We wrote in our first blog post about our thoughts on Enterprise Architecture. In brief, it is the way to own your ICT direction but too often it only delivers fluffy presentations and banal statements that under the covers, deliver very little.
Since we wrote that blog we have been working with two SaaS offerings in this space, both of which originate from Germany.
LeanIX is an Enterprise Architecture and Application Portfolio Management platform. It is really simple to use. All items (business capabilities, applications, data objects etc) are entered as ‘Fact Sheets’ which brings a uniformity to the process that delivers that ease of use. The simplicity of the data upload process and the use of relationships between these fact sheets drives the available reports.
Take a look at their site for more detail on these features but let us just state our view; Enterprise Architecture and Portfolio Management is required to deliver ICT that acts for the business – with LeanIX that capability just got really easy and quick to achieve. The business case for it is easy. Think of all the different architects and consultants who have come through your organisation and left a trail of their particular modelling views; all are valid but there is no continuity. You can take control of this by moving your Enterprise Architecture to a SaaS platform and move from the data collection and report creation phase into the decision making phase based on real factual insight into your environment.
Signavio is a Business Process Modelling tool. We have always valued process modelling but up until now this has always been done in Visio. This is our first experience with an online modelling tool. We’ve been using it extensively in a retail organisation to model some of their customer service processes. Signavio, based on BPMN 2.0, takes very little time to become comfortable with and has a great Customer Journey modelling ability that can link to the process maps. We built process maps that identify the key IT Components and Data Objects involved in the steps of these processes, something which is now a critical capability in the new era of Data Breach Notification. These maps can be published to non-editors via the ‘Collaboration Hub’ where these users can easily move between the Customer Journey and then up and down the higher and lower layers of the business process maps.
We have not seen much use of Business Process Modelling used in Australia in anything more than a few diagrams here and there; using these two tools (LeanIX and Signavio) together has really changed our view on their value. Building a set of Process Maps for key business services is an excellent way for the business users to qualify what role Applications take and where Data Objects exist. For decision-making and risk reviews, having a library of these process maps will be invaluable and over time a significant cost-saving. Signavio and LeanIX can be integrated to share the same dictionary of artefacts so the same LeanIX custodianship (you can apply and manage your RACI against all components in LeanIX) can be applied to the process maps created in Signavio.