Establishing an effective Digital Strategy is the cornerstone of leveraging technology across the Enterprise. In creating an effective Technology Strategy, it is critical to work with Executive Management to develop a clear strategic and operational vision that is based on market dynamics. Areas of importance for a Digital Strategy include 1) Engaging the Customer, 2) Empowering Employees, 3) Optimizing Operations, and 4) Transforming products and services. Once the vision has been properly vetted, design principles, policies and detailed road-maps can be developed and appropriate Governance processes can be applied to execute the Digital Strategy.
One critical component of an effective Digital Strategy is selecting an Enterprise Architecture(EA) framework. The EA framework helps identify the architectural scope and decompose all of the critical elements into structured layers and architectural dimensions. In order to create an effective Enterprise Architecture, it is necessary to have a team with expertise in business requirements analysis, process modeling, architectural frameworks, technology evaluation, systems integration techniques and data warehousing / analytics. The key decisions that need to be made regarding the creation of a Digital Strategy and Enterprise Architecture fall into 5 major categories:
- Transaction Systems – Focuses on completeness and accuracy of the data transaction.
- Integration Technology – Ensures that data flows efficiently between systems.
- Infrastructure and Security – Ensures that hardware and networks are secure and have adequate capacity.
- Analytical Capability – Ensures strategic information is accessible for decision making.
- Social and Mobile Systems – Focuses on engaging and empowering customers wherever and whenever.
Our first step in achieving an effective strategy is to assess and model existing business processes and systems. Next, key stakeholders such as Mega-process owners and Executives are engaged to capture business requirements, organizational pain points and perform a gap analysis across each of the five key architectural areas. Any identified gaps are then addressed through a next generation system design incorporating information from vendor research and in-depth RFP processes.
As part of the “To Be” analysis, the new technology environment needs to facilitate the business’ analytical requirements and enhance management’s ability to make complex decisions. This need for accurate and accessible data usually requires the use of Business Intelligence and Predictive Analytics capabilities. The ability to obtain accurate and timely information across the corporation improves the organizations overall decision making capability and increases management’s decision accuracy.
Unfortunately, the creation of an Digital Strategy and Enterprise Architecture are not one-time events. They require frequent assessment and redesign based on new market dynamics and changing business needs. In essence, an effective IT Strategy establishes a process and technology baseline that supports the business strategy and improves the enterprise’s probability of success. HBSC has helped both large and small enterprises design and implement successful IT Strategies that improve efficiency, decision capability, compliance and enable new business models to thrive.
If you are thinking about new ways to digitize your Enterprise for competitive advantage, HBSC Strategic Services can help. Please contact us at 800-970-7995 or visit us at www.hbsconsult.com.