Enterprise architecture has to be driven from the top. This is what the CIO of Aetna said to CIO Magazine. The article discussed how Aetna was successful using enterprise architecture for business improvement.
This is also one of the ideas that we suggest in our latest eBook, CIOs: How to Become the CEO’s Business Partner. CIOs play a big role in strategic decisions and business transformations. So, new practices are clearly top priorities for them. They help implement a global ‘top-down’ approach to the organization, ensuring the alignment of resources with business goals. Because of their role and responsibilities, they are always looking for new ways to make the organization more efficient and effective, and continue to deliver results.
One of those approaches is application portfolio management (APM), which, while not a new concept, is being used in new ways today. APM offers a structured process to get a clear and organized view of assets, while evaluating their value, cost, and risk, and to organize the decision process on required transformations. Integrating APM within an EA perspective is the mean to organize transformations to provide CIOs with the effective tools they need to manage their activities for the benefit of the organization. We see the paradigm shifting, from modeling to management, and we’ll come back to discuss those ideas in a future EA Exclusive.
All the best,
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Customers Speak up
Aetna Dumps Its Siloed Enterprise Architecture for SOA.
Aetna overcomes business hurdles to revamp its enterprise architecture.
So wrote Stephanie Overby, writer for CIO Magazine/CIO.com. She recently spoke with Michael Mathias, vice president and CIO at Aetna. He discussed his company’s approach to enterprise architecture, how they undertook a three-year program, and the challenges they encountered along the way.
Do you want to contribute and share the business value EA brings to your organization?
Food for Thought
CIOs: How to Become the CEO’s Business Partner
A Best Practices eBook
CIOs are facing more pressure to take on a new role within the organization. Because they are the keepers of information systems and the infrastructure that makes the business run, , they are in a better position to bring value and competitive advantage to the business. However, becoming a true business partner of the CEO is a long journey. It requires CIOs to:
Where we Have Been
Feedback from the Forrester EA Forum in the USA
By Jacqui Gervais, MEGA North America
At this year’s Forrester Enterprise Architecture Forum in Las Vegas, we attended a session, led by Randy Heffner, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, that focused on business-centered enterprise architecture (coined as BCEA) and advice on how to move from “business architecture to business implementation”. He began his presentation with a statement and a follow-up question:
“In the digital age, you can’t separate business and technology. How are you going to make your technology change as fast as your business needs to change?”
As you’ve heard us say before, a company’s success relies largely on the technology it embraces; enterprise architecture is the foundation to sustainable, profitable business change. In fact, EA is the process of managing expected and unexpected changes to the business, both internal and external.
Heffner suggested an exercise which all EAs should undertake in order to gain a perspective on where they’re at and how they’re aligned (or can be aligned) with executive expectations and a more business-centered practice.
Here is the exercise. Answer Heffner’s four questions:
“You must begin with the end in mind,” Heffner noted. “Being business-centered is grounded in a top-level view of the business...and carries that grounding across all of the business change cycle.” He added that EAs must focus on a more holistic technology design and on better business outcomes.
Next, Heffner transitioned into the importance of agility in the business. Making a quick decision or a last minute change of plans needs to be done nimbly and with a guaranteed positive outcome where all risks have been identified (and mitigated) and all of the proper controls are in place to avoid any adverse events. (To read more about MEGA’s perspective on this, check out our new eBook: 5 Keys to Agile EA)
To wrap up, Heffner listed five requirements for a future-oriented EA approach:
Do you have another requirement in mind? How are you keeping track of your business if you are currently just technology-centered? Do you feel that your company is on a path to BCEA?
1 Heffner, Randy. Forrester’s Business-Centered EA: Getting from Business Architecture to Business Implementation. May 2012. Forrester Research, Inc.
MEGA Hosted Enterprise Architecture Event in Belgium
By Laura Rottier-Escribano, MEGA Europe
MEGA and partner TRIPL’A recently hosted a special event in Leuven, Belgium for business process managers and enterprise architects from Belgium and The Netherlands. At the event, they heard experts from MEGA and TRIPL’A speak about The Business Value of Enterprise Architecture and a Belgian provider of post-trade services, a MEGA customer, discuss their experiences using the MEGA Suite.
The presentations provided an opportunity for participants to learn about the latest developments in EA, such as business strategy and IT portfolio planning, as well as ways to align IT and business needs. The program also summarized new features in the MEGA Suite and new products like the new MEGA Application Portfolio Management solution.
A special presentation by the financial institution in Belgium focused on how they use the MEGA Suite to support the company’s architecture and a centralized documentation strategy. Market changes and the complexity of doing business altered the way the company looked at its vision for the future. The institution found there were significant differences in what resources were already in place and what would be required for the future.
To better prepare for the future business environment, the company wanted to implement a sustainable and reliable IT system, supported through an architecture approach using the MEGA Suite, with a focus on permanent documentation. The objective was to have a centralized repository of ‘easy-to-use’ and quickly accessible documentation.
The presenter said:
We’ll be glad to share more news about enterprise architecture in the next edition of our EA Exclusive!