Why Now is the Time to Embrace the Next Generation of Enterprise Architecture

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To get a handle on the ever-changing nature of future modeling, EA teams need tools that allow them to:

  • Flexibly model their organization to consider the impact of change on the people, how teams work together and how new processes or software will impact workflow
  • Collaborate on large-scale changes with the power to seamlessly resolve conflicts that arise between the current state and future scenarios
  • Automate much of their current state architecture to ensure designs are based on the reality of the business today, not six months ago
  • Bring data-driven decision making and simulation to future state models

With a strong handle on what enterprise architecture is and the capabilities of new tools available to help EA teams take their work to the next level, it’s important to clearly communicate the value of this work across the business—especially to those who don’t work in an IT function. Organizations should think of mature EA teams as bridge builders who make important connections between strategy and execution, and the business and IT sides of an organization.

The Value

What does this look like in action? Foodstuffs, New Zealand’s largest retail grocery organization, was looking to stay one step ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape. As part of its digital transformation journey, Foodstuffs wanted to establish a comprehensive and dynamic overview of applications, capabilities, and people across the whole ecosystem. The grocery co-operative also wanted to mature its EA team to serve all areas of the business by using automation and agile tooling.

The Foodstuffs team thought of EA as the holy grail of knowledge. It started by building out its full set of catalogs; from roles in the HR system to applications and capabilities, the team understood that a comprehensive, dynamic overview of all this information enables EA value. With all that knowledge centralized, the team has begun to socialize it and use data to tell better-informed stories about its change projects. 

Likewise, in the financial sector, there’s no shortage of disruption. Large complex banks and financial organizations—who manage an increasing amount of data—are looking for ways to innovate while reducing both risk and cost. Sicredi Bank, which has over 24,000 employees and 1,600 branches and was the first financial cooperative initiative in Brazil, turned to enterprise architecture to drive innovation and improve operational efficiencies.

In an industry and business that’s constantly changing, Sicredi’s EA team needed a way to manage its constantly shifting priorities. With that in mind, it used next-gen EA tools to collect and share the most relevant data needed to drive successful change projects. Having this data allows the team to better evaluate how they integrate new technologies such as RPA, AI and blockchain, and where those technologies would have the biggest impact on their business. EA tools aren’t just about providing insight into where innovation gaps are; it’s also about being able to track innovation itself.

Today’s IT leaders must look for modern EA tools that are flexible, data-driven, and collaborative in nature to help them build a bridge to the business side of their organizations. The true value of enterprise architecture can only be recognized when everyone involved in making decisions about technology and process changes trusts the EA tools being used—and one way to make that happen is through business-friendly visualizations that can be easily understood by everyone within the organization. At the end of the day, enterprise architecture has the potential to transform the way organizations think about and execute change—but only with the right culture, data, and tools in place to ensure the roadmaps enterprise architects create remain in sync with their organizations’ change projects. With involvement from stakeholders across the organization, next-gen enterprise architecture tools can help solve some of today’s most pressing business challenges.

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