Enterprise Architecture – Critical to Large Transformation Programs

Business transformation is increasingly a key driver for many organizations in today’s competitive environment where the focus is either on cost reduction by means of improving operational efficiency or on increasing the market share through innovation and other means of growth. Information Technology (IT) is looked upon as one of the key enablers for business innovation and competitive differentiation. As a result, many organizations identify a number of IT initiatives that enable business transformation and alignment of IT to business objectives and drivers. Such initiatives are often undertaken as part of large, multi-year business transformation programs that are aimed at changing and optimizing business processes and enhancing the IT capabilities that enable them. The initial effort and excitement of such changes often propel many transformational projects directly into an execution phase where focus is often on delivery without appropriate investments in program planning and further in planning and definition of the enterprise architecture. Such an approach often results in lack of appropriate guidance for the implementation projects and leads to large pitfalls. Organizations become unclear of what to deliver and how to deliver the change that can provide value to business and provide a return on the investment. Eventually this lack of planning leads to a failure to achieve the transformational objectives. This article highlights the need for enterprise architecture definition in large transformation programs, key considerations for defining the enterprise architecture, key challenges involved, and concludes with the benefits enterprise architecture brings to various stakeholders involved in transformation programs.

Context-Awareness in Collaboration Architecture: A Conceptual Model for an Enterprise

Collaboration is essential within an organization to connect the right group of people to share knowledge and solve business problems. As enterprises strive to deploy a collaboration platform to capture and distribute ―collective user value‖, they now face another challenge – how to make this platform efficient and productive. This article discusses the role of context-awareness within a collaboration framework. It outlines how a collaboration platform that is aware of the context for collaboration will have capabilities of adapting the collaboration experience. Outlining attributes that define context for enterprise collaboration, we have built a conceptual delivery platform for collaboration services. We present four architecture principles that would enable a collaboration platform to be context-aware. A key consideration of this article is to include business processes within the realm of enterprise collaboration.