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Connect 2023: 5 Things On Enterprise Architects' Minds

Posted by Neil Sheppard on May 9, 2023

LeanIX opened its annual Connect event with a keynote from our CEO, André Christ. Let's look at the five things our customers have told us are on their minds for 2023, as André covered in his presentation.

On May 9, 2023, LeanIX kicked off Connect, its 10th annual European summit, before the event travels to New York, San Francisco, and finally Australia over the coming months. Opening the day, Mark Jeffries introduced a keynote speech from our visionary CEO and founder, André Christ.

André began with a contemplation on the current state of enterprise architecture. We recently welcomed our 1,000th customer, Mars, to our community, and we're working closely with that community of experts to perfect the toolset that we supply to them.

This means that we have a direct pipeline to the needs of the industry and what's coming for enterprise architecture in the next 12 months. What we're hearing is that enterprise architecture was once an ivory tower - an intellectual pursuit, separate from the business - but in the modern age, it's mission critical.

Enterprise architecture is in high demand, and being in demand means you won't have time to cater to all the requests you're receiving. Preserving your precious resource for where it will have the highest impact is paramount.

In his speech, André listed five areas that enterprise architects are planning to focus on in 2023, as well as the things LeanIX is introducing to support those activities.

1 Managing Software Complexity & Cost

First up, of course, was the same thing that is always on the mind of enterprise architects: simplification. André introduced a video where Mike Anderson, Chief Digital and Information Officer at Netskope, summed up his strategy with a single quote:

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

Leonardo Da Vinci

Key for Mike is creating an architecture that is deceptively simple and effective, which requires tremendous effort. Yet, we mustn't forget the key issue of cost.

The global market is in turmoil as we pay for the costs of managing the COVID-19 crisis. IT budget, however, is continuing to increase, despite the economic downturn, so proving the value of that additional IT spend is paramount.

Still, our customers tell us that over 10% of IT spend is wasted. It's vital to carry out an application rationalization initiative regularly to ensure budget is reduced as far as possible, but 85% of our customers tell us they aren't repeating app rationalization with any regularity.

Often, organizations don't carry out application rationalization as they don't know where to begin. This is key, as you can't make a move towards your target state unless you know where you're starting from.

Equally, as Mike told us, "IT can't do it alone". You need key intelligence from the business to succeed.

It's vital to have access to a single source of truth on your application portfolio that everyone in your organization can see and contribute to. The LeanIX Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) platform gives you a clear view of your current state and also enhances collaboration with the rest of the business.

Upcoming Features To The Leanix EAM

This is why we've been working hard to make data gathering in our LeanIX Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) platform as user-friendly and collaborative as it can be. We've added an improved survey structure, including a progress bar of the survey completion status.

Once you have the data, we've made it even more user-friendly to filter and examine. You've told us that you need to see your applications for specific interfaces in both directions, so that's being added to the inventory in June this year, and the rest of the platform very soon.

By 2024, the inventory section of our EAM will be revised and improved. Filtering will also become simpler, with a dedicated drop-down menu and hierarchy options.

Very soon, you won't need to number applications either. From next year, we're introducing custom ordering, which can be applied throughout the platform.

This ordering can also be applied to visualizations with our new diagram editor. This will enter a closed beta in June for early access.

Lastly, before the end of the quarter, we'll be empowering our users to create their own user roles directly within the meta-model. This will grant you complete control of who sees and works with your data.

Our New Saas Management Capabilities

We're seeing rapid software-as-a-service (SaaS) adoption across all industries, set to reach 63% by 2025. SaaS applications are quick to roll out and often easy to use, but they bring challenges:
  • Lack of visibility into SaaS contracts and ownership
  • Multiple contracts for same applications due to non-central purchasing
  • Siloed processes due to lack of collaboration
  • Wasted spend due to missed and automatic renewals

SaaS applications can be powerful tools and enabling your teams to purchase the software they need is the future. However, while André stresses we should not be opposed to SaaS applications, we must find a way to monitor and manage them and their renewals.

That's why we're introducing a SaaS Renewals Portal to help you manage and retain control of applications, even when they're sourced by the users. This is now available for early access.

2 Navigating Transformation

The pace of change is accelerating rapidly. So, we believe the ability to change is one of the most important capabilities that an enterprise can have.

