Information Technology works best when it is tied tightly to our company’s overall business goals. On the other hand, business unit executives have remained doubtful about IT’s ability to support them in creating value. Despite the best intentions of managers of both sides, companies continue to struggle to integrate IT systems and to determine whether IT actually improves performance.
This problematic tension between the IT departments and business units has inflicted on many companies for years.
One approach to closing this gap is the discipline called Enterprise Architecture (EA).
What is Enterprise Architecture (EA)?
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a logical framework that establishes the links between business strategy and organizational structures, processes, databases, and technologies. The goal of EA is twofold. The first goal is to add value through its support of business goals. Second is to enable companies to measure the value added.
If a company wants to capture better customer information in order to energize an effort to sell additional higher margin products and services to existing customers, the company can use an EA system to align its customer relationship management, information retrieval, and sales planning software. EA applications can also be set up for staff training, account management, and frequent assessments of the campaign’s efficacy.
Enterprise Architecture (EA) has been known to add value through its support of business goals, improve operational efficiency, and agility. There are identified changes visible upon the application of Enterprise Architecture on organizations.
The architecture of an enterprise is described with a view to improving the manageability, effectiveness, efficiency, or agility of the business, and ensuring that money spent on IT is justified.
The 4 Key Elements to Gaining Enterprise Architecture Maturity
Application of Enterprise Architecture (EA) requires certain levels of maturity. This is necessary for EA to be able to deliver greater impact on bottom lines. The amount of value our company gets depends on the level of maturity of the EA efforts.
There are 4 key elements to Enterprise Architecture maturity that must be addressed.
- Strategic Alignment. The first key element ensures that the design of EA functions is included in both technology and the strategic planning process.
- Leadership and Talent Development. The second key element relies on the training and development of Enterprise Architects who understand the business and can further strengthen the organization’s EA capability.
- Performance Management. Performance Management accurately measures the results of EA efforts that show an impact on the business.
- Organizational Design. Organizational Design is the foundational element of Enterprise Architecture. It involves the frameworks, the tools, and the methodologies necessary in developing a functional capability.
Enterprise Architecture is not an easy task. But, is it worth it?
Based on a survey conducted by Booz & Company (now PwC), executives of 60 financial services companies and government agencies were asked to evaluate EA’s effect on performance.
Organizations that had implemented Enterprise Architecture (EA) reported that the approach had impact and value. It has decreased their cost, reduced complexity, reduced risk, and increased agility.
In this world where operational efficiency, risk mitigation, and agility have become essentially important to achieving competitive advantage and business sustainability, companies have no other recourse but take the road to achieve Enterprise Architecture (EA) maturity and readiness.
Interested in gaining more understanding of Enterprise Architecture: Elements of Maturity? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Enterprise Architecture: Elements of Maturity here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
Do You Find Value in This Framework?
You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library. FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:
“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”
– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects
“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”
– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting
“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”
– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)
“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over! The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”
– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd
“Several times a month, I browse FlevyPro for presentations relevant to the job challenge I have (I am a consultant). When the subject requires it, I explore further and buy from the Flevy Marketplace. On all occasions, I read them, analyze them. I take the most relevant and applicable ideas for my work; and, of course, all this translates to my and my clients’ benefits.”
– Omar Hernán Montes Parra, CEO at Quantum SFE