Enterprise Architecture – Supporting Business Change

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ImageAll businesses are dynamic in so far as they need to respond to change drivers. How they respond is very much dependent on how well they know their business and its inter-dependencies.

It is very well accepted that the change outcome will be modified by alterations to key variables.

For instance, assume the Business decided on implementing a change, as a direct response to competitive pressure, that required the creation of a new product.

In its development there is always a balancing act between

  • Cost: What will be the financial impact on the bottom line of developing the product?
  • Time: How soon can the product be brought to market?
  • Quality: How well will the product be developed?

It is well accepted that change in any one variable must have an adverse impact on another.

  • If Quality is to be increased there must be an increase in cost and possibly time
  • If Time is to be reduced there must be an increase on cost and/or a decrease in quality
  • If Cost is to be decreased there must be a decrease in quality and time

For simplicity, with each of these questions, it is assumed that the change scope remains unaltered. A reduction in scope can result in decreased cost and/or time whilst leaving quality unchanged. A reduction in scope however does impact the ability to deliver on the original business requirement.

Where a business has an Enterprise Architecture available to it the ability to determine the impact of change is greatly enhanced. With appropriate measures in place, associated with capability, function and process, the ability undertake analysis in a ‘what if’ scenario provides key input into the decision making process.

With pragmatism at times demanding that cost or time pressures take precedence over quality an Enterprise Architecture can assist in providing an optimal response.

  • How much can cost or time can be realistically reduced?
  • What is the operational impact in a change in quality?

Drivers of change are largely outside of a business’s ability to influence.

How a business responds is entirely up to them.

The ability to make wise decisions is predicated on being as informed as possible.

An Enterprise Architecture can provide information necessary to support the decision making process.

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