2 years, 10 months ago

Don’t Sacrifice Your Business Architecture

Business architecture is core for an organisation’s Enterprise Architecture. Both the leading Enterprise Architecture frameworks, TOGAF and Zachman advocate Business Architecture to become a fundamental corner stone of Enterprise Architecture. Business architecture is about not just about business process modelling and business capability definition on a project to project basis. I think it is also about defining the Target Operating Model of the organisation. I have personally experienced the power of applying pragmatic business architecture to model current (as-is) and target (to-be) business operating models.
However Business Architecture is not easy to deliver on. An organisation needs skilled and experienced practitioner architects to engage stakeholders, establish relationships to understand and model the business capabilities, business processes workflows etc. Business architects should ideally also need reasonable domain knowledge of the respective business to make a meaningful contribution in the design of such model. Otherwise that individual runs the risk of becoming simply (an expensive) documentation resource.
These days often the funding for Enterprise Architecture is limited and high priority projects and programs are often competing for best resources and funding. In these situations often the Business Architecture resources are sacrificed to make way for technical architects (e.g. infra, integration). In such scenarios an organisation runs the risk of doing Enterprise Architecture without Business Architecture. This probably results in this organisation doing IT Architecture rather than Enterprise Architecture. See below graphic. 
It will probably still deliver value by bringing structure, discipline, visibility and planning to the critical IT project delivery. However these efforts risk falling short of becoming something much more meaningful and sustainable investment for business and not just IT.

I strongly feel that organisations should not sacrifice Business Architect. When resource and funding is limited, instead such organisations should find clever alternative ways to resource them. Some of the options which have worked for me in the past are;
  • Get your most important projects to fund it and then expand that to Enterprise level
  • Use your experienced application or data architect to play the role of Business Architect in the interim
  • Leverage your strategic partners / suppliers to perform this role
  • Leverage your customers / internal business stakeholders to play this role directly and indirectly. I came across an excellent real life use case of this recently. More on this in next post.

2 years, 10 months ago

Don’t Sacrifice Your Business Architecture

Business architecture is core for an organisation’s Enterprise Architecture. Both the leading Enterprise Architecture frameworks, TOGAF and Zachman advocate Business Architecture to become a fundamental corner stone of Enterprise Architecture. Business architecture is about not just about business process modelling and business capability definition on a project to project basis. I think it is also about defining the Target Operating Model of the organisation. I have personally experienced the power of applying pragmatic business architecture to model current (as-is) and target (to-be) business operating models.
However Business Architecture is not easy to deliver on. An organisation needs skilled and experienced practitioner architects to engage stakeholders, establish relationships to understand and model the business capabilities, business processes workflows etc. Business architects should ideally also need reasonable domain knowledge of the respective business to make a meaningful contribution in the design of such model. Otherwise that individual runs the risk of becoming simply (an expensive) documentation resource.
These days often the funding for Enterprise Architecture is limited and high priority projects and programs are often competing for best resources and funding. In these situations often the Business Architecture resources are sacrificed to make way for technical architects (e.g. infra, integration). In such scenarios an organisation runs the risk of doing Enterprise Architecture without Business Architecture. This probably results in this organisation doing IT Architecture rather than Enterprise Architecture. See below graphic. 
It will probably still deliver value by bringing structure, discipline, visibility and planning to the critical IT project delivery. However these efforts risk falling short of becoming something much more meaningful and sustainable investment for business and not just IT.

I strongly feel that organisations should not sacrifice Business Architect. When resource and funding is limited, instead such organisations should find clever alternative ways to resource them. Some of the options which have worked for me in the past are;
  • Get your most important projects to fund it and then expand that to Enterprise level
  • Use your experienced application or data architect to play the role of Business Architect in the interim
  • Leverage your strategic partners / suppliers to perform this role
  • Leverage your customers / internal business stakeholders to play this role directly and indirectly. I came across an excellent real life use case of this recently. More on this in next post.

