Enterprise Architecture: Closing the stable door before the horse has bolted.

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BLOG - Stable DoorThere are likely to be times when a business will engage in some activity or make a product acquisition which, in hindsight, would prove to be less than beneficial.

Perhaps in the enthusiasm generated through a vendor’s sales process the business agrees to purchase a product with no or little regard of what business requirement is being satisfied or what is the likely true benefit or impact.

The glossy brochure or the product demonstration will always put the product in the best light whilst downplaying the negative.

How often does the business utter the words?

  •  “This is just right” or
  • “We will change to fit the product”

The business should also be asking:

  •  “What is it right for?” or
  • “What will be the impact of change?”
  • Will there be unintended consequences?
  • Are there any risks?
  • Are there alternatives?
  • What will be the total costs involved?

Businesses should constantly remind themselves of the adage “Why buy a Rolls Royce when a Volkswagen will do?”  Or perhaps “why buy a car when we actually need a horse?”

‘Fitness for purpose’ should be a key selection criterion.

An Enterprise Architecture, supported by processes in how it should be used and appropriate governance, provides a business with the tools to moderate the activities in which they engage and the decisions that they make.

With good and reliable information available logic can prevail. Before committing to a course of action, reaching an understanding of what the business may be letting itself in for and what the on-going impact could be, allows for there being few surprises after the fact.

An Enterprise Architecture can allow for the stable door to be closed, preventing the horse from bolting.

An Enterprise Architecture also empowers the business to resist sales pressure by introducing the word ‘NO’ into the vocabulary. Being able to say ‘no’ and know why it is being said, is just as beneficial to the business as saying ‘yes’ for the right reasons.

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