IT-Business Alignment


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IT-Business Alignment

  1. 1. HOW TO ALIGN IT WITH YOUR BUSINESSLinking and Aligning IT Systems and Services to achieve your Business Objectives with the Enterprise Architecture ApproachFull E-Book: ‘Aligning IT with your Business’ASIN: B009E6U8Z8Direct Link: John Kyriazoglou First published in September 2012
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTSDedicationsAbout the authorPrefaceChapter 1: Current Business Operating EnvironmentChapter 2: Business Controls and Enterprise ArchitectureChapter 3: Why is Enterprise Architecture (EA) important?Chapter 4: Definition and Processes of the EA ApproachChapter 5: Process 1 - EA Management PlanChapter 6: Process 2 - EA ResourcesChapter 7: Process 3 - EA ComponentsChapter 8: Process 4 - EA ImprovementChapter 9: Benefits of Enterprise ArchitectureChapter 10: Concluding RemarksAppendix 1 – EA Case StudyAppendix 2 – EA FrameworksEnd NotesFurther References
  3. 3. Chapter 5: Process 1 - EA Management Plan‘Golden Verse 27. Consult and deliberate before you act, that youmay not commit foolish actions.’ Pythagoras, ancient Greek PhilosopherPROCESS 1. Establish and execute your EA managementplan. This is the first process of the EA approach you can use toimplement enterprise architecture for your business. This EAprocess and the management steps and actions it containscomprise the first things you need to do to start linking andaligning, in a better way, your corporate IT systems and services toyour company business objectives.The controls supporting this process are identified in each step ofthe plan described next.You should note that an enterprise architecture (EA) approach is aconceptual approach that assists your organization with theunderstanding of your own business structure and the way yourfunctions work. It provides a map of your enterprise and is a routeplanner for your business and technology change. Normally anenterprise architecture takes the form of a comprehensive set ofcohesive models that describe the structure and the functions ofyour company.This can only be achieved in an organized, systematic, effectiveand efficient manner by an enterprise architecture (EA)management plan.I have used the following 12-step plan in various EA consultingassignments and projects quite effectively (see also case study in
  4. 4. appendix) and it has given my customers the results and value ofEA they expected. You may, of course, customize it to fit yourbusiness purposes22.You must remember that your own plan should examine allperspectives pertaining to an effective EA frameworkimplementation: business processes, management, culture,technical, human, project management, training and awareness.My own, practical and results-oriented version of an EA plan ispresented next.EA management planThis plan consists of the following steps:Step 1. Conduct EA Preliminary Study.Step 2. Set up EA Organization.Step 3. Commit EA Users.Step 4. Develop EA Communication.Step 5. Document EA Demands.Step 6. Select EA Framework.Step 7. Define Current Business Model.Step 8. Develop changes to the Current Business Model.Step 9. Document Future Business Model.Step 10. Craft EA Implementation Plan.Step 11. Execute EA Plan.Step 12. Monitor, Review and Improve EA Process.These steps, their activities and end results (products) are detailednext.Step 1. Conduct EA Preliminary StudyActivity 1. Appoint an external consultant or internal corporateofficer to carry out the activities of this step.Activity 2. Carry out a requirements analysis. This should includea ‘Gap Analysis’ identifying:
  5. 5. 1. Whether your current company’s IT systems and services arealigned with your company’s business strategy, functions,processes and model.2. How well your company’s IT systems and services satisfy thebusiness needs and demands of your company’s critical decisionmakers.3. What new IT systems and services are required to satisfy thebusiness needs and demands of your company’s future businessmodel and compete better in an ever-changing corporateenvironment.Activity 3. Prepare a feasibility study that includes a list of EAdemands and expectations and a preliminary budget, focusing oncritical areas of business processes, information and data, andtechnology.Activity 4. Review and obtain approval of the feasibility study andthe budget for the EA implementation. Transfer the whole projectto the EA team (identified in next step).All the following steps are carried out by the EA team withinvolvement by senior management, board and other resources (IT,audit, etc.), as identified in each EA process (see followingchapters). Details about the responsibilities of all resources relatedto the EA effort are described in chapter 6 (Process 2 – EAResources).The end result (product) of this step is your approved ‘EAFeasibility Study (Process 1 - Control 1)’.Step 2. Set up EA OrganizationActivity 1. Craft and communicate an EA policy (Process 1 -Control 2).An EA policy is required to govern the development,implementation, and maintenance aspects of your company’s EA.The EA policy should be approved by the IT Committee or theCIO and should be ratified by the board.
  6. 6. Chapter 8: Process 4 - EA Improvement‘The roadway in not un-connected, either we go forward or we gobackward. The destination and the roadway are within us. Thedestination is a happy condition of an ambitious soul, while theroadway is its continuous change.’ Soren Kierkergaard, Danish Philosopher and Writer8.1. PROCESS 4 Description. Review and improve your EAimplementationThis is the fourth process of the EA approach you can use toimplement and improve enterprise architecture for your business.This EA process and the management actions it containscomprise the fourth things you need to do to improve linkingand aligning your corporate IT systems and services to yourcompany business objectives, in accordance with your EAmanagement plan (see the specific steps of this plan in chapter 5).The controls supporting this process are identified in eachparagraph next.In the previous chapters I described the main standard-industryEA frameworks, a management plan, and support roles formanagement, board and support staff to design, implement andmonitor your EA implementation, formulating and documentingthe enterprise architecture components and EA AdministrationProcedures.But how do you know and check that your EA implementation isgiving you the results you expect? Especially if you are a boardmember or senior executive, besides the EA project progressreport, you need to double-check and assure yourself and yourcompany is on the right track, in your EA project, or in any otherbusiness operational activity of your company.
  7. 7. This is the task of your corporate performance managementsystem. This usually contains a policy, a business scorecard and adashboard system (for immediate graphics) to track yourperformance related to customers, financial activities, operations,etc., coupled with a set of performance measures and complianceindicators, and EA checklists.In more specific terms, as EA projects are lengthy andcumbersome, at times, you need to be more diligent in monitoringand evaluating its progress.8.2. EA Improvement PlanYou need, therefore, to monitor how your EA implementation isdoing all the time.This may be achieved by executing an EA Improvement Plan,outlined next:Step 1. Examine all activities contained in the 12 steps of Process1 – Management Plan (Conduct EA Preliminary Study, Set up EAOrganization, Commit EA Users, Develop EA Communication,etc.) to ensure that they were executed fully.Step 2. Evaluate the results of all products as identified in Process1 – Management Plan (EA Feasibility Study, EA policy, EACommunication Plan, EA Requirements Study, EA framework,Business Model, Enterprise Architecture Repository, EAImplementation Plan, etc.)Step 3. Monitor and evaluate the whole implementation of yourEA and its related components, as well as the performancemeasures and compliance indicators noted next.Step 4. Audit all activities by the use of the EA checklistsdescribed in this chapter to improve all elements of your EAimplementation.