Tuesday, February 4, 2020

IT Architecture as the Visualization of Strategy

IT architecture is the visualization of IT strategy and IT strategy is a subcomponent of the business strategy. 

IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. Information Technology has become so pervasive in today’s enterprises. However, for many business executives, IT is just like a costly “magic” they know little about, that's why they don't trust it so much and even do not allow IT to work on strategies.

To improve IT organization maturity from functioning to delight, IT architecture as a practical tool provides a strategic framework and sets up the environment for implementing IT-enabled solutions and making value-added deliveries that make the organization different and competitive.

IT architecture is the visualization of IT strategy:
Too often business strategy and IT strategy are developed mutually exclusive of each other. In fact, the IT strategy should be the subcomponent of business strategy, clarify IT-enabled business competencies and operation layers as well as how they fit together. Thus, IT architecture is a useful tool to visualize strategic perspectives and focus on building solutions in anticipating problems.

Many people in IT leadership avoid having a strategy because they feel that it is a constraint. In practice, IT architecture helps to achieve a situational balanced compromise or a trade-off. As a matter of fact, having constraints provides guidelines for running strategic IT by opening up opportunities and providing anchors to explore from. IT strategic planning is a cohesive component and a necessary process that parallels or follows a business strategic planning process. IT architects as technology strategists should work both within IT and on IT, across the business scope and seek ways to deal with enterprise complexity smoothly.

Be proactive in orchestrating changes by leveraging IT architecture: IT architecture design and deployment are not for their own sake, but for understanding, managing and governing the organization better for agility. Change is the new normal with the increasing speed. IT organizations should be positioned as the change department of the organization. IT architecture enables changes by describing how the organization will function when the current vision is implemented and in the various stepping stages on the way to the “nirvana.”

Organizations can make major leaps forward in developing business change capability and capacity by involving the entire organization in major change efforts that support key business strategies to accelerate performance and improve system resilience. If the desire of transformative change is to make an enterprise-wide impact, it needs to be integrated at the right level as well, in addition to functional areas. IT architecture is a useful tool to orchestrate change and navigate through uncertainties.

Leverage an IT architectural lens to see IT governance holistically in an enterprise: Governance refers to direction and guidance. Governance is the act of governing - managing with oversight. IT architecture provides an effective framework to enforce governance disciplines and ensure IT departments do what they are supposed to do and are aligned with the business.

The holistic approach for IT governance has been the one that has aligned IT architecture with tailored governance methodology and practices. It involves structures, processes, and cost-effective technology, all of which need not be overly complicated or cumbersome if implemented through a considered IT architecture and roadmap. Effective IT governance can clarify the short and long term priority of the organization, the decision making style and approach, the ways of working as well as the overall maturity of IT.

Due to the complex nature of technology and overwhelming growth of information, IT architecture is a great framework and visualization of the strategy that helps to align digital mindsets, emerging technologies, dynamic processes, tailored methodology, and well-developed practices to ensure IT is business, and business evolves IT, for reaching the high level of IT organizational maturity.


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