Posted by Mike Rollings
In the InformationWeek blog CIOs Uncensored, John Soat writes about Tomorrow's CIO: Process Before Technology. John quotes Avnet's chief operational excellence officer Ed Kamins, "Before process automation, process improvement." Too often new technology becomes the focus of IT organizations, and it is great that Kamins is focused on business outcomes. I wonder if Ed has an enterprise architecture program that aids this endeavor or if he just uses the analysis and modeling techniques as part of other organizational activities?
The area of EA analysis that aids process improvement is associated with business architecture and application portfolio management:
- Business architecture represents the collective understanding of the business model, current strategies, business functions, processes and information. It provides an expression of the dependencies, implications, and constraints on the implementation of a future business capability as a result of that understanding.
- Application portfolio management (APM) is a set of processes for managing software applications as assets. APM encompasses application rationalization, includes processes for controlling the acquisition of software applications, and managing the portfolio changes imposed on these assets by projects.
Whether or not you have an enterprise architecture program, pursuing Business Process Improvement, Business Process Management, Service Oriented Architecture, and Master Data Management requires business architecture and application portoflio management.
Organizations need to become masters of business architecture to understand how processes and information are implemented in today’s application portfolio and to determine the impact of business process change. They will need to be able to reflect the creation of services on the existing set of applications. In one respect, they will need to show where parts of applications are envisioned as services. They will also need to show the retrofitting of legacy applications where services may replace some or all of the current implementation. Finally, they will need to manage new implementations of assembled services that change the definition of an application. This added complexity with technology, service, and investment planning associated with the application portfolio requires that organizations develop a deeper understanding of the content of the portfolio and the ability to manage this important set of assets.
I think it's great that Ed sees himself as "chief process officer". Process improvement before process automation are words to live by!