The quality of the decisions that are made has significant influence on the outcomes that the decisions are designed to affect. The very nature of the decisions is affected by the quality, the completeness and the immediacy of the information available to the decision maker.
Access to information, to feed into the decision making process, is strongly influenced by how business knowledge is managed. Knowledge itself, either explicit or tacit, provides a level of understanding to business information which not having can render the information itself less than useful.
The ability to leverage tacit knowledge, largely held in the heads of individuals, is a critical yet significantly underutilised asset. Explicit knowledge, codified perhaps into a repository, may be more easily accessed but still requires a means of interpretation.
A business can only realistically aspire to reaching its full potential if it is able to establish a business strategy, define a road map describing how the strategy will be realised and have a repeatable process supporting the making of decisions along the way.
An Enterprise Architecture provides a structured framework and business methodology by which:
- Relevant business knowledge can be managed;
- Processes can be applied to ensure appropriate information is captured and is properly maintained with a consequential increase in business confidence in its quality.
- Guidelines can be provided to the business community explaining how to apply the contents to specific scenarios.
Its application is relevent to all businesses; not just the large and complex.
The capability to make timely, properly informed and focussed decisions, with a high level of confidence that the expected outcome will be realised, permits a business to:
- Identify and explore business opportunities that would otherwise have been closed;
- Respond to change with confidence;
- Perform with a higher level of operational efficiency;
- Better manage the costs of doing business;
- Realise business benefit sooner than they otherwise might;
- Progress the realisation of their business vision.
An Enterprise Architecture provides a business with the opportunity to unlock its full potential. It provides a business with knowledge about:
- Where it is heading;
- Why it is heading there;
- How to get there;
- How to respond to inevitable change and the impact it will impart.
With the provision of appropriate information and the knowledge on how to use it an Enterprise Architecture supports the ability to achieve maximum business benefit and success in their endeavours.