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Why Enterprise Architecture Forms the Foundation for Digital Transformation

As the traditional enterprise architecture is rapidly modernised, it must be kept in line with digital for transformation success

For digital transformation to be a success it must be underpinned by a secure and well-managed enterprise architecture. Discover how EA should work together with digital to form the foundation for digital transformation programs.

A modern, secure and flexible enterprise architecture will underpin your digital transformation journey. Read more on how to find the right balance.

Digital transformation is all about change and how well an organisation can adapt, innovate and create new products and services.

If its enterprise architecture is sub-optimal or very rigid, the organisation’s ability to change is hampered. Conversely, if digital initiatives are allowed to run loose, the architecture can become overly complex and carry heightened risk.

Let’s take a look at how EA should work together with digital to facilitate transformation programs in an optimal and secure way.

The changing face of enterprise architecture

Some of the main enterprise architecture challenges of today directly relate to how fast we are consuming different types of information and their delivery models.

Most medium-to-large organisations developed their information management systems with a range of on-premises and data centre located equipment – from NAS devices to application servers.

This often led to a complex environment where enterprise architects would battle to control and optimise.

During the past decade, traditional enterprise architecture has further expanded with the adoption of more cloud-based services where the data is hosted by a third party.

Keeping relevant with the changing pace of SaaS, PaaS, public cloud and integration terms has made EA more complex than ever.

Another trend is a heavier reliance on a range of partners and vendors. Monolithic enterprise apps are being spread out to smaller segmented applications, and with that the focus is becoming more dependent on data integration.

The relationship between architecture and transformation

EA influences digital transformation and vice-versa, so it’s important to understand how they relate to each other.

  • EA-driven digital. This is where the organisation will refer to its architecture before any digital transformation is made. This is more common in organisations with mission-critical (and revenue-critical) systems that cannot make big changes without introducing huge risk.
  • Digital-driven EA. Organisations driven by digital platforms can dictate how the EA is put together. It is becoming more common for digital to drive enterprise architecture, as more technology services can be procured outside of traditional IT.

If digital leads without a strong EA you risk impacting other systems and platforms that are already in place. On the flip side, not having a modern, agile EA can hamstring your digital transformation opportunities.

The ultimate outcome will come back to how strong your EA practice is. You can enable digital transformation with a strong EA; however, a strong digital push can overrun the architecture. They really should work hand-in-hand.

As an example, one organisation Tecala was working with had separate, expensive digital initiatives which needed an architecture design to implement; however, no systems on the backend were prepared for the requirements. As a result of this mismatch, delivery of the project was delayed for three months. 

It’s always time to improve the EA

How much harder is digital transformation if you don’t have your EA optimised beforehand? Quite a bit.

It is significantly harder to launch something with a strong, stable and reliable strategy if you don’t have support or stability in the backend systems.

If the impact of your changes is not accounted for in dependencies, you are also risking other systems and departments.

The MSP delivery model can be invaluable here. A well-managed and documented environment will not just be able to deliver the portions of the infrastructure that form part of the EA, but your digital service delivery manager can also provide relevant consulting and industry advice to mitigate any EA-DT risk.

With advisory and consulting continuing onto delivery, Tecala helps you get the transformation and architecture balance right the first time. And if you are struggling with an existing program, we can help you adjust course as necessary.

We also help optimise your digital transformation and enterprise architecture capability to determine whether they are ready to transform your organisation.

Not all infrastructure as a service vendors will provide the same expertise or level of attention, so working with the right technology partner will be key in ensuring you find the perfect balance in the EA-DT equation.

We think ahead. With you in mind.

Register for your free strategy session with a Tecala Senior Consultant.

Tecala are currently offering strategy sessions to help organisations optimise their own agility, through full-service transformation and innovation of their systems and networks.

While our full strategic technology roadmap engagement is valued at $10,000, we’re covering the cost of the initial discovery session so it’s free of cost and obligation for your organisation.

Your session will cover:

Step 1: Recap and
review

Together we’ll examine the steps you’ve already taken in adapting to COVID-19, and review the parameters for the architecture planning you’ll need in place going forward.

Step 2: Shape the plan

Future-planning begins for optimal performance, focusing on effective communication and collaboration, device lifecycle and configuration-management, and security.

Step 3: Identify your requirements

Here’s where we clearly identify your Managed Services requirements, to optimise your existing investments and provide appropriate training and support.

Step 4: Set out your strategy

You’ll receive a high-level report with our recommendations to accelerate your modern architecture, and the next steps for delivering your Strategic Technology Roadmap.

We’ll get you there. Faster.

With a high-level plan in place, you’ll have a clear understanding on the business case, benefits, and high-level budget considerations for your technology platform to accelerate your modern architecture. And you’ll be ready to leverage the Cloud to deliver the services and applications your teams need.

CASE STUDY

Find out what a great MSP relationship should be delivering.

How successful was your business transition to a remote workforce during the COVID crisis? Read how the National Breast Cancer Foundation was able to transition to a remote workforce environment almost overnight, and with 93% employee satisfaction.

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