Companies are in an uncomfortable position today. On the one hand, the digital transformation is forcing them to innovate at an increasing pace. On the other side, they run on a historically grown legacy IT and huge technical debt. The past is cemented into the vast existing application landscape, but the future requires a rapid transformation. For this reason, innovation methods such as “Design Thinking” and the ideas of the agile organization have gained massive popularity in recent years. It is hard to find a larger company that does not run an ‘Open Innovation Space’ where people innovate and build prototypes, and that is a good thing in principle. The only problem is, however, that companies usually do not steer their innovation initiatives towards a big picture.
The highly complex structure of dependencies between innovation- and other projects and between existing IT components and new technologies is not managed intentionally. Just present an exciting AI-related solution to decision-makers, and it’s likely that you’ll get budget for it, even if a technically messy integration with legacy IT generates more harm than good in the medium term. It does not matter whether the solution is architecturally sound and whether it has a favorable overall cost/benefit ratio in the medium term.
What you should do:
- balance the use of your left and right hemisphere.
- make sure to involve experienced people with business architecture expertise in your workshops. They understand the effects of new solutions on the company as a whole.
- hang the most important architecture maps of your current enterprise at the wall of your fancy, creative room.