Digital Transformation needs Enterprise Architecture Management | QPR

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29 March 2016

Digital Transformation needs Enterprise Architecture Management

While visiting our customers and prospects we are increasingly seeing how in a modern enterprise, business models and processes cannot be efficiently implemented without a capable and powerful IT infrastructure. On the other side, today’s businesses have to adapt to fast changing markets and customer requirements, while new technologies like Cloud, Big Data, Analytics, Industrial Internet etc. revolutionize the IT world. To cope with both dimensions of change, need for agile and flexible processes as well as new opportunities of innovative technologies, you have to know very well, what are your capabilities, which processes are needed to implement these capabilities and how are they connected with the IT infrastructure.

To answer our customers’ need to handle all these questions and to ensure transparency for fast and excellent decisions, PROTEMA developed PRO3model, which provides a model and methodology to describe, analyze, and optimize enterprise architectures from the level of strategies and business model, the link to processes and organizational structures down to the implementation level including the IT infrastructure. PRO3model is PROTEMA’s approach to Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) and ensures a successful connection between business and the IT landscape. It is an effective framework for the agile design, implementation, and continuous improvement of the whole enterprise.

PRO3model and QPR Enterprise Architect – A fruitful symbiosis 

The basis for a successful EAM is a systematic and structured modelling of the enterprise, consistency regarding the different parts of the enterprise, and the up-to-dateness of the captured information. To fulfill these requirements, the use of a powerful software tool is an essential and crucial prerequisite. We use our EAM approach PRO3model together with the QPR EnterpriseArchitect. QPR EnterpriseArchitect is a brilliant tool, which comes with pre-implemented standard frameworks like TOGAF, but also offers a great variety of functions to support our EAM activities based on our own framework. The benefits of using our EAM approach together with QPR EnterpriseArchitect are the increase of transparency, fast and profound decisions, agile and flexible business models and processes, and at the end a strong customer focus paired with a sustainable enterprise development. 

Proven in practice and validated in a variety of projects – A success story 

One of our customers is an internationally operating enterprise, which manufactures consumer goods sold and distributed in a multi-channel approach. The strategic goal is to initiate the transformation from a classical world into a new digital era, which needs a strong and consistent connection between the business and the IT worlds. 

Once the goal of a clear and consistent connection of business development and IT support was set, a global project has been started in order to harmonize the application portfolio and to describe market requirements as business models in a formal manner. The challenge was to translate market speaking to IT thinking and to establish a common language as the central idea of Enterprise Architecture Management.

Both, market requirements and stakeholder behavior have been modelled as business models using the Osterwalder Business Model Canvas. For this purpose the QPR EnterpriseArchitect EAM meta model was adjusted accordingly to meet the specific project requirements.

Classic B2B business model 

Figure 1: Business model (simplified Osterwalder Canvas) as part of the Enterprise Architecture

Modelling Business Models in a formal manner allowed us to derive capabilities from market requirements and notably to establish a common language to understand each other. A centralized capability catalogue was the door opener to precisely describe needed application functions and services. In this sense, well defined capabilities combined with business processes acted as bridge from business to IT. The application-function-architecture was set up to design a software product independent and functionality based application landscape. This functionality diagram was complemented by an application-component-architecture describing the software solution establishing the needed functions.

Global standard website platform

Figure 2: Application Component Architecture

The benefits of using PRO3model together with the QPR EnterpriseArchitect were overwhelming. First of all we established a common language to enable fruitful discussions between the business and IT world. The result were clearly defined business models and a consistent approach how to implement the digital era consisting of new agile business processes and an innovative IT landscape. The ability to describe business requirements as business models linked to architecture models builds the foundation for a social media platform to empower an agile business development. At the end, the digital transformation can be executed in a fast and agile way consuming as less as possible resources. 

What is in for you?

Don’t Enterprise Architecture Management and PRO3model sound like something that your organization would also benefit from? The PROTEMA team is happy to continue the discussion with you!

Joerg Pirron's picture
Dr. Joerg Pirron
Managing Director and Partner, Protema GmbH, EFQM European Assessor