Enterprise Architecture Consulting

Our Enterprise Architects will help your business to improve performance and align your business and IT strategies.

What is Enterprise Architecture?

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.

Enterprise Architecture
The Importance of Enterprise Architecture

The Importance of Enterprise Architecture

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:

Where are we right now? (Current State)

Where do we need to go? (Target State)

How far away are we from where we need to be? (Gap Analysis)

How do we get to where we need to be?

What’s the optimal sequence of events to get us there?

Who needs to be involved and in what capacity?

How much will it cost?

Are we on course?

How will we know when we’ve arrived?

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).

What Happens When You Don’t Control the Change Agenda

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.

Some Typical Enterprise Architecture Scenarios

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:

  • A newly appointed CIO needs to understand what they have inherited and how they can respond to business demand
  • Organisations looking to improve their operations as part of a wider effort to secure investment
  • Company mergers and acquisitions requiring a clear plan to move to a consolidated target state and realise business efficiency
  • Company divestments and carve outs which require the decoupling of the divested business’ IT infrastructure
  • Large transformation initiatives requiring effective transition planning, design and delivery governance and supplier management across the programme
  • Organizations looking to reduce costs and complexity of managing diverse legacy systems
  • Businesses looking to migrate key IT infrastructure to the Cloud
  • Businesses looking to regain market share or gain a competitive edge by aligning strategy and IT more tightly
  • Businesses looking to establish an Enterprise Architecture function to manage ongoing change programmes

Helping You Make the Business Case 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:

  • CEO – Confidence that IT is aligned with and responding to business demand and that the business will be able to execute on its vision strategy and targets
  • CIO – Understanding of how IT can respond to business demand. Clarity as to what needs to be done, in what sequence, how long it will take, and how much it will cost. The ability to effectively manage third parties to ensure that they are delivering what they are paid to deliver and in the right sequence under the agreed commercial terms. Avoidance of technical debt accrual. Control, in terms of transition from current to target state. Control of IT risk. Faster, cheaper, more targeted change.
  • CTO – Confidence that the right technology choices are being made and underpinned by clear logic and reasoning along with the right tools to be able to describe the logic behind all of the above.
  • CFO – Confidence in cost control, investment planning, lower write off risk, more accurate financial forecasting for change delivery, more efficient use of CAPEX and OPEX. Better visibility of costs across the enterprise and IT contribution to cost and benefit.
  • CMO – More agile product set, better time to market for new products and services. Confidence in the business and its ability to deliver against marketing promises
Enterprise Architecture

What does successful Enterprise Architecture look like?

Ultimately success in terms of effective Enterprise Architecture translates into direct business outcomes such as:

  • Faster time to market for products and services
  • Business agility and ability of IT to quickly respond to changes in business demand
  • Lower cost or more efficient business operations
  • Reduced IT risk and by extension reduced business risk
  • Tighter cost control on change projects
  • High levels of benefit realisation
  • Improved levels of customer satisfaction driven by the ability of IT to underpin new products and services and better user experience

How is Enterprise Architecture Implemented?

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:

  • Define and understand the business demand and drivers
  • Understand what success will look like so that you can measure it
  • Establish how technology architecture will be adapted to meet these demand and drives
  • Make specific technology choices in terms of applications and underpinning technology and infrastructure
  • Plan how the changes will be made and in what sequence
  • Govern the change process to maximise the chance of success
  • Manage project change effectively throughout the deployment Lifecycle

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.

What are the Steps involved in Enterprise Architecture?

Our approach consists of three distinct phases which provide a logical and controlled path to defining a successful Enterprise Architecture outcome. They are:

Question Definition

Solution Definition

Solution Blueprint

Step 1: Question Definition

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.

Question Definition - What is it?

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.

Question Definition - What will I get?

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.

Question Definition - Why do I need it?

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.

Step 2: Solution Definition

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.

Solution Definition - What is it?

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.

Solution Definition - What will I get?

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.

Solution Definition - Why do I need it?

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.

Step 3: Solution Blueprint

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.

Solution Blueprint - What is it?

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.

Solution Blueprint - What will I get?

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.

Solution Blueprint - Why do I need it?

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.