Analysts at the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit
2012 reiterated the need for Enterprise Architecture to
become business outcome-driven. Mayank Singh reports
between the way many organisations pursue Enterprise
Architecture (EA) and the impact of EA on the business,
which prevents EA from delivering business value,
according to Gartner, Inc. EA practitioners need to
re-examine old practices and shift their focus to
deliverables that direct change and empower business and
IT leaders to make better decisions. This was one of the
big themes discussed at the Gartner Enterprise
Architecture Summit 2012 (EAS) held in London, recently.
The summit presented a unique confluence of disruptive
trends from the nexus of cloud, social, big data and how
mobile technologies are providing an unprecedented
opportunity for EA practitioners to deliver business
value from EA better than ever before. The summit not
only helped organisations to navigate the nexus of
change to deliver business value, growth and
transformation, but also gave them a roadmap to master
their core EA competencies that are essential for EA
“Focusing on a standard EA framework doesn’t work,” said
Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner. “In the
past EA practitioners focused on deliverables that were
useful to enterprise architects but not valuable to
senior management and/or did not respond to a specific
business or IT need.”
“We’ve witnessed a change in mind-set, execution and
delivery of EA. The value of EA is not in simply ‘doing
EA’, but rather in how it can help evolve the business
and enable senior executives to respond to business
threats and opportunities,” said Burke. “EA leaders must
shift their focus to create actionable and measurable
deliverables that address specific business outcomes and
work with other business and IT disciplines such as
business process management (BPM), programme and
portfolio management (PPM), business information (BI),
finance and human resources to leverage their efforts
and move to value-driven EA.”
Gartner has categorised five types of deliverables that
will help EA practitioners deliver business value from
EA efforts. “EA practitioners need to find the right
balance of resource investment (time, energy and money)
between all of these deliverables, while understanding
that stakeholders only value actionable and measurable
deliverables,” said Burke.
Measurable deliverables specifically measure the
direct impact of EA on the business. Currently, less
than 44 per cent of EA organisations worldwide have
defined metrics and even fewer are focusing metrics on
business outcomes. It’s often the case that many of
these organisations measure what an EA team is doing,
for example how many deliverables created rather than
gauging the impact of EA on the business.
Actionable deliverables drive change and must have a
direct relationship to business outcomes and stakeholder
requirements. Actionable deliverables present senior IT
or business executives with a decision to be made or a
specific action to be taken that moves the business
toward a future state. Because actionable deliverables
must invoke some change, they are easily measured - did
the recommended change occur or not?
Diagnostic deliverables include models, requirements
and analysis tools that are designed to enable IT and
business leaders to understand the impact of different
decisions made in response to business disruption or
business opportunity. Diagnostic deliverables combine
different views of a problem or opportunity to address a
specific need. For example, for a durable goods
manufacturing organisation that is trying to make a
business and IT investment decisions on a new
market/product opportunity, diagnostic deliverables
might include an illustration of the critical affected
business capabilities using a business capability model.
Enabling deliverables are composed of information
that is collected; they provide input to diagnostic
deliverables that represent the business, people,
processes, information and technology. For years, these
have been considered the primary deliverables of EA.
Enabling deliverables are collected from existing
information sources, such as performance metrics,
reports from PPM, or a business process diagram from
Operational deliverables are the artefacts that EA
practitioners use to help them define, communicate and
run their EA programme. These deliverables are largely
focused on defining what EA practitioners “do,” and on
positioning EA goals and governance structures. Examples
of these operational deliverables are in the EA team
charter, the EA steering committee and architectural
review board charter."
The other big theme of the summit was how EA
practitioners can play a major role in ensuring their
organisations maximise the business opportunities posed
by big data. Big data makes organisations smarter and
more productive by enabling people to harness diverse
data types previously unavailable, and to find
previously unseen opportunities. However, Gartner
analysts said big data poses big challenges as well –
and that’s where enterprise architects can help. As
navigators of strategic change, the task for EA
practitioners is to chart the right course for big data
across the most critical dimensions of the organisation:
business, culture, talent and technology.
“Traditional approaches to EA are significantly impacted
by big data,” said David Newman, research vice president
at Gartner. “For the EA practitioner, the balance shifts
from a focus on optimisation and standardisation within
the organisation, to lightweight approaches that focus
on harmonisation and externalisation across the broader
enterprise ecosystem. Big data disrupts traditional
information architectures – from a focus on data
warehousing (data storage and compression) toward data
pooling (flows, links, and information shareability). In
the age of big data, the task for the EA practitioner is
clear: Design business outcomes that exploit big data
opportunities inside and outside the organisation.
Big data enables decision makers to spot patterns
quickly across different data types, but requires a
data-savvy business strategy to achieve competitive
advantage. Enterprise architects should educate leaders
about potential big data opportunities now readily
available through start-small, cost-effective analytics
and pattern recognition tools and techniques, but also
explain the risk factors (such as data privacy,
regulatory and legal challenges). Practitioners should
also explore the increasing number of public datasets
now available through open APIs, and use these for
sentiment analysis (e.g., mining social media feeds),
location-based services (using publicly available
telemetry data) or to design context-aware applications.
Atoll Technologies and Gartner
Atoll Technologies, a focused EA vendor, was a
silver sponsor at the event. Atoll Technologies has been
active in delivering practical EA solutions, including
both software and consultancy, to companies in a number
of sectors such as finance, telecommunications,
government, energy and more. Atoll Technologies has been
working in the field of enterprise architecture
management since 2002. It is an IT solution provider for
large organisations and has extensive experience in
helping these organisations to oversee and manage their
architecture. Atoll is a European company that is
focusing on doing business in the Middle East and
Central and Eastern Europe.
The company was awarded the first Omani project in
December 2010 by Omantel and has been supporting the
telecom major successfully since then. In 2011 it was
awarded another project to provide the architecture
repository solution for the Information Technology
Authority(ITA), Oman. The company’s SAMU tool provides
all functionalities and decision supporting reports
defined by the Oman eGovernment Architecture Framework.
Gartner included Atoll Technologies and its product SAMU
in the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools
in 2010. Atoll has been receiving great recognition for
the quality of work it performs and the solution it
Gartner, Inc. is the world’s leading information
technology research and advisory company. Gartner
delivers the technology-related insight necessary for
its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From
CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and
government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech
and telecom enterprises and professional services firms,
to technology investors, Gartner is a valuable partner
to 60,000 clients in 11,500 distinct organisations.
Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford,
Connecticut, USA, and has 4,500 associates, including
1,250 research analysts and consultants, and clients in
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