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Trends in Enterprise Architecture (Part 3) – Successful Business Transformation

Part three of a four part series discussing Enterprise Architecture trends. Part three looks at examples of how Enterprise Architecture has helped with success in Business Transformation.

Let’s look at two examples of where Enterprise Architecture has helped with business transformation, in this case in complex and highly regulated industries, banking and the insurance/investment space.

Use Study – Banking

This involves the application of EA in a South Carolina bank focusing on retail and commercial banking, loans, and wealth management. Like many banks it had been affected by changes to consumer behaviour and disruption from the FinTech sector and digitalisation since before the pandemic.

The bank established an EA programme to help them adapt to this changing landscape, and to transform digitally. This involved adapting the TOGAF framework to fit the Agile practice of Kaizen – a Japanese organisational philosophy which encourages engagement in activities that continuously improve all functions.

This has allowed a flow of continuous architectural improvements aimed at driving specific business outcomes, whilst at the same time eliminating the overhead of many common EA formalities.

The EA team operates as a part of project teams, or alternatively engages with leaders of business divisions. Architectures and transitions can be designed quickly using EA tools, and working with business technology experts, the bank has successfully cut typical time to market in half.

The EA practice has resulted in a dynamic and interactive enterprise state which makes managing change much easier, because everyone involved (architect or non-architect) can refer to a consistent set of architecture models.

The success of EA is defined by expected business outcomes across various initiatives. In this case these include:

  • The successful launch of online mortgage applications – in only 3 months.
  • A four-month overhaul of the bank’s enterprise imaging system, involving a ‘bottom up’ redesign of the architecture and external interfaces.
  • A newly designed platform for the bank’s loan processing system.
  • The cataloguing of redundant and unused applications, leading to the retirement or decommissioning of 60 unnecessary services over six months.
  • Implementation of a hybrid cloud architecture, allowing the bank to burst to the public cloud during surges in website traffic and allowing customers a better and more reliable user experience (UX).

The EA team considered its biggest success in this case to be its holistic acceptance due to their proven success in delivering change.  There’s been a ‘buy-in’ from employees and stakeholders across the board leading to the extensive use of the architecture portal and to the EA team becoming a trusted resource for initiatives at the bank.

Use Study – Insurance and Investments

A large company bringing innovative insurance and investment solutions to a range of customers needed to strike a balance between risk management and providing the type of customer experience and customer-centric products that today’s consumer demands.

To successfully pivot from their role as a traditional financial product manufacturer to a digital one, there needed to be big changes, and the company needed to develop critical business platforms to power day-to-day business operations, alongside updating consumer-facing digital capabilities to meet the changing needs of the marketplace.

This type of ‘bimodal IT’, which involves multiple teams working on parallel tracks to achieve digital goals, needs an EA practice focused on providing a consistent, disciplined, and standardised approach to how the technology is implemented.

The EA practice honed in the company focused on two key areas. Firstly, it maximised the value of technology investments by helping distributed decision-makers – both inside and outside of the IT department – to quickly understand their options and make data-driven, architecturally sound technology decisions.

Secondly, the EA practice has enabled innovation. Lack of understanding of the company’s tech portfolio and having no common view of the business, inhibited both decision making and the ability to optimise technology investments – leading to redundancy, risk exposure, and a poor customer experience.

The EA team created a digital Enterprise Reference Architecture (ERA) to provide a common view of the business, along with a shared model to guide short and long-term transformation and enable ongoing change and flexibility. An integrated EA Management System (EAMS) was also put in place to provide decision makers with detailed tech portfolio insights.

This has allowed EA guided growth and innovation teams to build on traditional EA deliverables by means such as providing prototypes, carrying out more extensive market testing, and carrying out the effective assessment of high-risk areas of complex systems.

As a result, business ideas that would have previously taken months, or even years, to come to fruition are being tested and potentially deployed in a matter of days or weeks.

Join me for part four of this series, discussing examples of Enterprise Architecture in Business Transformation in industries that we work closely with at Monro Consulting.

If you’d like to find out more about Monro Consulting’s Enterprise Architecture service then please do get in touch. It would be great to find out more about your transformational plans over an informal chat.