In enterprise architecture, quick wins build towards bigger business goals

April 05, 2017

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You don't need all the data to demonstrate value - just enough to keep them coming back for more.

I've got a hundred million reasons to walk away

But baby, I just need one good one to stay

If you recognize those words, you would probably beat me in the Pop Culture category on Trivia Night - Lady Gaga, Million Reasons

Here’s a very common scenario. A medium-size company (< 1000 people), Growing And Growing Associates (GAGA), wants to get a handle of how hard it would be to move their applications to a cloud environment. The GAGA management team have heard of some amazing success stories and they don't want to miss the boat.

In order to understand the situation, the company identifies a need for an in-house enterprise architecture practice.

The enterprise architecture team is assembled quickly and with a clear directive - help GAGA navigate a path to the Cloud.

The architecture team gets to work, they start by gathering:

(1)            a list of applications from application owners

(2)            some basic information about cost, and;

(3)            information about number of users

Ie - basic application portfolio management data.

They quickly identify that there would be cost savings associated with moving to the cloud, but they are rightly concerned about the risk of losing control of their data - so the architecture team asks management for more time.

The next step for the team is to go out and find the:

(4) capabilities the applications support

(5) strategic objectives that the applications support

(6) they assign a score to each application based on how critical it is to the business.

As they begin to work on Step 6, the team hears rumblings that a) the move to the cloud is already underway at rogue business units and b) the management team is growing dissatisfied with the progress of the architecture team.

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Why the sudden plot twist? It's been six months since the architecture initiative got underway.That's not enough time to build a fully-functioning practice.

The architecture team regroups. They need to grab the opportunity to communicate their early wins, and the business value it can bring to their company.

I'll grant that you need a bevy of information to navigate a large cloud migration like this with confidence. The six dimensions of data they've gathered above are still not enough.

However, no other team at GAGA has these three things in one accessible place: applications, cost, and number of users. Not to mention the ability to show traceability to business objectives, offer complex analysis, and visualize the whole application portfolio.

Being able to streamline and rationalize the company’s application portfolio can offer big cost savings.  The EA team has the opportunity to seize the initiative and write the rest of the story.

They can demonstrate that the value of enterprise architecture is incremental, and can accumulate in short bursts of activity while providing confidence to longer term projects such as cloud readiness

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Treemap visualization of an Application Portfolio in ABACUS

- Luis Fernandez

To discuss enterprise architecture quick wins and longer term goals join our Enterprise Architecture Clinic on 12 Apr at 11am US Eastern Time.


About ABACUS

Avolution produces the ABACUS software suite, used to manage IT and business strategy. ABACUS users can move quickly, collaborating to deliver on enterprise architecture and digital transformation goals. Import and centralize data in minutes, build models and roadmaps, run analytics and algorithms, report with rich visuals and dashboards.

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