The business case for IT architecture
Assume you were appointed new CIO of your company. As an IT architect, you know about the validity of the second law of thermodynamics, stating that ‘the entropy (disorder) of the universe (and especially of IT landscapes) always increases’. Therefore you believe in the The value of IT architecture. You find intrinsic value of IT architecture comparable to the value you get from cleaning up a room while the company specific value of IT architecture being similar to the value you would expect from a satellite navigation system in that both help you moving into the right direction. Hence you plan to strengthen the IT architecture function in your organization and to start the development of an Why should you refresh your SAP roadmap?. To justify those investments you wonder whether you could be more specific in proving their value to your CFO. The good news is that you can. Consider the structure of IT architecture as I see it shown below
Let’s consider the following example. Your company has the vision of becoming the most profitable consumer products manufacturer with the highest quality of products and the best customer service in its industry. One business strategy to support the vision concerning best customer service is to be closest to the customer. A process to support this strategy is to visit your customers on request and to action on their concerns. Application wise this requires a mobile CRM solution with a systems landscape like the following that also follows your IT architecture principles and IT architecture patterns which I describe next
One business strategy towards profitability is to increase the top line by maintaining the bottom line. For your IT strategy this implies that you have to save costs in current operations to free budget for investments in IT architecture. An IT process to support this strategy is to consolidate your application landscape. Therefore you postulate a two vendor IT architecture principle to use SAP for backend processes and Microsoft for frontend processes. Any deviation to this principle would have to go through an exception process.
Since your investment into IT architecture is compensated by the cost savings in operation costs all other investments into your IT are directly linked to the process they support and therefore to the benefit this process generates which is your business case.