Enterprise Architecture Trends – (Part 4) Enterprise Architecture Case Studies
Part four of a four part series discussing Enterprise Architecture trends. This part looks at examples of Enterprise Architecture in business transformation in some of the sectors we work with at Monro Consulting.
The applications of Enterprise Architecture are incredibly wide reaching, and it has been used successfully in some of the more traditional areas we work in as well as some not-so-obvious industries like education and the not for profit sector.
The flexible application of Enterprise Architecture allows educational institutions to target the scope and objectives of EA initiatives to align with strategic priorities.
Examples of successful EA use in education include:
- An institution using EA to support transformational change through an institutional rebranding, using on-line courses to change provision for teaching and learning and to ultimately attract new student groups. EA helped both to identify and to communicate immediate and future requirements, effectively modelling and mapping the changes required.
- An institution using EA to support a large-scale ICT provision review aimed at aligning the business strategy and ICT provision, increasing efficiency through less waste and data duplication.
- Documenting and providing transparency for the IT landscape within an institution, increasing institutional agility whilst reducing costs, and preparing for a Service Oriented Approach (SOA).
- Improving data management, efficiency, and cost optimisation within research by identifying common services and architectures to support that research. This included introducing automation and providingintegration with teaching and administration, using a ‘bottom-up’ approach with EA to produce a virtual research environment.
- Using EA to implement a case management solution to provide student services for welfare, disabilities, and complaint management – effectively replacing multiple solutions and reducing any duplication of processes. This helped avoid unnecessary investment in multiple complex technical solutions.
Other educational institutions have achieved considerable business process improvements by using EA to identify current processes, model alternatives, and enable improved assessment of new solutions.
Not For Profit
The dynamics of applying Enterprise Architecture within the context of a nonprofit organisation can be a little different from EA in a traditional enterprise.
Nonprofits often have to deliver results quickly, as time and resources are precious. These organisations may not only have limited resources, but will also usually be under pressure to direct as much funding as possible towards their front-line programmes as opposed to operational activities.
This means that it is often a case of doing the right amount of EA – just enough to ensure optimisation of resources – at the right time to provide as near to immediate results as possible. Architects will generally have to apply other skills such as strategy, problem solving, and business analysis outside of typical EA activity to fully solve the issues at hand.
EA in nonprofits also involves having to adapt to different views and terminology, reflecting the different values and ‘end games’ that these companies have over profit-driven enterprises. Architects need to adopt this language and put themselves fully within this new context. There may be adaptations necessary for other contexts as well, such as when working with a nonprofit in a developing country or with a faith-based organisation.
A few examples of how EA can be beneficial in a nonprofit organisation:
- A non-profit organisation focusing on helping vulnerable children in a developing country shifted how it achieves this mission from delivering goods to helping communities build sustainable businesses. EA helped to redesign the organisation’s non-profit business model and to identify, plan, build, and communicate the coordinated set of changes necessary to accomplish this pivot.
- A diverse, cross-sector initiative which involved the public sector (a government ministry, a university, non-profit organisations, and private businesses from multiple countries) was created to transform K-12 education in a developing country. EA helped here with collaboration – aligning the parties with a common language, vision, and roadmap.
- A growing nonprofit had an issue where there was no universal understanding over how gifts were handled in different situations, including the decision-making criteria for gift acceptance. EA helped with streamlining the process, increasing communication and making sure people, processes, and technology were aligned in order to ensure uniform logic and decision making in all situations.
You can see in our case study here how we used enterprise architecture techniques (including Zachman and TOGAF) in the aerospace sector to allow an organisation to make IT savings of over 60%, and to underpin a competitive bid for a multi-billion pound government contract.