Architecture Management (EAM)

IT investments can be halved

Enterprise architecture management should be located in an integrated planning chain between demand management and IT project portfolio management.

Why is this distinction so important? Companies that successfully manage their IT establish the EAM right in the gap between Demands and Requirements: The enterprise architect creates a development plan by transforming the demand, such as the support of the Business Capability Human Capital Management, into a concrete technical solution idea, such as the Introduction of SAP HCM, translated.

This ensures that technical solution decisions are not made locally, but holistically, and thus in particular redundant IT solutions can be avoided.

The requirement, for example, to introduce a solution such as SAP HCM, is then handed over to the IT project portfolio management by the enterprise architect, where it is prioritized, budgeted (or not) and then transferred to a concrete project.

Optimal IT governance therefore includes a planning chain in which EAM acts as a link between demand management and IT project portfolio management. At present, many companies are working on setting up such an integrated IT planning process.

What a good development plan looks like

What a good development plan looks like, every company answers differently. Thus, in practice, there are various forms of application maps as well as process product matrices in which the IT applications are assigned to the supported processes and products. Here it can be clearly observed that a pure IT application map with graphically visualized interfaces only to a limited extent helps to organize effective IT development.

After all, how good or bad an IT application landscape is essentially decides how well it supports the business and its Demands. With this dimension, most enterprise architects struggle, as it is often easier to move into the familiar comfort zone of IT, rather than pervading the content of business organization requirements and mapping them into a business architecture.

A good enterprise architecture describes the business architecture in at least three dimensions: processes (the value-added view), business capabilities (the functional view), and products. In particular, the presentation of business capabilities is seen by more and more companies as an important construct that enables an effective assessment of IT support or business / IT alignment.

For effective land-use planning, it is also important that the business architecture is described purely professionally and independently of IT applications and technical solution ideas. Precisely in this point, the practice shows that the business architecture is often derived from the familiar IT applications. However, such an approach will make it difficult to find out if alternative IT solutions could better support business demands.

Companies create central architectural departments

In many companies, central architectural departments are currently being created for EAM. Often, these units evolve from teams that have previously focused on the software architecture of IT applications. In addition to the challenge of not seeing (longer) the dimension of the business architecture through the use of IT glasses, another hurdle must often be overcome in practice.

This becomes clear with the following comparison: Someone who designs buildings as an architect, deals with the modern design of houses and is also familiar with technical details such as statics is likely to find it difficult to plan a city and decide where industrial areas should be be built or where residential areas should arise.

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