Let's treat IT department as a "real" business unit. This means it has to do whatever is needed to make processes within IT more efficient and cost effective, similar to other business units within the organization. This ranges from Help Desk to project implementation to business requirements capturing.
In order to make IT processes efficient and cost effective, it is imperative that we have a good visibility into these processes, understand their purpose and interdependencies clearly.
Enterprise Architecture framework helps us identify and document these facts.
Nevertheless, in order to come up with a complete solution to an IT "problem", we consider not only Enterprise Architecture methodologies but also other architectural concepts like:
- Integration architecture
- Service Oriented Architecture
- Even Driven Architecture
- Solution Architecture and
- Information Security requirements.
With Enterprise Architecture, we can start with the business strategies/goals to work "backwards" (top down approach) to identify the projects to achieve these business goals.
Nevertheless, most of the time, clients prefer carrying out AS-IS architecture evaluation and document the finding. This is a good way to understand and baseline the processes and resources.
We may use existing functional, design and system architectural documents to document the AS-IS architecture or by interviewing IT team members. We will get whatever the information we can get and document them appropriately using a tool design for Enterprise Architecture activities. Initially we can start working using Microsoft Office tools and a simple database.
Documenting the AS-IS process can be a immense task and may look like it is never ending. In order to handle this, we recommend clients to "take it easy" approach and we can dive deep later as required. Also it is best to analyze the critical systems first and move on to other systems later. What we need is a good baseline to more forward without spending the entire budget on documenting the currently live system, just from the cost view point and to make it a manageable.
Once we have a "good" AS-IS architecture, we can move to the TO-BE architecture. We will identify few key client's resources to maintain data on the EA database and get them involved as we move forward with the analysis work.
Please note: Most of these steps are contingent on client's requirements, preferences and needs. We are very flexible to customize our approach to suit client’s needs.
Making IT efficient....