Learning about Business Architecture the hard way

Ramsay Millar from http://www.in2grateIT.com

I continually hear the following story from  business leaders,  “Our organization has recognized  that our
legacy IT systems are   1) expensive,   2) no longer competitive,  3) not meeting customer  needs,  4)  not
flexible, 5)  not able to integrate process  and data across business silos,  6) do not provide operational
metrics, business intelligence or internet capabilities. ”

When confronted with this perfect storm the leaders go on to make very costly mistakes by not
managing information systems like any other strategic asset. For some reason, they think that buying
solutions with the word enterprise in the title is all that is required.  The political solution is to allow the
business silos to purchase any assembly of solutions sold by enterprise vendors.  But lately to my
surprise I am hearing a change and a few C‐level  managers are beginning to realize that  ad hoc COTS
solutions have caused  increased costs and an increase in pain points, while countless un‐initiated  keep
stepping up to repeat the ad hoc solutions  mistake.

If you ask the Governance, Risk and Compliance VP’s “Were you consulted about governance, risks or
metrics related to these massive expenditures?”  Or, “What metrics did you design before acquisition to
see if these IT investments did meet the desired results?” Or, “Show us the enterprise risk management
analysis?”  You will be shocked to hear that these massive information system expenditures are very
rarely measured, monitored or reported over time.

I call this “Learning about business architecture the hard way.  Rapidly procured silo‐based enterprise
solutions rarely utilize the skills of the enterprise or business architects.  In my view, these organizations
have now just missed a rare opportunity to leverage enterprise assets to build flexible and integrated
SOA solutions for the future.  Architected SOA solutions are highly cost effective and guarantee that an
enterprise is on a firm footing to become a player in the next emerging economy.

Organizations need to treat Information and IT expenditures like any other business capability and bring
in skilled Business Architects who understand how to leverage architecture frameworks (ie) TOGAF 9 to
model the “as is” and “to be.”  These skilled people look for opportunities and solutions and then
confidently perform migration strategy to deploy and build or buy aligned SOA solutions.
Business architects are skilled business modelers who use a rigorous fact‐based language.  Robust
business reference models are available and used by business architects in many industries. These fact‐
based business models are usually a collection of TOGAF 9, OMG BMM, OMG SBVR, OMG UML, Erikson‐
Penker UML business patterns and other toolkits customized to meet the business needs.
Without business architecture the best we may hope for is SOA silos.  I am interested to hear from you
on how you have mapped your SOA silos, or how you are moving to a more holistic view of business
architecture to drive information and technology architectures and manage this area as a business

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt