More on “Future EA” – Enterprise Architecture

Regardless of what stage your business is at, you might experience questions like:
– How to provide capability-based planning?
– How can I connect IT Risk and IT Security to my architecture deliverables?
– How can we drive collaboration and planning to support our roadmaps and initiatives?
– How do manage scenarios within enterprise planning?
– How do we support as-is and provide planning to support agile development?
– How do I ensure communication between organisational stakeholders?
– How do I make my architecture visually appealing?

Do you recognize questions like these, or do you find it hard to answer them? Then you will benefit from our mindset of “future EA”!

Enterprise Architecture has matured over the last decades, and continues to develop to assist with making impact on strategic changes. We help customers to setup their architecture practice with a customer-centric focus, as the future EA (enterprise architecture) where business architecture and a living information architecture support the business change. A strategy and planning discipline that involve more people to succeed with the collective contribution and common understanding of target. The following mindset we presented in Oslo before covid-19, and it will be repeated at the IRM later this year as well. Future EA is about changing the mindset of doing business change:

With “Enterprise”, we refer to “your entire business” or “your organisation with customers and market”, even though we would argue an enterprise could be a business unit or simply the entire or a subset of the business. In any case, business overall with an end-to-end perspective.

With “Architecture”, we refer to the structure, how things are connected, what they are composed of, how they are used, how they look and are perceived. We often talk about good or bad architecture based on user-experience, durability and interaction. In any case, everyone has a saying of this.

James Lapalme previously has argued, that Enterprise Architecture (EA) could be seen as one of three schools, either the Enterprise integrating, Enterprise IT architecting or Enterprise ecological adaption, where this description takes the proposition to put emphasize on the strategy-to-execution, marked more blue than the others; see Fig.

Enterprise Architecture is often expressed along-side strategy. That is, you may be manager for strategy & enterprise architecture as a combined title. It does give a clue, that enterprise architecture is about strategic thinking, about decision support with a focus end-to-end.

Enterprise architecture (EA) is a discipline for proactively and holistically leading enterprise responses to disruptive forces by identifying and analysing the execution of change toward desired business vision and outcomes.

Gartner

With such a definition, EA is the authority to lead enterprise responses by working with external disruptive forces, disruptive? This clearly brings EA into the strategic space working with future solutions to achieve vision and outcomes, if need be also with breaking structures and processes or even acquiring new offerings.

At the core, EA is about the bridging between where we currently are, and the future to achieve desired business vision and outcomes. Then this is the tricky stuff, how to help an organisation to transition successfully into the future? This is what EA practitioners refer to as transition architectures, small pieces of planning to provide strategy-to-execution. Often EA practitioners then put actions into roadmaps, so roadmaps are key for making influence more actionable.

EA is decision-support and enterprise design; based on information and data (not only data). The more we can digitalise the creation of information from data, the closer we get to the core of EA, what to do with it. While Operations focus on today’s services to customers, EA is planning with the perspective of what services do we need in the future, and how to transform the organisation to make that happen. Strategy is sometimes about pace (do more, move faster), sometimes about the unforeseen changes (new competitor, disruptive forces) where market changes force a set of decisions to be made quickly to succeed in the future.

How to make such decisions? That is what EA is all about with frequent updates, collaboration, and enterprise governance – we talk about it as iterative and integrated as it connects tools and integrates business end-to-end. For IT and CI items it integrates with CMDB, around financials it integrates with Finance, and so on. EA is often staffed with senior people as it is a broad role that connects stuff from front-end to back-end of the organisation. It is about long-term business change enabled by collaboration and planning to deal with pace and disruptive forces. Building organisations around EA provides help you to achieve corporate agility to adapt faster to new external forces.

We are in the business to help you with architecture management; offering the journey to staff, build an architecture program that will support you in improved quality and enterprise design. The Enterprise Architecture according to Gartner should be started or re-invented as a program, which we guide and lead with short-cycled delivery to generate workflows and user-interaction. The perspective is to enable strategy, ensure coherency end-to-end, and influence the overall corporate strategy with direction and closing the gap between why and how. Focus is often on knowledge sharing, collaboration, planning and compliance to ensure best patterns are selected and re-used towards strategy fulfilment.

We are in the business of helping you to provide successful business change to execute your strategy – reach out if you need advice how to build you architecture office. With our solutions, we ensure that you are supported throughout the whole maturity journey towards smarter collaboration and planning. A key focus next-insight is to focus on transparency, portfolio planning and collaboration in the cloud. Previous generations of EA focused on either drawing capabilities or solution architecture with lots of modelling in “thick clients”. The new generation of EA has a business audience, people within your organisation that needs a management platform as an intuitive web-portal, cloud-enabled, managing an eco-system of data-sources and much interaction with your colleagues. This is what helps you to create success with your IT strategy, business processes and portfolio management! Decision management powered by next-insight. 

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