Where do current IT solutions fit within the overall business context?
When addressing issues, it is important to assess the overall picture versus the initial pain point. Often there are knee jerk reactions to immediate business requests that fail to get balanced against the overall business and technical architecture roadmaps, if the roadmaps exist. New IT systems are conceived that hold the promise to fix the issues of old, but how do they align with the overall business strategy?
I find system and software architecture very interesting as compared to more classical engineering; be it civil, electrical, etc. IT organizations start building new capabilities or adopting new technologies but are they challenging their approach and asking “Where does this fit into the overall Business and IT Vision?” I have seen many IT projects start, and get cancelled, because they end up not aligning with the unstated goals. If we built roads like software, how many bridges to nowhere might we have?
We consistently face challenges of doing more with less and still provide high value to the business. These are the correct overarching goals, yet the lack of proper underpinnings be they process, discipline, or established vision cause the value to be diminished. I find that creating and following an architecture roadmap can help ensure the Business and IT efforts are successful over the long term and provide mechanisms to demonstrate true return on investment.
The definition of an architectural and business roadmap can be accomplished in any organization yet there are tough challenges, for both the Business and IT. The business needs to determine what is truly important and what is not (Where to spend your money). Helping our business and IT partners through these challenges by performing the architecture and business assessments, defining the business and technical roadmaps, and helping them define their path forward is a very rewarding and high value endeavor for our clients.