Did you purchase an EA tool specifically for application portfolio management and now need a tool that will also help you with GDPR compliance or data privacy? Or did you purchase a tool for business architecture and now need a tool for customer journey mapping or information architecture? If you find yourself in this situation, you need a modular solution that allows you to easily add on different tools that are all supported by the same platform and feed into one central repository. But why is a collaborative platform so important?
A collaborative platform offering a central repository allows companies to connect data and develop synergies between departments and breakdown silos between various stakeholders. Enterprise Architects, IT Architects, Business Process Managers, Business Architects, and Compliance Officers can collaborate from the very beginning of a project (on the same data sets) rather than come in at the end when it’s often too late for changes. Another benefit of a multi-user platform is that architectural management is centralized, while accountability is distributed to the appropriate stakeholders, thus establishing a powerful communication tool for corporate governance. Also, with more people adding information to a shared repository, the more you can leverage the architecture tool in terms of scope and the greater the value becomes to the business. With all this shared knowledge and breaking down of silos, companies can successfully optimize or accelerate transformation projects while being mindful of risks and threats before it’s too late.
“Today’s enterprise architects support the work of both IT and non-IT leaders,” states Gartner. “By 2021, 40% of organizations will use enterprise architects to help ideate new business innovations made possible by emerging technologies,” according to Predicts 2019: Enterprise Architecture Evolves Into an Internal Management Consultancy, published by Gartner. If you’re finding that your current tool isn’t allowing you to support the work of your business leaders, and it’s not allowing you to innovate and plan for the future state of technology, it’s time for a new tool that will empower you to provide real, tangible business value now and down the road. Also, your tool should allow business leaders to see the value of your work and provide visibility into the important role of EA and your job as an Architect. If your tool isn’t easily showcasing the breadth and value of your position, it’s doing you a disservice.
A powerful example of how an EA tool can provide real business value can be seen from Fannie Mae’s EA success story. With support from MEGA’s enterprise architecture solutions, Fannie Mae evolved its EA program from governance-focused to enabler-focused through strategies that fostered collaboration and increased communication. Fannie Mae invited various business user groups to have access to the software and the ability to capture their data. As more information started entering the repository, it grew richer, more accurate, and more valuable.
Today, the company’s repository is robust and full of easily accessible and accurate data. MEGA’s HOPEX software facilitated the building of interfaces between data platforms which allowed the data to flow together making it much easier to gain an accurate view of the company’s IT platforms, processes, and business operations. The abundance of accurate data and the increased visibility into the company’s processes gave Fannie Mae the ability to build new dashboards and reports to drive actionable work. This resulted in the elimination of unnecessary technologies, cost savings, and faster and more streamlined project planning that saved time, money, and reduced project risks.
Fannie Mae’s journey to enterprise architecture success has been all about collaboration, increasing visibility, and fostering a culture of inclusion and enablement. Fannie Mae was able to remove the mystery from EA by putting key information and metrics in front of decisionmakers, so they could see the business value of the architectural deliverables.
Your EA tool should provide clarity and transparency to all levels of your organization and if it’s not, well it might be time for a change. EA is becoming increasingly seen as a necessary function for innovation, business growth, digital transformation, and agility, making EA important to all levels of an organization. You need a tool that gives your company a collaborative platform to support all stakeholders – from users and practitioners to decisionmakers. You need an EA solution that can help in planning, decision-making, and management to ensure improved communication and increased collaboration and transparency. For example, an EA tool that offers multiple solutions such as integrated risk management, privacy management, and information architecture, allows stakeholders from these different disciplines to collaborate at the earliest stages of a project, successfully implementing the privacy-by-design approach characterized by proactive, rather than reactive measures, and aims to prevent breaches and compliance issues from occurring. If your current tool isn’t providing these services, look elsewhere.
You should feel like your EA tool vendor is by your side helping your business grow, innovate, and achieve agility. Do you feel like your EA tool vender is a trusted partner? Do they care about your business? Do they understand your business? Are they available and ready to help when you need them? If you’re shaking your head no, then it’s time for a new trusted EA tool provider that will be there for you, and your organization, and is by your side helping you achieve your goals and allowing you to provide real business value – and be recognized for it! We’re keeping tabs on industry best practices and share those with our clients to provide advice on managing their IT landscape, complying with privacy regulations, getting real results, and achieving business outcomes.
One of my favorite sayings on this topic comes from Gordon Cooper, MEGA’s Customer Success Manger. Gordon likes to remind everyone, “you will have outgrown your EA solution before you can depreciate it.” Heed Gordon’s warning and don’t let this be you. The next EA tool you select should be your last – you don’t want to change EA tools every few years – that’s a huge burden easily avoided. Escape this situation by purchasing a tool that offers a comprehensive suite of solutions and a multi-user platform. If activities like privacy management, business architecture, integrated risk management, business process analysis, and application portfolio management can be managed from one single centralized repository, stakeholders from these disciples can collaborate more effectively and efficiently from the very start of new projects rather then come in at the end only to find mistakes and errors leading to potential risks that could have been easily prevented. A collaborative platform is a must if you want to develop synergies between departments and breakdown silos between various stakeholders. Nothing should be done in a vacuum especially when projects involve personal data, privacy, and security.
To help you select the best tool for your organization, here are some tips that will help you identify your needs and which tools should be at the top of your list.