Enterprise Architecture – Supporting Innovation

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ImageBusinesses, in order to thrive, must constantly innovate.

Subject to drivers from both external and internal sources, the need to change may only be apparent where sufficiently good business intelligence is available. .

Managing the direction of change, without good information available, raise significant problems within a business.

The need to effect business change may be triggered by:

  • Competition: a business competitor has perhaps introduced a new product or service.
  • Customers: providing feedback on existing product or service offerings.
  • Cost: Financial pressures affecting business viability.

To address the constant need for change continuous innovation must occur.

Innovation within a business is fueled by ideas. Ideas generated can be wide ranging and with potential impacts, if taken though to implementation, across many parts of the business.

A culture of innovation with a business should be encouraged. It must be acknowledged however that not all ideas will or should be realised.

Businesses will be subject when innovating by either financial or resource constraints. Available money is not unlimited and the resources available to realise any given innovation are finite.

To manage innovation effectively requires the ability to

  • filter the good ideas from the bad;
  • identify both the impact on the business and which will provide the best value;
  • assess the capability of the business to drive through to completion and
  • prioritise the execution of competing ideas.

A business with an operational Enterprise Architecture has a tool which supports this ability.

An Enterprise Architecture, providing its user with end to end visibility of the business, is able to support the assessment of

  • How well an idea fits with both the vision and the strategic direction of the business.
  • How the maturity of existing capabilities within the business affect its ability to deliver.
  • What would be the impact of change brought about by the innovation.
  • Which innovations would provide greatest business value.
  • What sequencing of multiple innovations makes best use of resources.
  • How the innovation could be brought to fruition.

Without an Enterprise Architecture innovation can still take place.

The business without an Enterprise Architecture should ask how effectively it innovates.

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2 Responses to Enterprise Architecture – Supporting Innovation

  1. Hi Kim,

    First of all, thanks for your good blog post.

    Second of all, have you read books like Fruition, Recreation and Defreaction, all by Chris Potts. I am quite sure that in the book “Defriction” some of the ideas proposed in the book could be aligned with your view of how innovation and enterprise architecture works. If you haven’t read the three books, then I think you can get some inspiration from reading the them.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kind regards,

    Peter Flemming Teunissen Sjoelin

  2. Stan says:

    This is a great point about businesses needing to continually innovate to stay competitive and viable. It is imperative.

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