Are you trying to navigate the complex work of IT? Does it seem like that your IT department runs on its own, without having any alignment with your business goals?
Then you need to explore implementing an enterprise architecture framework. Enterprise architecture is a marriage between your business model and technology. Both of these need to be in harmony for your business to thrive.
Gartner predicts that my 2022, 80% of successful businesses will use enterprise architecture to manage the digital footprint and make strategic decisions of the company.
Want to know how that can benefit your business? Read on to learn the top reasons why you should implement an enterprise architecture framework.
What is An Enterprise Architecture Framework?
Enterprise architecture has its roots in the 1960s. This is when technology was first being used in businesses. They needed a way to integrate these machines into the day-to-day operations of the business.
In the 1980s, when computers became regular sightings in offices, companies realized that they needed a long term plan to be able to adapt to emerging technologies in every part of their business. This is an enterprise architecture framework.
Your business has certain requirements and processes in order to function. Technology and data play a role in how your business performs those various functions. Enterprise Architecture framework lays out guidelines to ensure your business needs, technology, and data work together.
It may seem very vague, and it is. The framework relies largely on the needs of the business, so every framework will be different from another.
How Can Your Business Benefit from Enterprise Architecture?
Can your business truly benefit from something so vague? Yes, it can. When the guidelines are implemented, your business can see tangible benefits. Here are the most common that businesses experience.
Deploying enterprise architecture can result in significant cost savings. You won’t see those cost savings right away because you will have to invest in building the framework.
Once the framework is built, you can justify the costs of enterprise architecture. When you build the framework, you’ll soon realize which IT assets aren’t being used to their capabilities. You’ll also be able to spot redundancies and consolidate resources.
Let’s say that you have a license to use a type of software for your entire office. After building the framework, you realize that only one department really needs the license. You can renegotiate your license agreement and see a lot of money saved.
Strategy and enterprise architecture go hand in hand, partly because they’re both abstract concepts. Yet, both play a vital role in the long-term health of your business.
What happens is that you need to make a long-term plan for your business. You need to know the financial goals you want to achieve and plan out the steps that will get you there.
Enterprise architecture supports the decision making process through technology. For example, for your sales team to hit quota, the framework has to be there to support them. That could lead to your business investing in cloud technology.
As complicated as IT is, enterprise architecture simplifies it for your business. You have guidelines in place that can help every aspect of your company.
Your accounts receivable department won’t follow up on collections issues. This has a massive impact on the cash flow of your business.
What enterprise architecture does is investigate why the collections process is stymied. Your IT department finds that they’re all operating off of old data and paper to do collections.
With this information, your IT department streamlines your collections process to make it easier to follow up.
Better Collaboration in Your Business
An enterprise architecture framework also results in better collaboration. As any business owner knows, working in silos kills companies.
The framework will impact how technology is used across departments. Enterprise architecture forces your IT department to understand and collaborate with every department in your organization.
You can also implement technologies that enhance collaboration, such as document sharing networks that allow for instant communication and collaboration across departments.
The Role of An Enterprise Architect
Enterprise architecture plays such an important role for businesses today. Where does an enterprise architect fit in with your organization?
Yes, they’re a part of your IT department, but since they have such a broad view of your business, they need to be considered a step below management. Since they combine the rare qualities of IT expert and business strategists, you’ll need to be prepared to pay handsomely for an enterprise architect.
It’s very common for enterprise architects to report to C-Suite executives. They’re also brought in on strategy meetings to help executives guide the direction of the organization.
Certification for Enterprise Architects
Are you ready to hire an enterprise architect or becoming one? There are certain criteria and certifications enterprise architects should have.
Becoming an enterprise architect requires several years of hands-on experience working with servers, desktop, and, mobile devices.
You’ll need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, or a related program.
You’ll also want to get certified. Organizations offer certifications to show that you have the skills and experience to work on a specific piece of software, like AWS or SalesForce. Read this to learn more about becoming enterprise architect certified.
Streamline Your Business with Enterprise Architecture Framework
As your business grows, your IT department needs to grow along with it. Your business will be running without any clear direction without the valuable insights from IT.
That’s why having an Enterprise Architecture Framework is so important to your business. You can reduce your IT and overall costs, and have a strategic direction for your business.
If you want to invest in Enterprise architecture but your business is short on cash, you do have options. Take a look at this article to discover business funding options.
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