Category Enterprise Architecture

AT#48: How to Ride an Elephant in Digital Times?

AT#48: How to Ride an Elephant in Digital Times?

Let’s look back four years and remember what consultants predicted for the digitally transformed future of companies. Expectations were high, a bright, technology optimistic future was drawn in vivid colors – self-driving cars, disrupted businesses, AI automates all backoffice processes, etc. etc. And now – let’s compare this to the reality of enterprises of the old economy – yes, companies have run punctual innovation initiatives, banks have modernized their mobile payment apps . But substantially? Nothing has “transformed”! Digital transformation of the old economy is happening at a much slower pace than expected. So, the question is: why? Why are big companies still around without having changed their business models substantially? Read More

AT#46: How to Make EAM a Management Instrument Part 2 – Connect with Strategic Goals

AT#46: How to Make EAM a Management Instrument Part 2 – Connect with Strategic Goals

Defining a compelling vision should usually be the first step to start a digital transformation journey. Your executives craft a vision of your transformed company: what your company will stand for, how it will operate, which technology it will use to improve customer value. That vision highlighted some of the major landmarks on your transformation journey.

Derived from this vision, companies should define strategic goals that bring the vision to a more operational level. Read More

AT#45: How to Make Enterprise Architecture a Management Instrument Part1 – Digital Governance

AT#45: How to Make Enterprise Architecture a Management Instrument Part1 – Digital Governance

To unleash its enormous power, Enterprise Architecture (EA) must be implemented as a management instrument that is the basis for important strategic decisions. In practice, however, EA is still a mystical discipline, ruled by vague frameworks and done by a small EA group far away from executive boards. In most companies, EA has no or very limited impact on strategic business decisions. Enterprise Architecture SHOULD be a management instrument but fails in practice. Read More

AT#42: Enterprise Architects are Dead – Long Live Enterprise Architecture Management!

AT#42: Enterprise Architects are Dead – Long Live Enterprise Architecture Management!

Since it’s beginning as a discipline, Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) has been performed by a specific “Enterprise Architect” (EA) role. In practice, this role has been far too often reduced to managing the repository of IT applications and drawing fancy, IT-focused diagrams that never reach the reality of solution development. EAM, even after almost four decades, still seems locked in its ivory IT tower with only limited practical influence on strategic business decisions. How many enterprises have been actually architected by EAs?

But why? How comes that EAM fails to do what it is supposed to – architecting enterprises? My answer: Read More

AT#37: Stop Botching your IT-Landscape!

AT#37: Stop Botching your IT-Landscape!

Things happen in IT projects.  At times, some quality elements will be sacrificed in order to offset the vagaries of the project delivery scene.  A solution that works of course.  But as discussed in a previous article, a working solution brings no comfort regarding its quality, since almost anything can be done in the virtual dimensions of software and computers. And when issues arise to put pressure on IT teams, a suboptimal alternative will be presented as a fix, a patch, a temporary solution, or as the most wickedly named: the tactical solution. In circles of experienced IT managers and practitioners, the ‘tactical solution’ sits somewhere between fairy tale and sham.

The word ‘tactical solution’ suggests to the non-IT stakeholder that the chosen tactic is a step sideways, and that once the applicable steps are taken, the product should attain the desired state, which is often labeled as the strategic or target solution. Because the tactical solution works (since anything in IT can be made to work), it could be viewed as a small step in the right direction.

After this dodged solution is implemented, we simply need to perform a few extra steps to reach the strategic state, right?

 

Not really.

Read More

AT#35: How to be Successful with Application Landscape Planning Part 2

AT#35: How to be Successful with Application Landscape Planning Part 2

We have written many posts at the Architectural Thinking blog that deal with more strategic topics like vision, strategy and business architecture and how to connect this to solution development. The common aim defines the direction the company shall go, based on a vision statement created by executives. After that, business architecture comes into play and make the vision more operational.

In our ->last blog post we discussed how a capability map can be used for strategic application landscape planning by assigning existing applications. Today we show a great way to model how the application landscape shall evolve over the next years. A mid-time view of 3-5 years is important because legacy renovation and introduction of new platforms take its time (this reality cannot be ignored even in the VUCA world). Read More

AT#20: Why Digital Transformation fails without Architecture

AT#20: Why Digital Transformation fails without Architecture

Structure not only increases our chance to success,
it makes us more efficient at it.’ – Marshall Goldsmith

When people discuss digital transformation, they talk mostly about innovation, agility and new technologies. Companies put a tremendous amount of effort into initiatives that should make them more agile and innovative, but most of the companies I know do not manage their innovation initiatives towards a big architectural picture. The overly complex structure of dependencies between innovation- and other projects, and between new technologies and legacy-IT, are not handled with intent. Just present a fancy technology to top-level executives. If it has a low time-to-market and includes AI, chances are high that you can do it. No matter if it’s integration with legacy IT results in unnecessary complexity, ‘technical debt’ that introduces a total cost of ownership that outnumbers the business benefits by far. No matter if it is architecturally sound.

Let’s have a closer look at what ‘architecturally sound’ means, what architecture is all about and why the concept of architecture is helpful, especially in the context of innovation: Read More

AT#12: Are Business Architects the new Enterprise Architects?

AT#12: Are Business Architects the new Enterprise Architects?

Over the last two years, business architecture became more and more well known in the (IT) architecture community. Many friends of mine who formerly named themselves ‘Enterprise Architects’ start to use ‘Business Architect’ or ‘Enterprise Business Architect’ on their business card. But what does this mean? Is the discipline of Enterprise Architecture and their weak foundation on immature frameworks about to be replaced by Business Architecture? Is the work done by businessarchitectureguild.org gaining more and more importance? Has the concept of ‘architecture’ finally achieved it’s dedicated goal – the mind of business people?

Read More

AT#9: Three Values that make your Enterprise Architecture Management successful

AT#9: Three Values that make your Enterprise Architecture Management successful

For sure, Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) is still a very immature, weakly defined field. Most of the methods, tools, and frameworks suit the requirements of real-world projects only to a small degree. Most of the elements EAM tries to structure and manage towards a to-be state’ are abstract and hard to grasp. Archimate®, a modeling notation for EAM, for example, defines more than thirty elements, most of them are vague abstractions and far from tangible. In practice, EAM is much more focused on designing application landscapes than providing a holistic view of the enterprise. EAM is still very much about ‘application portfolio management’ that tries to minimize IT costs without alignment to the business capabilities.

But how can this sad situation be changed?

Our suggestion is to apply three values to your EAM practice: Read More


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