Independent research firm Forrester Research has recognized Software AG as a leader among companies offering Enterprise Architecture Management Suites.
The way research firms keep redefining what enterprise architecture (EA) is could give the impression that the most recent mutation is a completely new animal aimed at new problems that need solving. In the recently published The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Architecture Management Suites, Q3, 2015, the author notes: “The increasing scope of EA—to cover strategy, portfolio, and architecture management—has provided opportunities for EAMS vendors to evolve their products into new areas.”
The report is welcome, and we agree that vendors are responding to the need for coordinated planning and managing of business-driven IT change across the enterprise. But this is not a new need; we at Software AG have long integrated enterprise architecture with business planning and IT portfolio management activities so business and IT users can collaboratively create a strong business technology (BT) plan and execute it across the organization.
Already over a decade ago, some IT leaders recognized that to strategically manage and develop complex application landscapes, conventional modelling tools were not enough. Telecommunications giants needed to adapt their product strategy and business models to leverage increasing digitization. They needed to understand how to re-direct investment to strategic systems and reduce operating costs. Global titans of the automobile industry needed to make production capacity more flexible across global operations. This required harmonizing and standardizing processes and IT support across production locations. And financial behemoths who were struggling to deliver business projects due to legacy systems needed to re-engineer and wrap their core systems for agility.
These companies required strategic planning and portfolio management capabilities built on an EA foundation. These capabilities could not be based on static models delivering a one-off snapshot of reality that was out-of-date as soon as it was available. Their vision, drive and willingness to work with certain vendors drove development of a new kind of EA tool, more of an information management system. It is like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) transactional system which, through process workflows, is constantly fed by stakeholders with new information upon each change in the current and planned architecture state.
It can, at any moment in time, provide absolutely current information on how the IT landscape looks today and how it will look on any other day in the future. Models? Sure—generated in real-time out of one repository for architecture, IT planning, project proposals and budget tracking. These companies applied a pragmatic change management approach to their EA programs to keep pace with an ever faster-moving business world. It was the foresight of these IT leaders and the appropriate tool support that have kept them at the forefront of their industries.
The age of digitization is throwing some hardballs at established concerns but—now as then—with sage IT leaders and pioneering tools, the ability to quickly turn visibility into action will keep them ahead of the game. And prepared for the future.