preparatory report detailing how the solution requirements can be transposed to an architecture or technical solution. It offers an initial indication of a supporting architecture using Mosaic Island’s independent industry experience.
It’s a high level, non-technical report which details the business problem and how that compares to similar industry types and references comparable and relevant industry architectural patterns which describe how the business problem might be addressed. It offers recommendations on approach and technology solutions.
It enables you to easily describe a proposed architecture or solution to both a non-technical and technical audience including senior decision makers in your organization. It helps drive discussion and verification of potential target architecture patterns and provides an initial reference point for business and technical stakeholders.
Once you’ve decided what to do you need to know when and how to do it. Building on the previous stages, you’ll have plenty of information against which to govern, assure and measure the success of your delivery and you’ll be able to ensure that you can engage delivery partners knowing precisely what to ask for and what you expect to get.
The Solution Blueprint is a delivery definition aligned to your desired business outcomes. It’s tailored to a level of detail to support transition into delivery with confidence that you are doing the right thing from both a business and IT perspective. Key decisions and recommendations are underpinned by real industry knowledge and best practice to give you confidence to proceed.
This is a complete solution and architecture definition. It defines a target state and transition plan aligned to your business vision and desired outcomes as well as being a full capability analysis linking IT and business with a supporting business case for investment. It is an implementation plan supported by options and key decisions.
It will enable you to engage professionally with suppliers / integrators and relay technical and business recommendations. It also acts as the basis for governance and assurance and provides board level reference information to assist with budgets and cost management which will drive the solution toward successful delivery.