Executing on the business transformation strategy: The 4 critical questions Chief Architects can't ignore

Is your enterprise architecture program attuned to business outcomes?

The organization expects the chief architect and enterprise architecture (EA) team to provide guidance on how to use IT to achieve business strategy. And this while ensuring the current and planned IT landscape is cost effective and well positioned for future needs. Yet, instead of delivering on these goals, the EA program is often sidelined by business and begrudged by IT. The chief architect is under constant pressure to justify the value of the program to the company. Help is here: Chief architects of leading international companies use integrated IT portfolio management (ITPM) and EA capabilities to ensure that EA programs are a valuable asset to the organization. Interested in knowing how?  

Getting the EA program to work for business and IT

As Chief Architect in charge of the EA program, you need to understand the state of the current architecture in order to be able to develop strategies and plan future changes to support business. This requires EA data to be up-to-date and reliable. Further, you have to understand where the business is going: its goals and strategies and the business capabilities needed to support these. With this intelligence, you can develop scenarios and road maps on how to transform the IT landscape to one that delivers on business goals. Sound easy? Could be. Yet there are several challenges that need to be overcome.

Is the business you are serving understood

And—more importantly—does business understand you when you describe how IT supports it? Business models, strategies, goals, capabilities and processes need to be in terms understood by all parties. Gaps in IT support need to be formulated as business demands. If not, you cannot align IT to the business.

Is architecture data being captured and managed within the normal IT management and planning processes?

You need to have processes and governance in place to ensure information on applications, processes, technologies, etc. enters the repository as part of each stakeholder’s daily work. If not, your data will not be up-to-date and reliable.

Is there an IT planning process in place to ensure that projects are architecturally aligned and executable?

Transformation stakeholders, such as business analysts, the project management office and your architects need to be using one source of truth. If not, expensive project errors will occur.

Are application and technology portfolios being proactively managed to ensure that IT is agile, cost effective and risk free?

Portfolios need to be under constant scrutiny to ensure they are in line with standards and policies. If not, you won’t deliver on cost, risk and agility.   

To overcome the challenges of harnessing IT’s full potential, CIOs, enterprise architects and business managers need to integrate people, processes and information to introduce the necessary governance and transparency into the business-IT relationship.
To overcome the challenges of harnessing IT’s full potential, CIOs, enterprise architects and business managers need to integrate people, processes and information to introduce the necessary governance and transparency into the business-IT relationship.

Find the answers with enterprise architecture and IT portfolio management

Using an enterprise architecture (EA)-based IT portfolio management (ITPM) approach, best-in-class chief architects implement the processes and governance into the business-IT relationship that will help IT deliver on business demands and thus confirm the value of the EA program. By doing so, they support the various stakeholders responsible for enterprise transformation with the capabilities they need. And you can answer the following questions with a qualified, confident and committed "yes!". Is IT aligned to business strategy? Is architecture governance part of IT planning? Are IT investments and running costs optimized? Can you be sure that the EA program will not fail? The following capabilities will help you.

Business strategy and operating model development

These capabilities give architects the tools to express business strategies, business models, processes and required business capabilities in a structured and analyzable form. Process-supported and architecture-based business demand capture enables analysis of overlaps and conflicts. This is the foundation for optimum business-IT alignment.

Agile transformation

An agile transformation capability converts business demand into executable and funded IT programs. It enables target architectures and scenarios to be iterated with the business and broken down into roll-out plans and project milestones. The roadmapping features support the business in deciding on roll-out strategies, and they make planned changes transparent to the organization.

Meta-model and process-based platform

A pre-defined, comprehensive and TOGAF®-compliant meta-model is essential for covering all aspects of business and IT transformation planning and management. This, along with the methodologies for business relationship management, IT planning and enterprise architecture management, gives the EA program a kick-start so that it delivers business value quickly. A process- and role-based platform ensures that stakeholders can do their job, delivering reliable EA data and IT road maps.

Enterprise architecture governance

Enterprise architecture governance supports implementing the standards and governance needed to optimize applications and technology portfolios. Further, it provides analytical insight into the strengths and weaknesses in current support, thus enabling mid- and long-term IT improvement.  

Road-map application consolidation. Understand the IT landscape.

Leader in ITPM and EA

Internationally renowned companies across the globe use the market-leading solution for ITPM and EA—Alfabet. The platform provides a set of core capabilities to sustainably manage and ensure IT’s contribution to business value. Use Alfabet to plan and manage the performance of IT support throughout its entire life cycle—ensuring that business strategy and demands are completely understood, prioritized and executed on and that the costs, quality and risks to IT support are known and considered during decision-making.

About Alfabet

Alfabet is a leading enterprise platform with standard modules that support effective ITPM and EA, offering:

  • Richest set of artifacts in the industry
  • A single, central repository
  • Role-based access and support for global communities
  • Decision-ready reporting and publication
  • Advanced support for the agile enterprise
  • Broad and easy-to-use configuration
  • Leading-edge use of AI technologies
  • Support for federated enterprises  

Alfabet plays a strategic role by being the system of record in which every asset is designated as mission critical, business critical, or less critical. This data is used to prioritize where and when to spend IT budget, which you never have enough of.

- North American electrical utilities company
With Software AG’s Alfabet solution, essential EA and ITPM capabilities are integrated for optimal results.
With Software AG’s Alfabet solution, essential EA and ITPM capabilities are integrated for optimal results.

                    Take the next step

Contact your Software AG representative today to see how Alfabet can help your enterprise transform into a successful digital business