The 7 most expensive words:
"We have always done it that way"
When adopting a strategy towards data, businesses often prefer to start with what they already have and slowly adopt new technologies… sometimes this is a good approach, but if your company wants to use the collected data efficiently, a point usually comes where the used tools are not sufficient anymore.
Sharing gets Hard
EA usually starts as an infinite collection of Excel, Visio and PowerPoint slides… slowly but surely, these files get printed and archived in a desk… or represented as post-it notes pinned around the desk.
This may work for a while, but when the moment comes where you have to share this information with stakeholders to support decisions and create new strategies, the lack of a clean system will make it impossible to share your ideas (and you probably will not remember what your post-it “Report 54 as Dataflow” even means).
This does not only slow everything down and lead to messy results and analysis, but also makes EA seem like something not important. If stakeholders think you can get along with post-its and you are not able to show them clean results, which tell them concrete business outcomes, how to avoid technology risks, etc… why should they even bother to up the Enteprise Architecture budget or invest?
Analyzing gets hard
With the Excel, Visio, PowerPoint (and post-it) combinations, it is also harder for the company to analyse the data. Even though you have “one” office program suite to manage your whole EA (office), it still is saved under different files in different programs.
Traditionally, this was not that much of an issue, but with each year that goes by the company collects more data and also, with the advances in technology, we are able to collect much more information. In the past, Enterprise Architecture was more a discipline which supported the organization. Today it is about innovation. Businesses rely on EAs to give insights into where they can innovate, the probability of disruption and especially, how it can make money on this.
Enterprise Architects used to only view IT tasks, checking that everything worked, viewing where redundant systems were being used and trimming those which were not useful anymore to spare costs, being “only” concerned of the “now” of the company and not really looking into what and how a desired future state can be achieved.
So how do we do this? In one sentence: To have in-depth and 360° analysis, we need to maximize the data’s potential… and for this to happen, all the information needs to be in one repository.
Maintaining gets hard
Another important topic and reason for this is to maintain the data, no matter who is in charge. If your EA was to leave, who would take over? Would they be able to make sense of the clutter of Excel-PowerPoint-post-its and presentations? Probably not, probably, years of hard work would be rendered useless due to the lack of formality.
Why do it the hard way?
So, do not be foolish, invest in an effective data management so you, the stakeholders, and the entire company can profit on the data now and prepare for the future.
Why wait? Try out an alternative to Excel and Visio, try LeanIX now for free and profit from a system which keeps everything in place… from flexible inventories, to automatic technology risk analysis, live metrics and reports… beautiful reports.