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Enterprises regularly face incidents and disruptions like crises, new technology, legislation, business opportunities etc. Future-proof companies must be agile and resilient to stay competitive in an uncertain world. They must adapt faster and plan changes over time. The changes may be driven by innovation, regulatory compliance, or refinement of existing practices in an operational excellence approach.
Enterprise architecture helps organizations understand the complexity of their organization and transform. Based on a global approach it describes the enterprise from different perspectives like business, organization, functions, IT, data, and legal.
How EA helps digital transformation
Enterprise architecture provides a complete picture of the organization by focusing on different “vision areas”, e.g.:
Both visions are complementary supporting the corporate strategy.
The “data vision” covers data used by business processes as well as data exchange between information systems.
The different presentations provide a complete view of the organization and show correlations enabling decisions by management and transformation.
Adopting a transversal approach
You won’t succeed by doing the transformation in silos. You need to adopt a transversal and global approach to avoid focusing on one specific perspective only. A new ERP system isn’t just new software replacing legacy applications. It has a huge impact on the practices of the organization. Hence, you need to consider business and data perspectives and describe new processes and data that will be managed by the ERP.
The same goes for regulatory compliance. It will impact company practices (processes and data) and information systems (existing applications) and take the risk factor into account (financial or image impacts).
For a regulatory compliance project, the same advice applies. This will have an impact on both company practices (processes and data) and information systems (current applications), and will take the risk factor into account (financial or image impacts).
Enterprise architecture aids in connecting all perspectives. Any transformation project’s success hinges on having a global view of the existing organization. This is based on the interconnection of several concepts, such as process, business capability, application, technology, data, risk, regulatory compliance, and so on, to construct a realistic and reliable target version of the organization. “Connected enterprise architecture (EA)” is the term for this.
Beyond transformation, the connected enterprise architecture can aid in the identification of synergies (inter-departmental, interdisciplinary) that can lead to innovation. The organization’s operations described as a business process as part of a quality improvement process, can thus be used by the internal control system. Business Architects (who have a technology vision) might naturally approach Data Analysts, whose function is to identify the data and understand user expectations, as part of initiatives to design creative business models.
The key to success is ensuring that all project stakeholders collaborate around a common enterprise architecture platform. Collaboration and decision-making are aided by a shared repository that centralizes data relating to the organization’s varied perspectives.