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White Paper

Architecture Governance for a Large Transformation Program

 

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is critical for organizations undergoing transformation to ensure their Information Technology (IT) initiatives and investments are aligned to the business objectives and deliver the expected business benefits.

It provides principles and policies, current and target architecture views for business and IT components involved in transformation. Architecture Governance (AG) is required to ensure the principles of EA are well applied to both system architecture and design of the underlying information systems. It also ensures organizations meet business and IT objectives and standards. AG enables effective alignment of business and IT, manages risk by reducing probability of failures in transformation projects and incorporates elements of cost effectiveness and value.

EA and AG as a practice have evolved over the past two decades but are often the most ignored elements especially within transformation programs. EA is critical for large transformations as it acts as a bridge between strategy and implementation. It provides guiding principles, policies and standards that help in effective decision making in transformation projects. It provides the current and target architecture views for various domains such as business applications, information, integration, technology, security and infrastructure. These views are created depending on the needs of the stakeholders involved in the transformation including providers and most importantly the consumers of the architecture.

Investing in EA definition and creating the artifacts alone does not ensure that the implementation teams understand and deliver the expected target state within necessary standards. It is imperative to define an AG framework that ensures compliance of the transformation projects to the target architecture and enables delivery of the expected business and IT benefits.

Consider this example to better understand enterprise architecture and architecture governance: A large pharmaceutical company embarked on a transformation program without a well-planned approach on EA and AG and ran into roadblocks early in the program. While EA helped align the transformation projects to a common business objective, it alone could not ensure that the project teams implement solutions accurately and deliver the expected business and IT benefits. The AG framework and underlying components were setup and operationalized to ensure the transformation projects delivered the strategic business objectives of the program.

In this white paper, we demonstrate how the AG framework was implemented to enable the success of the transformation projects in delivering the expected business benefits with help of a real life case study. The AG framework demonstrated in this paper can be easily reused in other large transformation programs to fully realize the benefits of investing in EA.