4 years, 7 months ago

The Zachman Framework – The Perfect Tool for Operating Model Management

I have written previously on this blog about leveraging Enterprise Architecture as a methodology for the Operating Model creation and management. In this blog post I will briefly outline mechanism and benefits of using industry leading Zachma…

4 years, 7 months ago

The Zachman Framework – The Perfect Tool for Operating Model Management

I have written previously on this blog about leveraging Enterprise Architecture as a methodology for the Operating Model creation and management. In this blog post I will briefly outline mechanism and benefits of using industry leading Zachma…

5 years, 5 months ago

Building Blocks of Your Enterprise Mobile Strategy

Given my current focus on Multi-Channel architecture & technology programs for Retail and Logistics customer in UK&I, I am often on a look out for new ideas, trends and business case studies. This interest took me to the IBM Enterprise Mobile Summit earlier this week in London Southbank. It was a compact but impressive gathering of Mobile industry experts, suppliers and consumers. It did help me crystallize my thoughts around Enterprise Mobile Strategy which I am trying to summarize in this blog post.   
When an Enterprise (commercial organisation) makes an investment decision to develop a Mobile Strategy (e.g. Mobile Applications or Apps) and related products or services, it should do so based on strategic enterprise intent (or in certain instances tactical response). This investment should take into account a number of stakeholder perspectives such as Functional, Development, Delivery, Operations, End-User Consumer and the Market.


IBM MobileFirst

The Strategic Intent and drivers behind Enterprise Mobile Investment – 
Before committing funds on Mobile strategy a valid question to ask is, what is your Enterprise attempting to achieve by mobile investment? For instance do you see mobile evolving as one of your primary channel to market? Are you attempting to gather insights from mobile data which may provide new opportunities for product and services expansion? 

Or are you simply trying to increase your business transactions though Mobile media. In some instances it may be seen as a media for extending the brand experience for more personal shopping or browsing experience.


The Enterprise Functional Perspective – If the purpose of Mobile strategy is to address internal organisation efficiency then the functional objectives need to focus on employee and organisation productivity enhancement. For instance how can a Mobile App transform, optimise internal work flow and may be also enhance the customer interactions. KPIs here could be reduction of complexity, reduction in wastage, improving quality, faster time to market etc. As I observed in IBM session, some of IBM customers are using the Mobile strategy to extend Enterprise business network in new ways. For instance an Italian organisation leveraged Mobile Apps to find promotions in their network and connected people to these promotions. Michael Gilfix of IBM in this session also cited IBM’s own example of how Mobile strategy is driving next level of productivity by acknowledging its global workforce segmentation.

The Development Lifecycle Perspective – During the session both Michael Gilfix of IBM and Jessica Figueras, a Mobile Industry Analysthighlighted a point that there is a difference between creating conventional Apps and Mobile Apps. Mobile development and developers need to understand the Mobile App consumption patterns, workflows and user interaction in different ways. IBM briefly shared their Mobile Development Lifecycle process which comprises of iterative phases such as; Design & Develop, Instrument, Integrate, Test, Scale & Certify, Deploy, Manage, Obtain Insight and back to Design & Develop. Jessica made a good point that Mobile Apps are becoming more and more complex and they need Enterprise Architecture underpinning them to be successful.


The IT Delivery and Operations Perspective – The above point about Enterprise Architecture requirements extends into the Operational and Delivery aspects of IT too. Challenge of Fragmentation is particularly important; how best to serve different fragmented devices to serve multi-channel experience which is a different challenge that Web Apps where one size often fits all consumers. Michael was also keen to point our Security and Access control aspects such as Loss of control over distribution, impact of BYOD, Control of data and access as code often would run in environment outside of Enterprise control. From the customer satisfaction perspective, the end-user of Mobile Apps will look out for and increasingly expect consistent multi-channel experience. e.g. Airline – phone, kiosk, in-flight, travel experience.

The consumer perspective: Creating compelling mobile user experience – Ali Al-Shakarchi, the UX Architect and Strategist from IBM had some very interesting themes on this perspective which can be argued as the most important factor to make Mobile strategy successful. He highlighted the fact that, user expectations are high and user tolerance is low when it comes to Apps as the competition is fierce, an alternative App is a tap away. Some of the tips which Ali shared were; Stay Relevant, Keep it simple, Build richer experience, Think innovation, Optimise for mobile, Create end to end experience, Be more social and evolve on an ongoing basis in a smart way.

Some of the demos / case studies during the session further underlined some of above points. The Barclays Pingit case study and how it is driving the C2C is a prime example of how Apps can bring success and create new Operating Models for large Enterprises. While the Tealeaf demo effectively showcased the power of analytics behind smart Mobile strategy. 


One of the key takeaway for me was, Why limit Mobile conversations to IT? Focus must be on exploring business opportunities & enhancing business capabilities”. Iwould like to congratulate IBM for putting together a smart, effective and useful summit. I certainly hope to apply some of the above lessons learnt for my customers in Retail and Logistics in near future. 

