How Enterprise Architecture supports and drives change
A company with a 400-year history and hundreds of different IT systems wants to create business in completely new areas. How can Enterprise Architecture support and drive this change?
Sofigate’s agile EA as a Service model engages stakeholders from separate business units in a transparent development process. The goal is a practical EA roadmap everyone can commit to.
A solidly created but flexible Enterprise Architecture model prepares the client for a major business transformation, helps critical decision-making and promotes cost-efficiency.
Sofigate understood that a successful Enterprise Architecture cannot be created in a vacuum.
ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE AS A SERVICE PROVIDES FOCUS TO BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION
Posti, the Finnish postal service, is undergoing a massive business transformation. The company is widening its scope into logistics, e-commerce and other new service areas – and digitalization is at the heart of these new ventures. An evolving business landscape needs an Enterprise Architecture that both drives and adapts to continuous change. Sofigate’s Enterprise Architecture as a Service model helped Posti to find new focus and clear targets for their EA.
100S OF SYSTEMS – WHERE TO BEGIN THE CHANGE?
Posti is a state-owned company that has concentrated on delivering mail to all Finns for nearly 400 years. As the volume of traditional paper mail is decreasing, Posti is actively looking to discover new business areas.
“Everyone at Posti is serious about preparing for a future where digitalization transforms our entire business. I see our IT function as an enabler of this change. But to achieve true company-wide business transformation, we first needed to get our Enterprise Architecture fighting fit so that IT can fulfil its role and help the bigger change”, says Jani Jolkkonen, Senior Vice President of ICT and Digitalization at Posti.
As a formidably sized company with a multitude of business units and departments, Posti has accumulated hundreds of different information systems through the years.
“A change cannot happen overnight. We needed to form a complete picture of our Enterprise Architecture so that we could make informed decisions about which systems to overhaul first. As there are so many different stakeholders involved, we quickly realized we wouldn’t be able to form a useful overview without first making sure we’re all in the same boat”, says Jolkkonen.
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT & COST-EFFECTIVE RESOURCING
The result of an Enterprise Architecture project should be something more than just another pile of strategy documents. To achieve an EA roadmap that is goal-oriented and practical, Posti decided to collaborate with Sofigate.
“An external consultant is able to avoid the so-called analysis paralysis that can sometimes hinder businesses from achieving the change they desire. The client provides the deep substance knowledge and we provide fresh tools and a broader market understanding. Together these help the project to concentrate on actionable goals”, says Pasi Lahtonen, Senior Advisor at Sofigate.
Sofigate has created a unique Enterprise Architecture as a Service model that conducts EA development projects in an agile and social style.
“Sofigate clearly understood that a successful Enterprise Architecture cannot be created in a vacuum. They organized large workshops and reference groups that engaged people from all corners of our organization. Working in this social way was the key to achieving an Enterprise Architecture roadmap that all parties can commit to”, says Jolkkonen.
Another important aspect of Sofigate’s EA as a Service method is fluid resourcing.
“In this project our team consisted of a Junior Consultant and a Senior Consultant. The work was balanced between these two experts depending on the stage of the process and the tasks at hand. Not having a fixed team in an EA project is cost-efficient for the client”, says Lahtonen.
EA STAMPED AND DELIVERED
An intelligently orchestrated Enterprise Architecture can help achieve valuable business benefits.
“By acknowledging the co-dependencies between particular functions and business units, IT projects can be executed more quickly, and resources allocated more efficiently. This can bring costs down and assist in creating new business and added revenue”, says Lahtonen.
Enterprise Architecture at Posti gained new clarity and focus during the project. Business transformation at the company now has a practice-oriented EA roadmap to help guide it in a goal-driven way.
“The shared vision for EA at Posti is now at a healthier level than ever before. We succeeded in selecting the most relevant elements and systems to tackle first. We also achieved an understanding on what the next steps to develop them are going to be. Next, we will just have to find the right partners to work with”, says Jolkkonen.
Now that a solid groundwork has been laid, further development of EA at Posti can be done in an incremental fashion.
“The traditional way of working is to renew the entire Enterprise Architecture from the ground up every few years. But with Sofigate we have now tried to find a model that is more adaptable to continuous change and can thus remain relevant for a longer time”, says Jolkkonen.