Enterprise Architecture: a Strategic Driver in the Operating Model

In the complex tapestry of modern organizations, information technology is not just a facilitator of business operations. It is a strategic driver of value and a key component of the operating model. The concept of managing IT assets, more commonly known under the umbrella term of Enterprise Architecture (EA), as interconnected portfolios is an essential aspect of this transformative shift.

Traditionally, EA has been perceived as a supporting function, aiding design and strategy alignment, and ensuring redundancy elimination. However, this perspective undersells the real potential of EA. By recognizing and managing IT assets as strategic components of the operating model, organizations can unlock significant value and develop a robust, flexible, and scalable enterprise structure.

The interconnected portfolio view of EA offers numerous benefits, starting with enhanced visibility. Such an approach provides a comprehensive overview of the entire IT asset landscape, revealing interdependencies, redundancies, and potential gaps. This understanding aids strategic planning, risk management, and resource allocation, bolstering overall organizational efficiency.

Furthermore, managing IT assets as strategic assets within the operating model ensures they are always aligned with the organization’s broader goals. As such, IT assets are not just reactive elements but are proactive agents, enabling businesses to navigate their strategic initiatives effectively.

Also, this approach promotes optimal resource allocation. Prioritizing investments based on the value each IT asset brings to the organization results in maximized return on investment. Moreover, risk can be assessed at both individual and portfolio levels, enabling a balanced approach to risk management.

Innovation, too, benefits from a portfolio perspective. Understanding the interplay and potential synergies between different IT assets can inspire creative solutions and reveal previously unexplored avenues of value creation. In an era where adaptability is crucial, this increased agility ensures organizations are poised to respond swiftly and effectively to emergent technological trends.

Lastly, managing IT assets as interconnected portfolios improves stakeholder communication. It aids in articulating the value that IT brings to the business, facilitates discussions around investment decisions, and promotes active engagement of business leaders in IT strategy and governance.

In conclusion, integrating Enterprise Architecture as a strategic component of the operating model and managing it as interconnected portfolios is not just a beneficial move, but a pivotal one. This approach not only aligns technology and business strategy, but also equips organizations to navigate the future with greater agility, foresight, and resilience. Indeed, in an increasingly digitized world, this could well be the cornerstone of a fundamental truth: regardless of the industry, all companies are on a path to becoming technology companies.

Recognizing and harnessing the strategic potential of IT assets is a crucial step on this journey.

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