The way things are built matters. This is as true for an organization as anything else.
Enterprise architecture aims to understand how different parts of an organization come together, and how this impacts its strategic goals. These insights can make a huge difference to the efficiency and success of any enterprise, making enterprise architecture a key feature of successful organizations.
Here are five benefits of enterprise architecture.
1. See How Different Parts of the Enterprise Fit Together
Modern organizations are complicated. Whether they’re businesses, government agencies, not for profits, or anything else, they tend to have a lot of moving parts.
This is because they’ve grown in an organic way. They adapt to new challenges as they arise, taking on new functions, and changing the way they work.
The difficulty is, the more an enterprise grows and morphs, the more difficult it is to understand how the different parts interlink. Throw into this equation the increasing complexity of modern IT, and it becomes very difficult to make strategic decisions.
Enterprise architecture changes this because its key function is to understand how different parts fit together. Business structure, applications, data, and technology all come together to create a company, but how exactly does it do this, and where can it be more efficient?
Enterprise architecture helps you answer these big questions.
2. Reduce Complexity
One of the difficulties with legacy enterprises is that they developed in silos. Over time, sales developed their own capabilities, marketing their own, and all the other departments the same.
This often leads to different departments with lots of overlap. They each have their own tools and collect their own data, but because the systems were developed in silos, they’re not able to talk to each other and allow the business to deploy its resources efficiently.
When you can see the big picture of how different parts of an enterprise fit together, then you often find there is needless complexity. A key benefit of enterprise architecture is the ability to bring silos together and reduce complexity.
3. Lower Costs
With the help of technology, modern enterprises are able to bring siloed departments together to make their operations more efficient. When you have a blueprint of how your business processes, applications, data, and technology come together, then you can see a much clearer picture of where investment needs to be made.
When you’re allocating a limited budget, it’s impossible to make an informed decision unless you can see this big picture. Enterprise architecture allows you to allocate your resources more effectively through three characteristics:
- Explaining how a deficiency exists within an organization
- Providing a way of assessing change against multiple criteria
- Directing change to improve an organization
This allows enterprises to align their investments and ensure they’re investing in the right assets at the right time in order to bring down future costs.
4. Improve Security
Security is a top priority for any organization. While technology brings many benefits for modern businesses, it also exposes them to lots of security risks.
Again, this is complicated by the intricate structures our business processes, technology, data, and applications run on. When these functions exist in silos, they each have their own security protocols and systems.
The difficulty with this is, when one department is compromised, it affects the entire enterprise. Security is something that needs to be approached on both a micro and macro level, and enterprise architecture can ensure this happens.
An enterprise architecture framework allows you to see the big picture and plan your security accordingly. Security threats continue to develop, so you need high-level future planning to make sure you stay protected.
5. Become More Mission-Led
It seems evident that an enterprise should be mission-led. However, limitations in processes, technology, data, and other areas often mean decisions are based on those limitations rather than what the mission requires.
This is another key benefit of enterprise architecture – it allows you to see how everything contributes to key strategic goals. Through enterprise architecture software, you find answers to the biggest architectural problems that consistently alter your strategic goals and draw you away from a mission-led approach.
When all the cogs are working in unison, a mission-led approach is much more achievable, and that’s exactly what enterprise architecture can facilitate.
Develop Your Enterprise Architecture
Every enterprise is aware of enterprise architecture on some level. We all look to streamline what we’re doing and align our processes with our goals. However, the more complicated enterprises become, the more there’s a need for a specific, high-level focus on enterprise architecture.
The benefits of developing your enterprise architecture team are evident. By training team members in the principles of enterprise architecture, you can start to see these benefits unfold in your enterprise.
Conexiam is a leader in enterprise architecture training and can walk you and your employees through the process of setting up an EA team.