For more on IBM Mobilefirst read here

5 years, 5 months ago

Building Blocks of Your Enterprise Mobile Strategy

Given my current focus on Multi-Channel architecture & technology programs for Retail and Logistics customer in UK&I, I am often on a look out for new ideas, trends and business case studies. This interest took me to the IBM Enterprise Mobile Summit earlier this week in London Southbank. It was a compact but impressive gathering of Mobile industry experts, suppliers and consumers. It did help me crystallize my thoughts around Enterprise Mobile Strategy which I am trying to summarize in this blog post.   
When an Enterprise (commercial organisation) makes an investment decision to develop a Mobile Strategy (e.g. Mobile Applications or Apps) and related products or services, it should do so based on strategic enterprise intent (or in certain instances tactical response). This investment should take into account a number of stakeholder perspectives such as Functional, Development, Delivery, Operations, End-User Consumer and the Market.


IBM MobileFirst

The Strategic Intent and drivers behind Enterprise Mobile Investment – 
Before committing funds on Mobile strategy a valid question to ask is, what is your Enterprise attempting to achieve by mobile investment? For instance do you see mobile evolving as one of your primary channel to market? Are you attempting to gather insights from mobile data which may provide new opportunities for product and services expansion? 

Or are you simply trying to increase your business transactions though Mobile media. In some instances it may be seen as a media for extending the brand experience for more personal shopping or browsing experience.


The Enterprise Functional Perspective – If the purpose of Mobile strategy is to address internal organisation efficiency then the functional objectives need to focus on employee and organisation productivity enhancement. For instance how can a Mobile App transform, optimise internal work flow and may be also enhance the customer interactions. KPIs here could be reduction of complexity, reduction in wastage, improving quality, faster time to market etc. As I observed in IBM session, some of IBM customers are using the Mobile strategy to extend Enterprise business network in new ways. For instance an Italian organisation leveraged Mobile Apps to find promotions in their network and connected people to these promotions. Michael Gilfix of IBM in this session also cited IBM’s own example of how Mobile strategy is driving next level of productivity by acknowledging its global workforce segmentation.

The Development Lifecycle Perspective – During the session both Michael Gilfix of IBM and Jessica Figueras, a Mobile Industry Analysthighlighted a point that there is a difference between creating conventional Apps and Mobile Apps. Mobile development and developers need to understand the Mobile App consumption patterns, workflows and user interaction in different ways. IBM briefly shared their Mobile Development Lifecycle process which comprises of iterative phases such as; Design & Develop, Instrument, Integrate, Test, Scale & Certify, Deploy, Manage, Obtain Insight and back to Design & Develop. Jessica made a good point that Mobile Apps are becoming more and more complex and they need Enterprise Architecture underpinning them to be successful.


The IT Delivery and Operations Perspective – The above point about Enterprise Architecture requirements extends into the Operational and Delivery aspects of IT too. Challenge of Fragmentation is particularly important; how best to serve different fragmented devices to serve multi-channel experience which is a different challenge that Web Apps where one size often fits all consumers. Michael was also keen to point our Security and Access control aspects such as Loss of control over distribution, impact of BYOD, Control of data and access as code often would run in environment outside of Enterprise control. From the customer satisfaction perspective, the end-user of Mobile Apps will look out for and increasingly expect consistent multi-channel experience. e.g. Airline – phone, kiosk, in-flight, travel experience.

The consumer perspective: Creating compelling mobile user experience – Ali Al-Shakarchi, the UX Architect and Strategist from IBM had some very interesting themes on this perspective which can be argued as the most important factor to make Mobile strategy successful. He highlighted the fact that, user expectations are high and user tolerance is low when it comes to Apps as the competition is fierce, an alternative App is a tap away. Some of the tips which Ali shared were; Stay Relevant, Keep it simple, Build richer experience, Think innovation, Optimise for mobile, Create end to end experience, Be more social and evolve on an ongoing basis in a smart way.

Some of the demos / case studies during the session further underlined some of above points. The Barclays Pingit case study and how it is driving the C2C is a prime example of how Apps can bring success and create new Operating Models for large Enterprises. While the Tealeaf demo effectively showcased the power of analytics behind smart Mobile strategy. 


