This master class was delivered by Andy Kyte, (Gartner Fellow and SVP) to an audience of CxOs and senior IT people, and I was immediately struck by his almost counter-intuitive thinking, as well as the pivotal role played by Enterprise Architecture, managing applications in today’s business environments.
Below are some key highlights from the event:
- Many organisations are unrepentant project junkies – project based application acquisition / delivery are often limited to the scope of the project, instead of the portfolio, and therein lies the origin of application slums, ghettos and shanty towns (i.e. no planning) that can be found within many organisations
- Pace layering – Different applications move at different speeds for persistence and cost, e.g. Systems of Record (low velocity / most expensive), Systems of Differentiation (medium velocity / less expensive), Systems of Innovation (high velocity, least expensive)
- Business vs. IT – In the war between Business Services and IT Services, the former usually wins, hence the uptake in BPO and Software-as-a-Service propositions
- Application Sourcing Options – Applications that need to be customised are the road to pain for organisations, according to Andy,” it’s like buying a dog and barking yourself!”
- Assets vs. Liability – An application is both an asset (albeit not handled very well by current accounting practices) and a liability, especially when you consider the stack that sits beneath each application (e.g. software / hardware / data / support / training needs etc.)
- TCO Research – The go-live cost of an application constitutes a mere fraction of its TCO over 15 years. Don’t be fooled by the overly optimistic project estimates for TCO.
- Functionality vs. Behaviour – Functional Requirements are less important than Non-Functional Requirements (e.g. maintainability / changeability etc). The non-functional requirements actually help deliver flexibility and agility, whereas functionality needs are certain to change over time
- 3 Critical Application Attributes – Over a period of time, the costs and risks associated with an application increases whilst agility decreases. To address these we must:
- Ensure good application governance –i.e. done by the stakeholders, for the stakeholders, in conjunction with the Enterprise Architects (aka city planners)
- Introduce executive application portfolio management – CxOs need to know what their applications cost
- Have the ability to make sound decisions to buy, sell, or hold on to existing applications
- Forget application roadmaps, but embrace Options (typically 4 options are optimal for real stakeholder engagement)
The key recommendations are to: review the application portfolio regularly, and always bear in mind that project success does not equate to portfolio success. Overall verdict: another excellent, insightful and value added BCS event, delivered by a true expert, within the chambers of UK’s House of Parliament.
“Don’t just ask what the role of the IT department in the Enterprise should be; Ask what the role of Technology should be in the Business of the Enterprise.”
That was the tagline for last week’s sell-out event at the BCS, Chartered Institute for IT, which featured Capgemini’s CTO, Andy Mulholland. Attendees were treated to riveting talk by Andy, in which he described the trends, implications and impact of innovation, especially the evolution (in back-office) and revolution (in front-office) of technology and the enterprise. To further drive home the point, Andy outlined what he calls the top ten game changing technology shifts for enterprises to watch and understand, e.g.: people and social tools, the user experience, big data, user driven IT environments (aka consumerisation), and mobility, to name just a few.
And if that wasn’t enough, the second speaker / session at this event provided a practical hands-on demonstration of what might be described as a prototype for ‘crowd-sourced innovation’ in action. This session, which was led by Destination-Innovation’s Paul Sloane, involved attendees forming into small groups in order to explore painful ‘real life’ problems, and to come up with an innovative approach to resolving one of them. The outcome was then played back to the larger group, and suffice it to say that some of the suggestions were astonishing, and one attendee commented afterwards, saying: “It’s amazing what you can achieve in a short period of time”.
Overall, this event provided a great mix of comprehensive knowledge and innovation foresight, along with some practical application of innovative techniques to address them; resulting in a balanced, demonstrable experience of how challenges posed by technology disruption may be met in turn by an innovative approach designed to harness individual creativity. For an event organised, in their spare time, by a bunch of volunteer committee members / helpers of the BCS, North London Branch, (including yours truly), I think this was an excellent outcome.
Enterprise Architecture has come a long way from what it used to be, but it is still evolving to meet the changing needs of a very fluid business and technology landscape. The question on most people’s lips, (aside from whatever next?), is how to ensure their businesses can continue to cope with this amount and pace of change?
This evening seminar, hosted by the BCS Enterprise Architecture Specialist Group, featured two speakers from Capgemini UK’s Technology Consulting team (see picture). The highly interactive session covered a lot of ground, including questions from the audience that touched on a wide variety of topics and perspectives on EA, such as:
- Effective Enterprise Architecture in an Agile Environment
- The real value of architecture frameworks
- Enterprise Architecture in the context of Cloud Computing
- The many faces / roles of an Enterprise Architect
- And (my personal favourite) a legal challenge about the use of the term Architect!
Verdict: Good event. Well attended with high level of interaction between speakers and audience, and as one audience member put it afterwards, “this is the type of BCS event that I like to attend”. Nuff said!
As mentioned in my last post, this lecture style seminar will take place at the BCS office in Central London, (near Covent Garden), on the 23rd of October. Full details including registration information are available on the launch webpage.
BCS Publications has a wealth of books on various IT related topics, and the launch events are always something special. This event is also held in association with the dynamic BCS North London Branch, which is also renowned for their great events! Disclosure: I am a serving member of the committee, hence the shameless plug.
This evening seminar will provide an excellent opportunity to discuss the complexity and impact of DRM on the new content economy; as well to examine the key factors that contributed to the conceptual need for DRM in the first place.
Therefore you can expect coverage of the various stakeholders, businesses, products and services that affect, and are affected, by DRM. There will also be ample opportunity to network informally after a brief Q&A. Refreshment included!
I hope to see you there.