Business ICT Alignment… a topic with many angles. So thé key in this blogpost is the statement: “How to get more out of what you already have?” Especially from an ICT point of view.
As your organization most probably has invested quite a lot of money and time on this topic; you are not interested in how the ideal world would look like, but you’re more interested in how you can re-use your current investments to a maximum? You are interested in an APPLIED business & ICT alignment… applicable to your organisation.
As CIO/ICT director you are typically confronted with 2 types of high level questions:
- How can you optimize your current way of working and be as cost effective as possible? –> AS IS
- Where do you want to move to over the coming years to create an optimal business driven IT architecture? And what are your concrete action plans to make it happen? –> TO BE
Using a more abstract terminology to say the same thing would be using the term ‘Enterprise Architecture’. When people talk about setting up the enterprise architecture of an organization they basically try to answer the above 2 questions. It is not my intention however to start here a theoretical discussion about this buzz word. (I’ve been there and believe me I sometimes think enterprise architects keep this term so complex on purpose.)
No, I just want to assist you in breaking the above 2 questions down in more manageable chuncks, so that you can really apply business ICT alignment to your organization, starting with what you have in place and moving from there. In order to do so I simply make use of 1 easy drawing, which I call the ‘Unified Integration’ helicopter view.
You need to look at the business ICT alignment from 8 different angles, and each time identify the AS IS situation and describe the ideal TO BE situation:
- from a business process point of view: BPMS
- from a governance point of view: SOA
- from a proces integration point of view: EAI, User Interface Integration
- from a data integration point of view: Data Quality, Master Data Management, Enterprise Data Integration
- from a security point of view: Identity and Access Management
By doing so you can really identify the blind spots in your current architecture and you can carefully plan the TO BE architecture without jeopardizing the good investments already made so far. At the same time you can also identify multiple quick wins by simply starting to optimize your existing components in your current architecture. You will see that you’re getting more out of what you already have in place!