Clear IT Architecture is founded on the principle that great corporate enterprise architecture is based on the intersection of a well understood business strategy with an accurate IT inventory as well as a business system migration plan. Without any one of the three, the company’s IT architecture will be at best suboptimal, but more likely it will be inadequate.
- Step 1 – Business Focused
The initial step in creating a great enterprise architecture is business focused: which business functions are truly market differentiators, which are areas of high competency, and which are commodities. It is imperative to focus IT strategy and funding on the business functions that make a company unique and profitable. By charting business functions on two axes – business differentiators and business process complexity – those differentiating functions should emerge.
- Step 2 – Application Inventory
The second step in creating a great IT architecture is being able to inventory every application used by the various business functions, since that is the means to make sure the business system plan is directed at improving or replacing the applications that have the largest impact on the enterprise strategy.
- Step 3 – Analysis
Finally, there is a lot of analysis around the applications that are used in the most strategic or critical business functions that drive revenue, growth, and profits. Are they sufficient to advance the company strategy? Does the vendor have a roadmap to keep you on the leading edge of business? Do you need to augment those apps with specialized applications?
While this analysis is taking place for the most important functions/apps, there needs to be a similar concerted effort to identify which apps should be de-emphasized since they are more of a commodity. Looking for SaaS applications/platforms to replace older on-premise apps for non-differentiating business functions is a good way to start. The focus for these functions should be IT cost reductions.
Clear IT Architecture can provide methodologies to assist your company in compiling all three of these information bases to start your alignment of business and IT strategies. Learn more about our enterprise architecture planning process.