In a business that has not established an Enterprise Architecture it is likely that, in spite of best efforts, there is an unacceptable degree of fragmentation and duplication existing that may result in waste, increased costs and increased time to execute. All undesirable outcomes.
Looking at Business Processes as an example, they are likely to have been built over a period of time, in response to individual business initiatives. Built to support the specific requirements of the initiative and blinkered by the project in which the initiative was delivered, the processes are built in comparative isolation to the rest of the business.
With a populated Enterprise Architecture and an appropriate governance and compliance regime, the opportunity, in exploring a new initiative, to determine what other processes exist that could deliver, even if only partially, the required functionality is greatly enhanced.
When appropriately informed, the ability to reuse or repurpose existing processes or activities can be exercised with the potential benefit of
- reducing the cost and time of delivery through having a smaller development scope of the initiating project;
- reducing costs through leveraging and sharing existing infrastructure and
- decreasing the ongoing operational impact through containing complexity.
As the business matures, having an Enterprise Architecture enables the ability to
- rationalise the processes that have already been developed through managing the opportunity of reuse and
- optimise the processes through using business process improvement or business process reengineering techniques to give maximum benefit to the business.
Having an Enterprise Architecture supports the capability to optimise across the entire business by reducing fragmentation, implementing rationalisation where appropriate and extends beyond process to includes such areas as
- Strategy, Standards and Policies;
- Information and data;
- Business and Technical Functions and
Each of these, if not properly managed, can deliver conflict and uncertainty in establishing and maintaining a successful business operation.