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The Immense Importance of Enterprise Architecture for IT

The Immense Importance of Enterprise Architecture for IT

At Mumba Cloud we believe most decidedly in the power of excellent strategy and what it can achieve when executed effectively. One such strategic area of importance is Enterprise Architecture (EA) which provides a conceptual blueprint setting out the structure and operation of an organisation.

The objective of Enterprise Architecture is to assess how best an organisation can optimise both its current and future objectives across specifically defined areas, including enterprise technology, on which we at Mumba Cloud are focused.

A thought provoking post recently appeared in ZDNet.com in which Joe McKendrick discusses McKinsey’s latest thinking on EA from an enterprise technology perspective.

The article entitled Enterprise architecture: time to get the business to sit up and take notice emphasises that EA is in fact the key to attaining and operating a lean, agile and successful enterprise technology infrastructure.

A major flaw in many organisations, however, is that they still do not appreciate the importance of their EA team and assign them peripheral roles, whilst happily spending large sums on second rate, inefficient, IT systems that barely deliver and which are in fact very costly compared to better options. This is something that Mumba Cloud has seen time and time again.

In order to optimise the entire EA operation McKendrick’s post highlights a number of key areas which make a great deal of sense. These are:

1. Give the EA department a lot more leverage to influence overall IT strategy. An ironic situation, that is common, is that EA is placed in a silo, with curtailed input, when the need to break down silos and influence the bigger picture should be at its core. Senior EA executives should be given the power to set out and implement well founded IT strategies that benefit the organisation as a whole, and take responsibility for this.

2. EA needs to reflect the business operation. When dealing with IT and other technical issues the EA team should have enough information and skills to ensure that its decisions are optimal for the nature of the business. For example, manufacturers and retailers would require different uses and outcomes in some respects.

3. EA can be a great path for both IT and business professionals. In instances where EA is properly implemented there is a great opportunity to merge business and IT to acquire optimal synergies. In addition, companies known to have achieved this are more likely to attract higher calibre leadership talent moving forward, thereby setting up a virtuous cycle of immense long term value.

4. EA activity needs to be measured and assessed overall. Companies won’t know how efficient the overall EA initiatives are unless measured, compared and assessed. This is more difficult than measuring a single IT initiative as different areas across the enterprise are impacted, just as an orchestra’s performance depends on many different sections, soloists, and the conductor. The suggestion is to begin with small and simple measurements such as using business specific metrics (for instance the number of applications and interfaces for each project, the number of applications demonstrating overlapping functionality, etc.) and then progressing to more sophisticated techniques, tailored for each specific organisation.

In conclusion, given the right opportunities EA can often enhance organisations through cutting edge, disruptive industry approaches. Mumba Cloud is an enterprise mobility solution that could play a pivotal role in many types of EA initiatives especially around best practices for mobile app development and deployment. 

Contact us today or call 02 9313 4280 to find out how we can assist you with your enterprise mobile app strategy.

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