10 years, 10 months ago

Enterprise Portfolio Management: GPS for CIOs

bg outline

By: Ben Geller, VP Marketing, Troux

gps for cios 081913The 24 satellites that make up the global positioning system (GPS) space segment are orbiting the earth about 12,000 miles above us. Traveling at speeds of roughly 7,000 miles an hour, they are in constant movement, making two complete orbits every 24 hours. Military, civilians and commercial industries worldwide depend on the GPS system for location and time information every day. A GPS is an effective tool used by many to help save time and money and reduce daily stresses. When used correctly, a GPS can help its end users find the most direct route to their destination while delivering decision-making information that helps avoid time consuming obstacles such as road construction and traffic. Now imagine a GPS navigation system specifically designed for CIOs. One that could provide CIOs with the information they need to successfully steer IT and business together. Sound too good to be true? Navigation systems for CIOs already exist in the form Enterprise Portfolio Management (EPM).

Like a GPS satellite, a CIO must maintain a very precise orbit around their environment to maintain crucial insight into their entire organization to navigate current challenges and architect a future-proof infrastructure. However, GPS satellites are built to last ten years, while a CIO’s average tenure is only four years. How can a CIO successfully steer an organization and extend their tenure? An EPM solution can provide CIOs with a 360 degree view of the IT landscape in the context of the business, providing them with the information they need to synchronize IT with business goals in real-time. 

Everyone knows that the first step in operating a GPS device is plugging in the destination. Many organizations undertake enterprise architecture (EA) initiatives with the vague destination of “aligning the business with IT” in mind. Without defining specific business questions to answer or outcomes to achieve, a program can get bogged down in activity that does not drive EA initiatives in a direction that supports corporate goals. To determine the best route, a CIO needs a clear picture of the landscape as it exists.

An EPM solution provides a powerful and interactive analysis engine that supports a library of preconfigured visualizations to help decision makers quickly analyze and identify risk areas, as well as opportunities for cost savings and investment re-alignment. Without a set of rich analytics that represent the current state of organizations, processes, information, technologies and their relationships, the EA program will not have the roadmap it needs to reach the destination.

GPS accuracy depends on a number of variables, most notably signal to noise ratio, satellite position, weather and obstructions such as buildings and mountains. Businesses are often challenged to capture the structure and dynamics of the enterprise due to obstructions such as siloed information existing in disparate repositories such as Excel, Visio or even PowerPoint. An EPM solution provides the CIO with a comprehensive, advanced report creation environment, which delivers a collection of standard reports that answer critical business questions. These reports provide a comprehensive view of the IT landscape in the context of the business. Further, built-in data stewardship capabilities support the ability to federate the management and maintenance of information assets on both an organizational and individual level. A CIO can browse, search, edit and report against data stored in a centralized repository.

With a clear picture of an enterprise’s entire IT portfolio, a CIO can then leverage a comprehensive EPM solution to provide a visual modeling environment which enables decision-makers to create models and quickly understand the connections and dependencies between different types of enterprise portfolio elements. With rich visual models that represent the current state of organizations, processes, information, technologies and their relationships, a CIO can perform scenario-based alternative analysis to understand how each decision can impact the organization, allowing the company to link actions to business goals.

A GPS helps users reach their destinations by providing them with up-to-date, relevant information. When it comes to defining and implementing a strategy to connect the enterprise, an EPM solution can do the same for a CIO.  Businesses have always had tremendous decision-making challenges due to the lack of complete, accurate and timely information. With a solid Enterprise Portfolio Management strategy, enterprises can gain clear line-of-sight and instantly see how current and future technology strategy decisions impact an organization before they are implemented. Businesses can make more informed decisions that synchronize IT with business goals leading to reduced costs, decreased risk and increased agility. Capturing and managing information in the context of these portfolios is a critical component in providing visibility and synchronization between business and IT investments.