Tag Archives: EAM

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Digital Design and Enterprise Architecture – what is it?

Category:digital transformation,enterprise architecture,governance Tags : 

Enterprise Architecture and Digital Design Digital, what is it?

Likely you will find as many answers as you will find people to ask, unfortunately, that is so. Maybe because the discipline is relatively “young”, or maybe as suggested by Martin v.d. Berg because practitioners and researchers put different meaning into the term; but likely also because it is seen as “supporting” rather than a “line” activity so the term “decision support” associates with it. Clearly, there are more interpretations to what it is.

If you smell the words, “Enterprise” and “Architecture”, you will likely ask yourself, what is an “enterprise”? and what is an enterprise architecture then? The term somehow makes it more theoretic, at the risk of sinking like captain Carlsen on his SS Enterprise, which in fact was his enterprise, a ship. In most cases, we can replace the word “enterprise” with “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. “Architecture” on the other hand is about 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 our 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 post 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.

Darwin put it slightly different in a different context with “survival of the fittest”, EA is about your “enterprise” survival, what planning do we collectively need to do to be “fittest” and succeed in the market. It is less about doing it, but to inform and encourage management to stay on-course using an enterprise perspective. With reference to J. Ross, we often refer to this as “digital design” (as opposed to many small solutions with individual designs), some would refer to this as enterprise design.

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.

To staff a team to succeed with EA, you need to have more skills represented, see related blog. Finally, working with architecture services, please be aware that there are more architectural practices, please see picture.

Architecture roles – what roles exist?

The following drawing is a simple representation of typical architecture roles, where the Enterprise Architect is the broadest role. Architecture is more than one discipline: To manage detail is different from the enterprise perspective.  The various architecture roles are related, yet very different in skillsets required and target delivery.

The Infrastructure Architect has an important role in keeping IT Operations in mint condition – often tightly coupled to the IT Service Management (ITSM).

The Software Architect has a different role which puts focus on the development of an application that solves stakeholder needs. Such work must be detailed meeting all requirements through properly design, development, documentation, and testing.

The Solution Architect is often linked to project architecture with a focus on how projects get scoped to delivery with a perspective to make a design that is valid post project closure.

The Business Architect has a slightly different skillset – more focused on market and business analysis. This is very often connected to business management, business processes and the strategy development of a business area or future revenue stream.

The Data Architect has a more detailed focus on data management and bringing fresh data between systems to support information and business insights.

The Enterprise Architect seems to do somehow a little of all of that with a perspective to look more end-to-end, secure alignment to the overall corporate strategy and direction, 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.

 


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Do digital board packs help your organisation to comply with GDPR?

Category:Services,UK Blog Tags : 

Do you have governance around your board back? Do you have meta-data and master data supporting your generation of the board packs? 

Now, first, we did pass the May 25th – and large organisations are still struggling with GDPR! No longer as a project, but typically more to absorb the endless amount of excels and small GDPR tools that eventually were delivered as the project outcome. Now another phase takes over – what to do with the project outcome?

This calls for another maturity level that cannot be provided by small point tools or excel. This calls for a larger piece of collaboration to make ‘stuff’ updated; typically, by having the GDPR processes embedded into a larger solution flexible enough for helping the executive team to steer the boat – it calls for the governance around the digital board pack!

That was then…

A lot was written about the impact the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the period up to May 25th 2018. And even though up to 60% may have slipped the deadline, see a recent survey, the fact is more likely that most organisations completed the GDPR project during 2018, but still will be working with GDPR also in 2019 – how can that be?

As mentioned in a recent blogpost, there is a natural progression towards being better at compliance, and also for GDPR – and that is way beyond the project outcome ending 2018. It is the progression..

  • to move from project to line organisation
  • to onboard managers and specialists to keep information fresh
  • to transition from project into process – and what is the IMACD of person-related data process activities are solved
  • to simplify the Article 30 report generation
  • to remove simple risk tools to consolidate the governance in the digital platform
  • to make ownership up to the board for the updated compliance views.

The data of the GDPR compliance will continue its journey to be alive, and it will continue down the maturity ladder to distinguish dataprocessors from data controllers, move away from text fields and into elements of meta-data to oversee the ocean of GDPR.

But most importantly, the transition is about getting the organisational ownership, where managers act on their responsibility and accountability to be compliant. Where the project 2018 was driven by fear of potential penalties, the new demand is much more to make it actionable within the line organisations where ‘stuff’ gets updated and the executive board can make decisions based on new evidence. This is often referred to as “EA”, the grid or architecture (A) space of an entire enterprise (E ).

How does this tie into my executive team?

Once you have completed the project, you may have data. Once you have moved it into a point tool, you may have reached slightly modified data so see the first patterns. It still doesn’t bring you much further. The heavy lifting involves more:

  • First, you need to move from free text and text fields into meta-data. This means that you don’t type pay-slip in a text field, but you check ‘pay-slip’, and you can afterwards analyse where ‘pay-slip’ is being processed by systems and processing or controlling activities
  • Second, you need to transition into the architecture portal where governance is typically managed, that is, who is the system owner? Who is the data process owner? Who should update this piece of data. Very often, we see BI solutions reporting long lists of data – but that is very distinct from the next maturity level where these people can do actionable reviews and updates. This if often is referred to as digital platforms or EA platforms (like MooD, ERP, etc).
  • Third, you need the escalation route embedded to the executive team. It is the management team that is accountable and needs to have the blind eye opened. Without their eyes open and provided insight – only the one-eyed will be king among the blinds.

So anyone within the board should be trained, concerned and be kept updated!

The way forward?

There is a natural progression towards maturity – but only if it is guided. You need to find an advisor who can helpyou to make a living architecture.

With a living architecture, you onboard the ‘softer’ side of and provide decision insight to your management.  When used properly, you get the connected enterprise where boards act when things start to drift. So, anyone within the board should be trained, concerned and be kept updated! That is what we provide as part of our digital board pack service.

Working with different next generation technologies, we offer a digital platform that help large organisations to have a digital board pack, not a PowerPoint! Online views where you can drill into data, updated by the responsible people in the organisation, supplemented by technical data so you can view the online portal and stay compliant. We talk about powering your digital ability.

Giving all your directors access to the information they need to know about your GDPR policies in one place, makes it much easier for them to find the information they need and ask the right questions when it is discussed – all managed as meta-data and by the relevant people. No more emails – no more point tools.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to make contact. We are the leading organisation in digital governance helping large organisations to succeed with their business transformation. We power your digital mood!