Why Enterprise Architecture Needs to Be Part of Your Digital Transformation

Why Enterprise Architecture Needs to Be Part of Your Digital Transformation

Many corporate leaders realise the value of digital transformation to their business. When they can do the right thing, their businesses can be more effective, more competitive and possibly better equipped to offer new goods and services to consumers and partners across multiple channels. Many executives expect further new developments and programs in the upcoming months and years in order to create greater top-line revenues through digital adoption.

However, there can be visible risks involved with these initiatives. Established businesses want to work like start-ups, but they probably do not have the technology landscape or facilities to actually find a way to stay in the game with companies that have been digital native from the beginning. The failures will bring consequences. Traditional business that embark on the digital transformation journey without clear and strategic direction, may find themselves building complicated technology system and patching on the go just to meet immediate demands.

When businesses put all their efforts on digital transformation without proper planning, they will experience increased in complexity on their business and technology processes and deteriorates the efficiency. These businesses will then have to restructure their IT systems and technology to enable basic digital activities.

Unleashing Digital Transformation Potentials with Enterprise Architecture

There is one department in the organisation that can play an important and central role in reducing the challenges associated with digital transformations is the Enterprise Architecture (EA) department. Larger and more established companies that have bigger IT landscape usually embedded a dedicated EA team. The EA team assists in overseeing the whole technology and business transformation journey to support the vision, mission and motivation of the key stakeholders. They will establish the guidelines in aligning the technology with the business strategy for successful digital transformation journey. This to ensure consistency across every departments and avoid any silos initiatives as otherwise depicted in the following figure:

The documentation and communication between the top management and stakeholders can be improved and well managed when the EA team is involved directly in the digital transformation initiatives. These initiatives will provide tangible benefits to the businesses and deliver technology investment values through the delivery of new enterprise capabilities. By reduced duplication of efforts and initiatives through EA, businesses can spend more time to focus at the tasks at hand that are critical and bring positive impacts to the organisation. With EA, these businesses can compete more effectively in their respective industries.  

Enterprise architects are expected to spearhead all the digital initiatives within the organisation so that the business can capitalise on latest digital technologies that support agile environment. The EA team is in the position to support any decisions and assist in creating an aligned perspective on what needs to be done in terms of integrating and transforming the business units and technology systems. This will help the organisation to have a common understanding on the systems and processes. Of course, with the involvement from the EA team, successful and good outcomes can happen, but the most important one is getting the strong support from the senior management to ensure that the guidelines established by the EA team should gain traction across all departments in order to achieve the business goals.

Upskilling and Developing the Architects’ Capabilities

digital transformation is a complicated and risky endeavour. It is not just about having the right technologies and processes in placed, but it necessitates an EA team who has the expertise to successfully implement, manage and drive continuous improvement culture. EA team should be involved and worked closely with the business units because the corporate decisions that will be made typically tied to the technology structure. It is a well-known fact that EA team requires a combination of exceptional business strategy thinking and expertise on technology trends and environment to assist corporate leaders understand the value of digital transformation.

In order for a EA team to succeed, corporate leaders are responsible in upskilling and developing the architects’ capabilities as well as empower them as a valuable contributor for the business transformation. If they are given the chance to build the trust and rapport with the business leaders, a lasting integration between business and technology will be seamless and can be sustained.


Author: Aaron Tan Dani

President of Singapore Computer Society EA-Chapter aarontan@scs.org.sg

Founder and Chairman of Iasa Asia Pacific aarontan@iasahome.org

Aaron Tan Dani, Chief Architect of ATD Solution aarontan@atdsolution.com 

Related websites:

Join the EA activities in Singapore and learn how you can implement Digital-Business-driven EA in your organisation.

Computer Society EA-Chapter: http://www.scs.org.sg/Chapter/ea-homepage and

Learn more about ITABoK (IT Architecture Body of Knowledge) skillsets and about the roles, scopes and impacts of EA Specializations.

IASA: www.iasahome.org

Acquire successful Digital Transformation adoption with ATD Enterprise Architecture consulting and training services.

ATD Solution: www.atdsolution.com

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