Many enterprise architecture (EA) teams struggle with creating a program that demonstrates the level of strategic value that they believe EA should have. Even after following all the advice in frameworks and online articles, chief architects and CIOs still struggle as EA programs fail to reach their potential as an influencer of strategy execution across the enterprise. There are five steps that Cutter Senior Consultant Nick Malik advises EA teams must do to go from a tactical technical program to a strategic role. Ironically, these activities are somewhat tactical in nature. According to Malik, “this is block-and-tackle work”. In his recent Business & Enterprise Architecture Executive Report, “Climbing the Ladder: 5 Steps to Connect EA Read more
Posts Tagged 'business-strategy'
We’ve been rounding up Dennises lately: Dennis Adams and Dennis Hogarth have joined our team of expert consultants. But along with the Dennises, we welcome Nancy Williams, Murray Cantor and Don MacIntyre. Dennis Adams is a long time Cutter contributor. He’s frequently presented the academic viewpoint for Cutter Benchmark Review. (If you’re not familiar with CBR, it partners academics and practitioners who co-write a survey, analyze the data, and then write opinion pieces — influenced by their academic/practitioner perspective — that are based on the findings. Looking at an issue or technology from both an academic and practical perspective gives CBR readers the 360 view they won’t otherwise see.) Now Dennis will add his expertise Read more
From the beginning of data processing in the 1950s, an "us/them" dynamic has existed between business and IT organizations. Since then, attempts by CIOs and business executives to cross the cultural barriers have met with varying degrees of success. Organizations intent on building trust and partnership between business and IT face these challenges: IT’s culture and processes. The IT organization’s relationship with the business is IT-centric rather than business centric. Business accountability failure. When the IT function is IT centric, business management does not understand its role or responsibilities in the partnership. Both the business and IT sides are responsible for applying IT effectively throughout the organization. CIOs are not providing the leadership. The CIO Read more
For several years now, so many pundits, experts, and concerned citizens of the IT world have prattled on about IT alignment with the business. So much so that whenever you hear any phrase that starts with “IT must be aligned with the business,” you already know what’s coming next. Yawn. What we often don’t talk about — and really should — is how each employee has (or has not) aligned him or herself with their own skills and interests and their current role. I contend it is here that most organizations struggle at every level, from the top executives on down. Which is worse: misaligned people or misaligned IT organizations? Is there a difference? When Read more
IT organizations devote significant attention to delivering the technology and processes that ensure the achievement of business objectives. It’s what we do in IT. It’s the recognition that drives our actions. It’s our purpose for existing. Yet is it sufficient to simply deliver value without any executive recognition for that contribution? IT best practices require that we not only deliver on the promise of IT, but that we also take the necessary steps toward recognition of that value so that the business “buys IT.” This marketing-style approach allows IT to remain adequately funded, gain support for technology investments, obtain backing for critical IT initiatives, and ensure responsiveness to our dependencies. Marketing IT Is Not a Read more
Strategic IT planning is central to establishing the IT vision and, more importantly, the vision of how IT will propel the business (or government agency) forward. It’s one of the seven basic competencies every CIO and IT organization should master to bring value to the business. However, mention “strategic” to IT professionals and the conversation will mostly turn to security, cloud, business intelligence, and various platform and network developments. Sure, IT’s roles in the business underlie the conversation, particularly in issues such as flexibility, enhanced user experience, competitiveness, and the like. The truth, though, is that most of this “strategic” conversation is about issues of IT “supply” — how the IT organization will effectively develop Read more
Architects face many challenges in their jobs. Among them are creating architecture and applying architecture. I’ve said many times that creating architecture alone does not create value. Rather, the value from architecture comes when it is applied. In other words, value is delivered when architecture is used to influence the outcome of decision making, analysis, design, or implementation. Yet another challenge is that architects are often not the people who are responsible for doing the applying. So we face a conundrum: we don’t create value until someone else uses the architecture. That begs the obvious question of how to get other people to use the architecture. The equation itself is really quite simple: if you Read more