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How to Succeed with Enterprise Architecture: Part 3

Posted by Tim R on October 29, 2018


EA solutions found inside the White Paper


We've discussed what to do in your first 100 days as an Enterprise Architect. Now let's directly discuss the role of an EA Management tool in supplementing innovation itself. 

Reason being, operations frequently commit to digitalization without knowing the full extent of its potential. They modernize because they have to—because their competitors are and so must they.

The experts say move. And so we pick up an Enterprise Architecture guide and move.

This is not necessarily bad, of course. Beneficial change, no matter the underlying motive, is good. It’s just that in pursuits of innovation, occupational perspectives on new technology are often badly communicated.

It’s the goal of next-generation Enterprise Architecture to thereby put structural IT transformations in the context of real, day-to-day business sense. To decipher vague trends using an industry’s language and to crystallize what’s occurring inside an untouchable space. Proof, basically, that business is sharpening thanks to an upgrade—not just conforming.

But the value of a force like digitalization can’t be substantiated in the columns of an Excel sheet. Nor can it be approximated with Visio models alone.

LeanIX is designed, top-down, to let Enterprise Architects access the moving currents of data inside digitaliz(ing)(ed) operations in order to generate meaningful and immediate business-relevant insights. It is collaborative, web-based SaaS built to enable transparency at all levels of an IT network.

It has come to define modern EA, but to see the first steps to becoming successful with it (that is, as much as one can without demoing the product…), it’s worthwhile to read our free e-Book, “Enterprise Architecture Success Kit: Everything you need for a flying start and long-time success”.

Here’s a basic outline of it…


Bringing next generation EA to your organization

CIOs desire low costs, high innovation, and minimal risk. Application rationalization—the process of reviewing (or “rationalizing”) your application landscape to eliminate or support applications—is a central function of LeanIX proven to leverage user-inputted data to win:

  • 15% increased savings in application license and maintenance costs;
  • simplified administrative duties to widen innovation efforts; and
  • closer aligned technology standards for improved security assurances.


Common EA pitfalls

Even Aunt Jemima can make a bad pancake. It’s also possible the most intrepid EAs can succumb to common EA pitfalls while starting with LeanIX. For example:


Too much planning, too little doing…

Don’t be an armchair EA. Step into the enterprise—lay the first spike yourself.

Trying to model everything…

Focus on your core objective(s). Everything else is value-added.

Solving problems on the wrong level…

When exploring the remote corners of your organization, it’s quite easy to get side-tracked by impossible problems which aren't yours to fix. Strike a balance between “just enough” technical detail and “just in time” strategic impact.

Using the wrong tools…

Solely working with spreadsheets will send you to an early grave. Find a collaborative EA tool that makes Big Picture thinking both possible and fluid.


Generating immediate results

In 30 days, focus on these six steps to generate immediate results:


Collect your IT portfolio data

Gather all relevant information. Eliminate all bad. Bing-bang-bong: you’ve got the beginnings of a worthwhile EA inventory.

Analyze your portfolio information

Evaluate applications in this database by focusing on business criticality and functional/technical fit. Be judgmental. Give hard ratings to all.

Identify and communicate possible measures

Exploit the generosity of your friends by requesting, in clear language, their opinion on your applications. Expose your delicate enterprise to public scrutiny.

Implement quick hit initiatives

You’ve got data. You’ve got friends. Now target something high impact and high feasibility (perhaps, say, eliminating redundant applications using a portfolio analysis…?).

Develop your Business Capability Maps

Use this deluge of enterprise insight to develop a Business Capability Map—an oft-forgotten yet infinitely rewardable guidebook to every major capability your business needs to operate.


Keeping everybody happy

If you want to keep the good times rolling, the EA Success Kit outlines (in much greater detail) some of the following recommendations:


Keep the data quality up

Continue doing regular surveys to keep data quality high—or perhaps implement quality check mechanisms to enforce scheduled review processes.

Make data available, get everyone involved

Digitalization opens architectural information for all to see. Show everyone in your organization how they can be engaged with the browser-based and mobile-optimized LeanIX.

Speak in understandable and easy terms

Don’t be clever. Use practical language and ideas when speaking about EA to your stakeholders.

Integrate EA into your company’s processes

Entwine modern EA management into all of your company’s processes. Give it time, however. After nurturing it in stages, your company will grow to spot opportunities and disruptions to drive innovation instinctively.


Answering common CIO questions

Arguing the value of EA and digitalization to your CIO, or any other top brass in your organization, is an unfortunate part of the job. Using LeanIX, your discussions will hopefully become shorter and sweeter because of the following:


Using up-to-date analysis of an organization’s application portfolio to show which applications matter the most to the business

The related benefits? Rationalizing applications to know which to keep and throw out. As a result, you’ll reduce risks + costs while making the group leaner and more agile.

Optimizing business data by identifying key technical dependencies

LeanIX enables the transparency required to see the running pathways of technology in your IT and Business landscapes. This overview exposes the weakest links in your network to orient data quality improvement measures.

Pinpointing risks

Redundant IT components will break your organization. Seeing detailed reasons why applications are failing security standards will lead to better compliance and technology lifecycle management.

Showing, in real-time, how and where data is being used

An EA tool provides information on which user group uses which data—and correspondingly on which data supports which business capability. It’s a lovely merry-go-round of clarity sure to enhance your cost and risk management.

Exposing the vendors behind your technology

Now your CIO and top management can study, in perfect detail, who is providing the essential technology of their company. Do they like what’s happening behind the curtain? Let them decide.

Showing the money

Your IT budget is shown in living colour using an EA tool. The full costs of any given application can be viewed by business capability, user group, provider, project, or IT component.


Application Intelligence

An EA Management tool powers real-time application intelligence. Operations running on digital business models require this agility to facilitate DevOps methods—the closest possible co-operation between Development and Operations. With LeanIX, you have a platform that delivers the precise structure and up-to-date information to bring Development and Operations into closer collaboration with Business to accomplish the shared needs of all three parties.


Download your free copy of the Enterprise Architecture Success Kit here.


Enterprise Architecture Success Kit