Just breathe. Besides being one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs, that is my advice when you are feeling the pressures of this brave new digital world. Just breathe – and start planning. That old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” has never rung so true.
With the category in its report, The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Architecture Management Suites, Q3, 2015, we believe that Forrester is confirming that using EA to plan and manage business and IT transformation is essential for digital success.
Today, IT is being called upon to move mountains and move them quickly. So just when it seems there is no time to sit down and plan ahead, that is the time when it is most important to keep calm.
Let’s look at some of the initiatives Forrester includes in its evaluation, for example, customer experience (CX). Generally, EA is needed to define the principles; for decisions on how the IT landscape will change to improve CX and to govern how architecture solutions are designed for optimal CX. At a more specific level, business capability maps can be used to collaborate with business to identify what areas of the business would benefit most from improved CX. Capability metrics such as customer satisfaction, process variability and architecture agility can point to business areas where CX initiatives have a good chance of success. Application assessments can expose where CX interactions take place and what the impact of application change will be on the technology that supports it or the projects the application supports.
Another example is big data. EA can help business use big data effectively by using capability maps to show where big data can improve CX, operational excellence, new service offerings or for differentiating capabilities. It can provide solution guidance by assessing whether available data can satisfy business requirements, embrace and model various sources of data, or understand where data can trigger new processes.
The expectations on IT to deliver digital solutions encompassing so many dimensions of the digital world can be quite daunting—especially with the urgency today’s global competitive markets call for. But taking the time to plan now using an EA-based IT planning tool will certainly help avoid failures down the line.
This is why Software AG includes the Alfabet product with its Enterprise Architecture, IT planning and portfolio management capabilities—all within its Digital Business Platform (DBP). DBP serves as the foundation for the digital enterprise. It provides functionality for creating adaptive applications, complex event processing, an integration engine, a process engine, in-memory data processing and transaction processing – all the equipment needed to meet the challenges of digitalization. But without understanding where to start with your digitalization initiative—be it customer experience, mobile, big data, cloud or Internet of Things—and what impact the changes will have on your business and IT, IT could potentially cause more harm than good to the business.
So breathe deeply and take your time with your planning. To quote another favorite (German) saying of mine: Wie macht es der Fliesenleger wenn er es ganz besonders eilig hat? Ganz langsam! Which means: How does the tile setter do his work when he’s very much in a hurry? Slowly!
*Independent research firm Forrester Research has recognized Software AG as a leader among Enterprise Architecture Management Suites, The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Architecture Management Suites, Q3 2015