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.
There is a general lack of awareness regarding the creation, use, and potential benefits of enterprise-wide process architectures. This article addresses these issues by attempting to address the question: What are the potential benefits of business process architecture and how may they be achieved? This article explores and analyzes a subset of the most popular and widely used process reference models, tools, and implementation methodologies as identified in popular practitioner literature. The models are then compared and critiqued for strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the selected sample of reference models will be evaluated and scrutinized for apparent themes. Considerations regarding how the reference models and methodologies can be selected and combined for maximum benefit are offered. The article provides an overview of the developing business process architecture discipline, and describes the practice conceptually and then discusses potential benefits and common challenges. Analysis of the various models, tools, and methodologies yields that they are often distinguished by relative strengths and weaknesses, and that the best option depends on the situation and objectives. By following generic initial phases of the selected methodologies, organizations can roughly visualize their business context and enterprise-level processes to facilitate the creation of process architecture vision and objectives.