10 years, 8 months ago

Why Capability Maps Matter: Lessons From the Field

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Modern enterprises and other organizations rely heavily on information technology. But the relationship between the organization requiring IT services and the IT department providing those services is often strained. Traditionally, IT departments are seen as opaque cost centers that do not deliver appropriate value for the cost incurred – in other words, a “money sink.” In reality, IT departments struggle with an ever increasing demand for services while simultaneously facing budget cuts. As a result, IT sees the business as “starving” it for funds.

This mutual feeling of distrust is commonly caused by an acute disconnect between the business and the IT sides of the organization. Lack of information on both sides not only leads to unfounded suspicion, but can also contribute to an actual waste of money. When the IT department does not know what is important to the business, how can it be expected to best use scarce resources according to the organization’s priorities?

The solution lies in bringing information from different parts of the organization together and, by relating information from business and IT with each other, creating transparency across the whole organization. By creating a line of sight from business-level goals and capabilities down to the projects and applications that determine whether those capabilities are created and the goals are met, you clearly see whether IT spending is aligned with the business. This is where capability maps, which associate the business capabilities, processes, and functions required for success with the IT resources that enable them, can enhance the speed, quality and accuracy of decision-making.

Capability maps drive leading organizations to have fact-based discussions about business processes, systems, and resources in business terms. In particular they provide answers to foundational questions such as:

· How do I demonstrate investment alignment?

· How do I communicate and mitigate risk?

· How do I identify business impacts?

· How do I make the right investment decisions?

With capability maps, IT and business leaders can engage more effectively in business discussions that address new business opportunities as they arise, and make the hard decisions about where to spend scarce IT dollars. Simply put, capability maps matter for one reason: They help Enterprise Architects and their business counterparts drive business change.

For more information on how you can develop and implement capability maps, we encourage you to watch a replay of our September 16th webinar on 5 Capability Maps Your Business Will Love’. Led by Troux’s CTO Bill Cason, this webinar provides first-hand insights into how Troux customers are leveraging capability maps to drive business change. Bill also details the Top five capability maps that are driving EA transformation today.

What’s your take on capability maps?