IT Strategy FAQ: Why is adopting IT Strategy important to our organization?

 
Assessing whether your specific IT objectives are actually contributing to the organizational strategy can be difficult. Regardless, it’s an important aspect of deciding on future changes to the company’s goals, which means business analysts are often confronted with this question by upper-management.  An IT Strategy guided by best practice Enterprise Architecture (EA) methods, greatly facilitate determining the degree of alignment between the IT objectives and the organization’s strategy.  Adopting a strategic  Enterprise perspective will help to connect the layers of your IT domain, while ensuring alignment with the organization's business goals and objectives.  This becomes your Strategic IT Roadmap. 

 

Is your enterprise challenged by any of the following questions?

How effectively was our strategy implemented?

The importance of strategic planning is paramount, if an organization is to develop successfully. Therefore, it is equally important to identify how well a strategy is implemented if management’s assessments are to be based on facts. An EA Framework highlights the relationships between capabilities, roles, skills and measures by the means of specific organizational views.  You will be able to more quickly identify the facts you need to author reports that answer those questions clearly, and in a timely and actionable response.

What programs are currently live across our entire organization?

Many enterprises have reached such a high degrees of complexity that it is a unique challenge to keep accurate track of all the projects, systems and resources that are “in motion” at any one time.  IT leaders are confronted with the need to answer to management and business owners about on-going and future processes on a routine basis. To help you deal with these top-down requests, an EA Framework provides you with diagrams that detail program implementations across the organization and showcase what capabilities will be delivered, along with the objectives and resources needed to deliver them.

How will planned changes impact our broader enterprise?

In support of decision making, you will be required to identify a certain decision’s impact on the wider enterprise. In other words, you’ll be relied upon to run a “proof test”. This can be very challenging because it requires to accurately follow the line of causality in what can be an extremely cluttered environment. An EA Framework will allow new monitoring capabilities that will ensure you get the job done right, and with minimal effort.

How can we better manage the myriad investments of our IT resources, systems, and projects?

Large organizations have multiple IT Teams working simultaneously on many systems, data, projects and services within the enterprise.  An EA framework, along with the combination of EA Tools an artifact Repository for all operational and planned resources, can ensure that various teams may develop, share and re-use IT constructs across the enterprise, by the use of consistently defined EA constructs and views.

Can we eliminate a certain application to cut costs?

Organizations often have duplicate systems, purchased because people were unaware of existing resources, or inherited as a result of a merger or acquisition. Your EA Framework will provide a complete, up-to-date view of the application landscape, enabling users to quickly and easily identify redundant or duplicate applications, greatly reducing overall operating costs.  EA will also instantiate defined and consistent organizational processes for the future acquisition of software, hardware and services.

Can we migrate some applications to the Cloud?

As organizations begin to consider leveraging the services and infrastructure value of hosting their applications and systems in a cloud environment, an important question that arises is which application(s) should we move to the Cloud? This decision is usually not made on a single factor alone. The choice of which applications to move (and not move) to the cloud should be based on a thorough analysis of your IT landscape, the exercise is called the Cloud migration process.  Common challenges an enterprise faces during a cloud migration include interoperability, data and application portability, data integrity and security, and business continuity.  Your EA Framework will provide the perspective and best path for this process.

How can we better leverage our data assets as an organization?

An EA Framework establishes a number of views across your organization’s business and technology assets..  One of these is the Information View, or Data Architecture.   EA seeks to establish a common data view across all data stores, providing a logical data model that serves all projects and systems, and reduces the “silo effect” of standalone systems.  Maintaining a common enterprise data architecture will facilitate establishing the “record(s) of truth” across your data collections, and become the baseline for how your organization can marshal the power of its collective information for providing business greater intelligence and analytics.

How do we ensure data traceablility?

An EA Framework enables users to define how data is to be stored, consumed, integrated and managed by different data entities, processes, and IT systems. This makes it easy for different stakeholders to understand exactly what data is generated, how and where it is stored, and who accesses it.

How can we better align our IT resources for efficiency and consistent re-use across our organization?

Over time, most organizations have amassed an extensive collection of data, platforms, systems and infrastructure, wherein analysis reveals there’s no common thread or logic to this collection.  An EA Framework enables an organization to define standards for the enterprise, governing the number of different platforms, differing code bases and/or data types are employed and managed by the enterprise.  An EA Framework will guide your organization’s development roadmap along the way to retire legacy systems, migrate systems to shared or common infrastructure, or to hosted cloud platforms, thereby reducing redundancy, variation and inefficiencies across the IT environment.