Buyer’s Guide: An Enterprise Architecture Tool for Your Business – Part One

Buyer’s Guide: An Enterprise Architecture Tool for Your Business – Part One

As a leader in the field of EA, you have a wide range of stakeholders with individual needs that you need to consider when purchasing and implementing an Enterprise Architecture Management Tool for your business. You need to be sure that the tool will address the unique challenges your business faces, and that the investment will prove an ongoing asset to your business operations. Read on for the first of our 3-Part Buyer’s Guide series to help you select the best EA Management Tool for your business, and teach you how you can best present the value of this tool to your stakeholders to promote its use at your company.

Enterprise Architecture Management Tools – Placing Strategy Before Technology
Before you consider the purchase of your new EA Management Tool, consider the strategies needed to make the use of that tool successful for your company. It is crucial that your business leaders are prepared and willing to adopt the use of the tool and integrate it into their work flows, and the best way to be sure this will happen is to make sure that you have considered the unique needs of your company as a whole. This means making sure that the tool you choose will provide value to your organization, providing a benefit to all levels: Strategic, Tactical and Operational. Our 3-Part Buyer’s Guide will help you learn to select the right tool, promote its use to each level of your organization, and streamline your Enterprise Architecture Management program.

Your Use Case is not My Use Case
The Use Case for your company is unique, and identifying the particular needs of your company is the first step to making sure you are selecting the right Enterprise Architecture Management Tool. Here, we have provided several possible use case scenarios for three major fields, including Technology Portfolios, Application Portfolios, and Business Capability Planning. These sample scenarios are designed to help you begin and drive the discussion with your stakeholders, giving you a base framework to help accelerate the process of selecting an EA Management Tool, implementing it at your business, and ultimately reaping the rewards of the process.

Sample Technology Portfolio Use Cases

Use Case

Description

Planning Data Center Consolidation

Determine which applications should be migrated or retired during the consolidation of two data centers, ranking applications based on their health and retirement timelines.

Technology Portfolio Governance

Establish a central catalog of standard technology products to view the technologies approved or denied for use, to deploy technologies that are approved for use, and promote re-use in the enterprise.

Deployed Technology Risk

Identify future technology risk and address it before it becomes a threat by determining where the enterprise is most vulnerable to cyber breach by outdated, unsupported, and non-standard technologies.
Regulatory Audits Determine the systems which contain PII, HIPPA, and SOX data to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and audits.
Technology Optimization Analysis Identify opportunities to reduce cost and complexity of technology in use at your company by eliminating redundant or inefficient technology. Increase efficiency by reducing the volume of different technologies use at your company, reducing maintenance costs and helping to maintain a company-wide standard.
Technology Portfolio Roadmaps Create a new target state plan to deploy a new technology and help the business view the impacts on the current business application portfolio and business processes.

 

Sample Application Portfolio Use Cases

Use Case Description
Inventory Management and Cost Analysis Understand your portfolio of applications by establishing an inventory with descriptive information, ownership and cost data.
Business Alignment Analysis Define applications in the context of how they are used by the enterprise; the business capabilities they support, organizations that use them, business locations where they are used, the business processes they automate.
Cost Analysis Determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of your application portfolio.
Health/Risk Analysis Determine the current state of health of your deployed applications, including their ongoing stability and viability for your company’s use. Identify at risk applications based on your aging or vulnerable software and hardware technologies.
Investment Analysis Determine the costs, impacts and benefits of change to your business, such as the impact of a new project to your application portfolio.

Rational Analysis

Eliminate unnecessary redundancy or complexity from your company’s application portfolio, identifying opportunities such as data center consolidation or cloud based solutions to create a more efficient portfolio.

 

Business Capability Planning Use Cases

Use Case Description
Business Architecture Management Establish a capability model for your business by mapping current capabilities to strategies, locations, organizational units, processes, business products and services.
Capability Portfolio Risk Analysis Identify risks to your business’s capability model by determining at risk technology assets deployed on aging or vulnerable software or hardware.
Capability Assessment Determine which business capabilities support your business’s strategy, and plan investments in technology to fill in any gaps.
Business Investment Planning Identify the project investments that are aligned to business capabilities, to strategic goals, by return on investment and tactical targets. 

 

The Next Step after Identifying Your Company’s Use Case
Once you have identified your company’s unique use case scenario and needs, you’ll be better prepared to evaluate an Enterprise Architecture Management Tool that will fit you and your company. In the next article in our 3-Part Enterprise Architecture Management Buyer’s Guide, we will be delving in to the critical questions you will want to ask when comparing the capability of your future EA Management Tool to your needs.

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