Blazing the trail
How a corporate IT group is leading the way on Enterprise Architecture
A corporate IT group improved its Enterprise Architecture capabilities, blazing a path for the rest of the global organization.
The IT group at this company is responsible for developing and maintaining core enterprise applications such as e-mail, messaging, and knowledge management for a global business with more than 65,000 employees around the world. It also develops specialized IT applications for individual operating units. In the past, this group – like most IT organizations – developed solutions and services that focused on a narrow set of problems without much thought to the overall impact at the enterprise level. These individual applications were designed to meet the needs of a specific customer, but didn’t necessarily align with the company’s other business and IT initiatives and assets.
Also, different projects were often developed using different methods, tools, and design principles. The result was a loose collection of isolated solutions that didn’t always fit together the way they should. This increased the cost of IT operations and support and created a significant amount of scope conflict and duplicated project effort. It also made it harder for the business to respond quickly to market changes. In addition to wrestling with these issues, this corporate IT group was tasked with helping to improve IT consistency across the entire global enterprise. Producing consistent solutions on its own was no longer enough; now, the group was expected to help other IT organizations do the same – and to establish a set of architecture policies and standards that other parts of the global enterprise could use as a model.