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Don't rely on shamrocks, rainbows, and lucky charms: How to select the best enterprise architecture

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Investing in an enterprise architecture solution is a smart business decision that will increase transparency and open opportunities for improved efficiencies and business growth. Consider linking applications to processes to understand how well your IT systems support business activities. Or maybe you’d like to get a higher visibility into your systems, so you can perform impact analysis and make quicker decisions when planning changes. An EA solution will help you to execute on initiatives like these.

Whether you’re looking to implement a tool that will solve one specific challenge or roll-out an enterprise-wide solution, there are important questions to answer and many issues to consider before selecting the best tool for your company. What kind of tool should you be evaluating? How important is your relationship with the solution vendor? How smooth and easy will the transition be for your staff? These are examples of basic questions to consider when selecting an EA tool before you commit to one and begin down the implementation path to your pot of gold.

To get you started on your path to success, here are 3 steps to help you select the right EA tool for your organization.

1. Identify your short and long-term goals.

What challenge is your organization experiencing and what are the benefits you believe your new EA tool will deliver to help overcome this challenge? Identify measurable goals you’d like to see achieved over the first 6-months to a year. These goals don’t need to be massive, all-encompassing changes, but each one should move you closer to delivering value back to the business. For each goal you set, consider asking yourself how is this specifically helping the business?

2. Seek out EA solution vendors that are flexible and will work with you, not against you.

Ideally, you should love your EA tool vendor and think of that company as your partner and trusted consultant. A vender with knowledgeable professionals that make time for you and truly have your company’s best interest in mind will be one of your best assets and provide you with invaluable guidance as you embark on this journey to improve your operations. They’ve done this before – successfully – and can help you do it as well.

3. Ensure the solution is capable of growing along with your business.

A solution that is flexible, scalable, and can be integrated into the day-to-day operations of your business is going to deliver more long-term ROI than a point solution. You don’t want to be shopping for new EA solutions every couple of years. So, while it’s important to put out urgent, burning fires today, you’ll also want to leverage features and visibility that meet the needs of your expanding operations tomorrow. To extract the most return on investment from your EA solution, consider what your needs will be both now and later when evaluating vendors.

May the luck of the Irish (and some sound selection strategies) be with you!

May there always be work for your hands to do

May your purse always hold a coin or two;

May the sun always shine on your windowpane;

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;

May the hand of a friend always be near you;

May your EA tool fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

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Investing in an enterprise architecture solution is a smart business decision that will increase transparency and open opportunities for improved efficiencies and business growth. Consider linking applications to processes to understand how well your IT systems support business activities. Or maybe you’d like to get a higher visibility into your systems, so you can perform impact analysis and make quicker decisions when planning changes. An EA solution will help you to execute on initiatives like these.

Whether you’re looking to implement a tool that will solve one specific challenge or roll-out an enterprise-wide solution, there are important questions to answer and many issues to consider before selecting the best tool for your company. What kind of tool should you be evaluating? How important is your relationship with the solution vendor? How smooth and easy will the transition be for your staff? These are examples of basic questions to consider when selecting an EA tool before you commit to one and begin down the implementation path to your pot of gold.

To get you started on your path to success, here are 3 steps to help you select the right EA tool for your organization.

1. Identify your short and long-term goals.

What challenge is your organization experiencing and what are the benefits you believe your new EA tool will deliver to help overcome this challenge? Identify measurable goals you’d like to see achieved over the first 6-months to a year. These goals don’t need to be massive, all-encompassing changes, but each one should move you closer to delivering value back to the business. For each goal you set, consider asking yourself how is this specifically helping the business?

2. Seek out EA solution vendors that are flexible and will work with you, not against you.

Ideally, you should love your EA tool vendor and think of that company as your partner and trusted consultant. A vender with knowledgeable professionals that make time for you and truly have your company’s best interest in mind will be one of your best assets and provide you with invaluable guidance as you embark on this journey to improve your operations. They’ve done this before – successfully – and can help you do it as well.

3. Ensure the solution is capable of growing along with your business.

A solution that is flexible, scalable, and can be integrated into the day-to-day operations of your business is going to deliver more long-term ROI than a point solution. You don’t want to be shopping for new EA solutions every couple of years. So, while it’s important to put out urgent, burning fires today, you’ll also want to leverage features and visibility that meet the needs of your expanding operations tomorrow. To extract the most return on investment from your EA solution, consider what your needs will be both now and later when evaluating vendors.

May the luck of the Irish (and some sound selection strategies) be with you!

May there always be work for your hands to do

May your purse always hold a coin or two;

May the sun always shine on your windowpane;

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;

May the hand of a friend always be near you;

May your EA tool fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.