One of the key takeaway for me was, Why limit Mobile conversations to IT? Focus must be on exploring business opportunities & enhancing business capabilities”. Iwould like to congratulate IBM for putting together a smart, effective and useful summit. I certainly hope to apply some of the above lessons learnt for my customers in Retail and Logistics in near future. 

For more on IBM Mobilefirst read here

6 years, 2 months ago

The Rise and Rise of BYOD

Amazon Kindle V Apple iPad
As the festive and gift season approaches, our favourite consumer technology vendors are gearing up to release a range of new gadgets and consumer devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod for instance have dominated many a wish lists and gift lists for the past years. And Apple competitors are not far behind with Google, Samsung and lately Amazon with Kindle trying to steal the market share from Apple in this lucrative and ever-increasing consumer technology segment. This year in particular the tablet segment is abuzz with not one not two but three high-profile product launches just weeks ahead of the festive season. Apple iPad mini, Amazon’s new Kindle and the eagerly anticipated Microsoft tablet, all are slated to make blockbuster debut and coming after our share of gift season wallet. 
Apple iPhone V Samsung S3
And many of us, technology geeks or not are eagerly awaiting release and availability of such devices along with new smartphone models from Samsung’s new small S3 and Apple’s new big iPhone 5. But not everyone is happy with this onslaught of new consumer technology devices. And its not just the print media who is worried about losing yet another batch of potential traditional readers to these new breed of ebook and emagazine readers. A couple of my CIO and CTO friends who look after a large number of IT users for instance, are not particularly happy at these developments and the new flood of such devices. Why? The answer is simple….the rise and rise of the phenomenon called BYOD!
The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace, according to Gartner. So really what is BYOD? Gartner defines BYOD as an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use personally selected and purchased client devices to execute enterprise applications and access data. For most organizations, the program is currently limited to smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs and may include subsidies for equipment or service fees.
A recent survey of 578 senior-level executives commissioned by Cisco found that despite concerns from corporate officials, companies increasingly are allowing, in varying degrees, employees to use their own mobile devices – in particular, smartphones and tablets – in the workplace, and to access the corporate network and data. “Overall, the results found that although many executives are uneasy about the security of corporate information on mobile devices, the trend is largely unstoppable and proper policies must be initiated to underpin access to this sensitive information,” Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s newly promoted senior vice president of worldwide sales, wrote in an 10 October post on Cisco’s blog.
Tablets are fast becoming media consumers
The rise of smartphones and, more recently, tablets – fueled by Apple’s wildly popular iPad – have been the key drivers in the BYOD trend, where rather than accepting company-issued technology, workers have pushed to use their own devices for work. Cisco and a host of other vendors have for more than a year been rolling out solutions designed to make it easier for businesses to identify and manage employee-owned devices on the network, and to secure the companies’ information.  
According to the Cisco survey, conducted last month by Economist Intelligence Unit, most executives are uneasy about their companies’ mobile data-access policies, and while 42 percent said that C-level executives need secure and timely access to strategic data, only 28 percent said it’s appropriate to access this information from mobile devices. Forty-nine percent said that the complexity of securing so many different devices and a lack of knowledge about the security and risks involved with mobile access are top challenges for their firms.
This trend is set to grow exponentially next year – whether businesses actively manage it or not, according to a latest industry report published in IT Business Canada. Two-thirds of businesses already are seen some form of BYOD phenomenon in their office, but just one in four have actively created a policy that allows for consumer devices to be used in the workplace. The report quotes the findings of an Info-Tech Indaba survey sponsored by Telus Corp. This could cause problems raising security issues and complicating IT environments with multiple devices and operating systems. For 2013, the most popular technology for BYOD efforts is smartphones with 72 per cent of firms expressing at least some interest, according to Info-Tech. The next most popular is tablets with 64 per cent of businesses expressing interest, and then laptops with 59 per cent showing interest. 
As a recent CIO article has articulated, the best practice seems to be to centralize the purchase and deployment of tablets and smartphones. In addition to simplifying device management, this strategy gave the companies more leverage with their preferred carriers. When individual employees paid their monthly phone bills and submitted them on expense reports, the companies had no clout to negotiate with. When all the monthly bills were rolled into one, they got lower rates. As Gartner suggests IT’s best strategy to deal with the rise of BYOD is to address it with a combination of policy, software, infrastructure controls and education in the near term; and with application management and appropriate cloud services in the longer term. Policies must be built in conjunction with legal and HR departments for the tax, labor, corporate liability and employee privacy implications.

