Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A Customer Centric Architecture

The role of customer-centric Architecture in designing and planning future enterprise is both interesting and challenging for helping the organization make the transition from inside-out to outside-in.

The digital era upon us is about people-centricity. Being customer-centric is a transcendent digital trait and the core of corporate strategy in today’s digital organizations. To build the customer-centric business, the organization needs to think in terms of breaking down the functional silo and building business capabilities. Customer Centricity should always get reflected in organizational design or architecture.

Business requirements centric: Without customers, an organization cannot survive, and without profitability, an organization cannot grow. The organization has to continuously understand its customer needs and business requirements, develop a customer-centric architecture, and have a clear understanding of how customer-centric approaches enhance the business model and extend profitability. It starts with the business requirements definition and requirements. A formal business requirements initiative led by a capable architect performing (1) enterprise mission and stakeholder needs analysis, and (2) enterprise system requirements development and management, with the initiative backed up by executive sponsorship and commitment.

More specifically, what are the most effective vehicles for understanding business requirements? What are effective ways to ensure that varying stakeholders are engaged and performing their appropriate roles? Define the business requirements in a business language describing the organizational goals, customer needs, and personas, competitor offers current product “SWOT” and all identified opportunities. The customers, users and all stakeholders including suppliers, partners, and all internal functions hold a stake in the requirements. Facilitating requirements negotiations is very beneficial to keep everyone involved. As requirements are gathered and managed and discussed with executives and teams, focus on those requirements whose improvement has the most benefit to the business. Ensure the "traceability" of the transformation of these business requirements to make them handled by the proper functions (of processes) and its related information systems..

Simplification around silos: Despite the mountain of evidence pointing to the detrimental effects of silos, they still seem to be quite common in organizations. Are silos a mere product of organizational design? Or is their nature tied to a deeper level - the humankind's nature? A silo and disconnected organization could not deliver value effectively to its customers. People over time have created complexity by dividing functions and now need to get them back within the whole. The solution to breaking down silos is to apply architect thinking, follow the simplicity principle, implement an effective cross-silo strategy, better integral process, and collaborative communication.

Simplicity may either refer to an architectural constraint or to a business requirement. When people use the word "simplicity," they are really talking about a kind of transparency or clarity. Simplicity is the design of looking for what is common for maximum reuse. With simplicity, what you are adding is clarity and purpose. Removing complexity (assumptions & dependencies) more clearly reveals the intentions of the architecture and its purpose.

Organizational interrelationship orchestration: Customer-Centric Architecture is a great tool for business leaders to orchestrate the organizational interrelationship between people and process, customer and technology, etc. It brings the system's understanding of relationships, ecosystems, market dynamics, and the connections between related business units. It helps to figure out how you make structures, processes and strategy alignment around excellent customer experience to result in a profitable and evolving business; how you model different value propositions to different customer segments: as well as how you build recombinant business capabilities to develop and offer the quality product and services to delight customers.

Digital organizations need to manage multi-layer and multi-dimensional business relationships such as cross-functional relationships, customer relationships, vendor relationships, etc, effectively. By understanding customer goals, the digital organization could develop better interaction capabilities to enhance the customer experience. Guarantee the proper integration of the result of the transformation and the full consistency defined in the customer-centric architecture.

A customer-centric digital business is fluid, flexible and resilient in knitting all necessary elements together into great customer experience and drive a seamless paradigm shift. The role of customer-centric Architecture in designing and planning future enterprise is both interesting and challenging for helping the organization make the transition from inside-out to outside-in, from static to dynamic; from industrial-segregation to digital modularization and from functioning to delight.


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