André next introduced Marco Lang, VP of IT at Vibracoustic. Marco explained how Vibracoustic are using LeanIX to assess their application landscape to enable their enterprise resource planning (ERP) transformation.

Marco's goal is to achieve harmonization between IT and other business units and a deep understanding of target architecture, interdependencies and the routes Vibracoustic need to take to complete their transformation.

André confirmed that this addresses the three key challenges in ERP transformation, according to our customers:

  • Aligning IT, business, and project teams
  • Defining target architecture and roadmaps
  • Interdependencies between the ERP and non-ERP landscape

André stressed the need for collaboration and the capability to visualize data were key for success in ERP transformation. That's why we've made our roadmaps more intuitive, with the capability to structure the visualizations by almost any metric. This will be released by the end of Q2, 2023.

Modernizing Application Modernization

"Driving transformation is critical, particularly for international firms, such as ZF. But, it must be pursued in a structured way that ensures the responsible use of resources."

Patrick Quellmalz, Head of IT Business Relationship Management

Gartner confirms 46% of organizations plan to increase spend on application modernization in 2023. Yet, to effectively use that resource, app rationalization must be effective.

After we heard from Patrick at ZF, André told us that he's hearing of LeanIX customers who are going into approvals every month without knowing what they're approving. Creating business cases for application modernization business cases remain challenging.

This is why transparency is vital. The LeanIX EAM offers clarity on the outcome of modernization efforts compared to the original goals and expectations, allowing you to build a business-focused case for modernization.

Our transformations explorer allows you to show all the change initiatives that are ongoing and what their status is. In Q3 2023, our beta will allow you to track the progress of cloud migration for each app, and even pull in information from Agile tracking systems like Atlassian Jira.

3 Improving Data-Driven Decision-Making

Reliable and high-quality data is key for every business and managing that data is essential for every business transformation. This is why Switzerland's largest retailer believes in the benefits of combining data management with architecture.

As they explained in a video André introduced:

"To put data to work, it must be actively monitored and governed"

Martin Baschnagel, CTO, Migros

Connect 2023 Collibra LeanIX collaboration

Martin also helped us to announce our latest collaboration with Collibra, the leading data intelligence company. To find out more about the partnership, see today's announcement:

LeanIX Platform Powers Up Data Governance With Collibra

This integration will optimize the value creation from data, just as Martin explained was key. This allows you to make more-informed decisions about enterprise architecture.

4 Controlling Technology Risk

Ever since the Log4Shell remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in Apache log4j 2 was identified, open-source software security has been a major concern for the industry. Sharing the success of open-source software has accelerated development, but it brings risks.

The average software application now has over 2,000 components. As such, even when you know of a vulnerability, finding it can be challenging.

To discuss this, André brought on stage Daniel Eichten, VP of Enterprise Architecture at adidas. Daniel explained how adidas is using LeanIX to support open-source software security.

There is now a crucial demand to inform IT security where a vulnerable component is being used, but Daniel said this used to take weeks for adidas. Using the LeanIX Value Stream Management (VSM) platform, however, adidas can now track this instantly using software bills of materials (SBOMs).

SBOMs now have end-to-end support in the LeanIX VSM. To find out more, see:

How Our VSM Tool Overcame The PyTorch Supply Chain Attack

5 Implementing IT Sustainability

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we heard from Niklas Sundberg, CIO at ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions and author of The Sustainable IT Playbook For Technology Leaders:

"IT is a significant enabler for long-term sustainability efforts and business success"

Niklas Sundberg, CIO at ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions

André explained that up to 20% of all electricity usage will come from IT by 2030. We all have a responsibility to resolve this.

The key to sustainability is efficiency, and André explained this is at the heart of what LeanIX does. That's why we see it as our mission to support our customers in:

  • Reducing emissions
  • Lowering energy consumption
  • Cutting electronic waste
  • Supporting digital ethics
  • Moving to green sourcing

Towards that goal, you will be able to take advantage of the LeanIX EAM's built-in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) capability map from June 2023.

One more thing...

That wasn't all André had in store for audiences at the LeanIX Connect Europe Summit 2023. He also went on to discuss three key features we're adding to the LeanIX platform very soon.

To find out more, read:

Connect 2023: 3 Innovations Coming To The LeanIX Platform

To watch all this year's presentations from Connect 2023, register your free place now:

Join The LeanIX Connect Summit Europe

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