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After discussing how to use enterprise architecture for IT planning, reducing IT costs and M&AI had several request to share case studies that shows how the theory (which I already discussed) is used in reality.  This post contain three case studies for  IT planning, reducing IT costs and M&A. I hope you’ll find it useful for your needs.

Using Enterprise Architecture for IT planning and increasing law and regulation Compliance

Client environment:
The client is an energy company that operates part of the energy market. The company’s got a 4 years license to operate from the government. To renew the license the company needs to demonstrate 1) full compliance to the relevant energy market laws and regulations. 2)99.9 percentage availability of the company services to the market energy. The company approaches us one year before license renewal to be able to present compliance and availability to the regulators. 

Client business goals:

  1. Show current compliance of company to laws and regulations
  2. Show roadmap for filling gaps in compliance
  3. Reach 99.9 percentage of availability from 99.5 (as it measured when the engagement started).

Approach:
We followed a modeling approach in order to capture current situation, identifying gaps and create migration plan (IT roadmap) to fulfill the above business goals in one year time frame. Using the models we manage to simplify the complexity of the enterprise business, information applications and technology domains and cross relations between those domains. Being able to reduce complexity significantly enable us to come with a conclusion and a roadmap within three months of work.

Steps:

  1. Creation of meta-model of the data needed to be collected and relations (between data) based on existing reference model
  2. Using existing data and collecting (interviews) missing data, while capturing all the data in one repository.
    1. Mapping Business capabilities (or business functions) depicting compliance to laws and regulations.
    2. Mapping needed information and how it comply to laws and regulations
    3. Mapping applications and how they directly support business capabilities and information management requirements.
    4. Mapping technologies (databases, servers, storage devices, technologies and communication) supporting applications and business capabilities.
  3. Analyze the gap between the “to-be” (needed) state of the enterprise and the “as-is” (as found) state of the enterprise business, information, applications and technology domains.
    1. Business capabilities without any IT support, or partly IT support.
    2. Applications violating information requirements
  4. For each identified gap creating migration plan to overcome the gap (preferred in one year, or at least to show that the company’s aware of the gap and going to fix it in the next 3 years)
  5. Using modeled dependencies between business capabilities, information, Applications, databases, servers, storage devices, technologies and communication to increase IT availability.

Conclusion:
Following modeling approach of enterprise architecture and using existing IT assets documentation (CMDB, applications catalogue, Information modeling in Er-Win or any other tool) enable us to understand very easily and quickly, what are the gaps between the current situation and the business goals. We found out that 40% of the business capabilities are not supported or partly supported by IT assets. The work manages to show visually, by using a heat-map, where are those gaps. Following the heat-map, a migration plan was created to show how the gaps are going to be filled in the next three years. The relations and dependencies that were captured by the mapping work, used to better understand IT maintaining implications. This knowledge (which wasn’t available before) managed to increase IT availability to 99.9 percentage.
 

Using Enterprise Architecture for Decreasing IT costs while increasing IT availability

Client environment:
A governmental agency which provides a variety of vital 24*7 services to citizen, companies and other governmental agencies. The diversity of business services created an IT structure where each IT team is sole responsible for certain business domain, which created the typical silo IT structure. 5 years ago the clear boundaries between the agency business domains became vague, causing integration between IT teams. The demand for integration starts to prevent from the agency to achieve 24*7 availability of it services. On top of the integration problems and due to the economic situation the IT department needs to reduce 25% of its budget.

Client business goals:

  1. To gain 24*7 availability of services while decreasing IT budget
  2. To decrease IT budget without affecting availability of IT services

Approach:

We followed a modeling approach in order to capture dependencies and relations of current IT assets as well as their relations to the business domain in order to identify projects, application, technologies and servers that are redundant or may be retired in minimum impact and maximum budget reducing. The modeling approach also being used to understand cross relations between cross IT teams solutions increases IT services availability. Using the models we manage to simplify the complexity of the enterprise business, information applications and technology domains and cross relations between those domains. Being able to reduce complexity significantly enable us to come with conclusion and roadmap within three months of work.

Steps:

  1. Creating meta-model of the data needed to be collected and relations (between data) based on existing reference model
  2. Using existing data and collecting (interviews) missing data, while capturing all the data in one repository.
    1. Mapping Business capabilities (or business functions)
    2. Mapping applications, how they directly support business capabilities and information management requirements.
    3. Mapping product (COTS), supported applications and business capabilities
    4. Mapping technologies (databases, servers, storage devices, technologies and communication) supported applications, products and business capabilities.
  3. Creating query mechanism that enable us to understand what all the IT assets are, as well as business capabilities, that will be affected if a given IT asset needs to be taken down for maintenance or any other purpose.
  4. Looking for redundant IT assets
  5. Looking for products or technology with high costs, low usage and  minimum custom code, as candidates to be retired
  6. Identifying high cost projects that don’t support directly core business capabilities
  7. Analyze the data in order to create a roadmap of changes that will generate maximum saving without affecting core business capabilities.
  8. creating migration plan, taking in account dependencies, to achieve cost reduction (preferred in one year, or at least to show that the company aware to the gap and going to fix it in the next 3 years)

Conclusion:
Following modeling approach of enterprise architecture and using existing IT assets documentation (CMDB, applications catalogue, Information modeling in Er-Win or any other tool) enable us to understand very easily and quickly, what can be retired and how. Our approach also enables us to quickly understand relations between cross IT teams assets, thus increasing significantly IT services availability. Using collected and analyzed data we manage to reduce technologies and products (mainly their licenses and support agreements) and redundant IT assets. Our work managed to save 3M$ per year and 7M$ for next year budget. A migration plan was created to show how the identified costs saving gaps are going to be filled in the next three years. The relations and dependencies that were captured by the mapping work, used to better understand IT maintaining implications.

 

Using Enterprise Architecture for Mergers and acquisitions planning

Client environment:
Our client is a High-tech Company with M&A (mergers and acquisitions) strategy as an enabler to become a leader in their field.  Their strategy experienced many difficulties mainly due to different IT issues while dealing with M&A from IT perspective. Due to the fact that IT caused most of the issues, the IT was accused as a barrier to M&A.

Client business goals:

  1. To be able to support M&A from IT perspective.
  2. To raise difficulties in the negotiation phase, not in the implementation phase

Approach:
We followed a modeling approach in order to capture dependencies and relations of business and IT assets needed for acquisition from both business and IT perspective. We created two architecture maps to describe what’s needed from business and IT perspective when the company enters M&A process. We described the business domain, application, technologies and hardware architecture that if will be found in acquired company the merger from IT perspective will be transparent. Using those architecture maps and mappings of the acquired company IT we manage to understand in advance what the obstacles that we might encounter in a given acquisition.

Steps:

  1. Creating meta-model of the data needed to be collected and relations (between data) based on existing reference model
  2. Creating views that depict business and IT architecture of acquired company, which can be integrated without difficulties – “Best fits”
  3. Mapping “candidate for acquisition” company by using metamodel and views.
    1. Collecting existing documentation
    2. Using interviews to collect missing data
  4. Creating gap analysis between “best fits” architecture and current candidate to acquisition company architecture.
  5. Analyzing the gaps to create roadmap for integration or to raise potential issues in the integration process from IT perspective.

Conclusion:
Within two months we managed to build architecture maps both for business IT perspective of M&A. those maps were built from 5 different views, 6 matrixes and 12 basic building blocks as well as principles and blueprints. Using this mapping we managed to find out in advance IT issues in two M&A, thus to change the attitude of the enterprise to IT and to assist two successful M&A.

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