6 years, 2 months ago

The Rise and Rise of BYOD

Amazon Kindle V Apple iPad
As the festive and gift season approaches, our favourite consumer technology vendors are gearing up to release a range of new gadgets and consumer devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod for instance have dominated many a wish lists and gift lists for the past years. And Apple competitors are not far behind with Google, Samsung and lately Amazon with Kindle trying to steal the market share from Apple in this lucrative and ever-increasing consumer technology segment. This year in particular the tablet segment is abuzz with not one not two but three high-profile product launches just weeks ahead of the festive season. Apple iPad mini, Amazon’s new Kindle and the eagerly anticipated Microsoft tablet, all are slated to make blockbuster debut and coming after our share of gift season wallet. 
Apple iPhone V Samsung S3
And many of us, technology geeks or not are eagerly awaiting release and availability of such devices along with new smartphone models from Samsung’s new small S3 and Apple’s new big iPhone 5. But not everyone is happy with this onslaught of new consumer technology devices. And its not just the print media who is worried about losing yet another batch of potential traditional readers to these new breed of ebook and emagazine readers. A couple of my CIO and CTO friends who look after a large number of IT users for instance, are not particularly happy at these developments and the new flood of such devices. Why? The answer is simple….the rise and rise of the phenomenon called BYOD!
The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace, according to Gartner. So really what is BYOD? Gartner defines BYOD as an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use personally selected and purchased client devices to execute enterprise applications and access data. For most organizations, the program is currently limited to smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs and may include subsidies for equipment or service fees.
A recent survey of 578 senior-level executives commissioned by Cisco found that despite concerns from corporate officials, companies increasingly are allowing, in varying degrees, employees to use their own mobile devices – in particular, smartphones and tablets – in the workplace, and to access the corporate network and data. “Overall, the results found that although many executives are uneasy about the security of corporate information on mobile devices, the trend is largely unstoppable and proper policies must be initiated to underpin access to this sensitive information,” Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s newly promoted senior vice president of worldwide sales, wrote in an 10 October post on Cisco’s blog.
Tablets are fast becoming media consumers
The rise of smartphones and, more recently, tablets – fueled by Apple’s wildly popular iPad – have been the key drivers in the BYOD trend, where rather than accepting company-issued technology, workers have pushed to use their own devices for work. Cisco and a host of other vendors have for more than a year been rolling out solutions designed to make it easier for businesses to identify and manage employee-owned devices on the network, and to secure the companies’ information.  
According to the Cisco survey, conducted last month by Economist Intelligence Unit, most executives are uneasy about their companies’ mobile data-access policies, and while 42 percent said that C-level executives need secure and timely access to strategic data, only 28 percent said it’s appropriate to access this information from mobile devices. Forty-nine percent said that the complexity of securing so many different devices and a lack of knowledge about the security and risks involved with mobile access are top challenges for their firms.
This trend is set to grow exponentially next year – whether businesses actively manage it or not, according to a latest industry report published in IT Business Canada. Two-thirds of businesses already are seen some form of BYOD phenomenon in their office, but just one in four have actively created a policy that allows for consumer devices to be used in the workplace. The report quotes the findings of an Info-Tech Indaba survey sponsored by Telus Corp. This could cause problems raising security issues and complicating IT environments with multiple devices and operating systems. For 2013, the most popular technology for BYOD efforts is smartphones with 72 per cent of firms expressing at least some interest, according to Info-Tech. The next most popular is tablets with 64 per cent of businesses expressing interest, and then laptops with 59 per cent showing interest. 
As a recent CIO article has articulated, the best practice seems to be to centralize the purchase and deployment of tablets and smartphones. In addition to simplifying device management, this strategy gave the companies more leverage with their preferred carriers. When individual employees paid their monthly phone bills and submitted them on expense reports, the companies had no clout to negotiate with. When all the monthly bills were rolled into one, they got lower rates. As Gartner suggests IT’s best strategy to deal with the rise of BYOD is to address it with a combination of policy, software, infrastructure controls and education in the near term; and with application management and appropriate cloud services in the longer term. Policies must be built in conjunction with legal and HR departments for the tax, labor, corporate liability and employee privacy implications.

6 years, 4 months ago

Move to Cloud Need Not Be Sensational

As the cloud computing adaption and maturity accelerates, a number of case studies of early cloud migration are emerging. Ironically most of such case studies often talk about success of such migration and dynamic business and technology benefits it de…