IT Strategy Information Model…data for the framework

Our Framework is based on a predefined and proven information model which includes all key information that should be collected, including entities, attributes and relationships.

It is a suggested guideline of all typical information that should be collected and analyzed during the analysis; it acts as an accelerator for further steps, even if it can be adapted to match other specific contexts.

This model can be used either for mapping current situation (AS IS way of working) and for future evolution (TO BE target model) and is composed by five main areas.

Exhibit 7 – MappIT IT Strategy Data Model

First area focuses on Business Operating Model which describes how the company is organized and operates; it includes the following main entities:

  • “Product Types”, “Customer Segments”, “Interaction Channels” which describe the company business model in terms of which product it sell, to which customer segments and through which channels
  • “Business Organization” composed by Business Departments organized in a hierarchical view
  • “Business Processes” which defines the sequence of manual and IT-supported activities required to perform a business task (e.g. Order Acquisition process and related steps, actors, systems involved) by the Business Organization
  • “Customer Journey” which describes the business lifecycle from customer perspective in terms of sequence of Customer Journey steps

Second area is related to the Business Strategy domain which describe the company vision and what the company want to achieve in the medium and long term; it include Business Architecture, Business Drivers, Objectives, and Capabilities. It includes the following main entities:

  • “Business Drivers” which are the company-wide vision and related guidelines on business evolution (e.g. Company Xyz wants to deliver low-cost Cloud Services)
  • “Business Objectives” which represents the specific target (sometimes including quantifiable KPOs) that each Business Unit defined, aligned with the Drivers (e.g. BU Abc wants to increase sales revenues of Cloud Product WY by 20% in 3 years)
  • “Capabilities” which defines the macro-functionalities delivered by IT Architecture which can support Business Process in reaching the business objectives (e.g. a product configurator to support pre-sale process for improving Sales revenues). Business Capabilities include also all other IT elements (not pertaining to the IT Architecture) that IT provides to the Business to deliver and maintain the IT Architecture (Supplier and Organization capabilities …). Each of these Capabilities is detailed in a set of Business Requirements.

Third area models the existing and future IT architecture which support the Business Operational Model in terms of IT principles and logical components (modules, data, interfaces) and physical ones (sites, server…); it includes the following main entities:

  • “IT Principles” which are the IT-wide guidelines and standards which drive the overall IT architecture and Operational Model (e.g. collapse all product information in a single Catalogue)
  • “IT Modules” which defines the application modules (e.g. Order Capturing application) that are used by business users and customer to perform some activities of the business processes and/or deliver the business capabilities/requirements; each of the IT Module provides this support through one or many IT Services.
  • “Interfaces” which defines which connection and data flows are available across the IT Modules in order to transfer data between them; these data are described in terms of key information, known as Data Entity (e.g. Customer Profile, Orders, Invoices…), relevant to handle one or more business process
  • “Infrastructure” which defines the infrastructural elements (e.g. front-end web server running the Order Capturing application, equipment…) required to run one or many IT Modules; these infrastructure elements are grouped together in Sites the physical location where the elements are hosted
  • “Issues” which describes the open problems and pains on each IT module (e.g. performance issues, technical issues, functional issues…)

Fourth area describes the IT Operational model required to run the business as usual in terms of maintenance and operations of running applications/infrastructure and follow IT Initiatives required to implement new modules/infrastructure; it includes the following entities:

  • “IT Organization” which is composed by IT Departments organized in a hierarchical view
  • “IT Activities” which describes the usual activities performed inside the IT department in order to run the current systems (e.g. Monitoring Order Mgmt. app) and proceed with planned initiatives (e.g. Functional Analysis for Project A). For each of these activities related Internal FTEs and external Budget allocation (and related Suppliers) are defined
  • “IT Persons” which are the IT department people required to run application and initiatives; they are linked to a specific Role and has a set of Skills

Finally the IT Strategist have to describe the running or future IT Initiatives (Projects or Programs) which aims to deliver new or modified Business Capabilities through changes or new IT Modules or Infrastructure (e.g. Order Improvement project); it includes the following entities:

  • “Impacts” which defines which IT and Business actions (and related effort) are required for the introduction of new capabilities (e.g. Review a GUI of an application or add a new interface) or a subset of their requirements. For each of the business Impact and estimation of costs is defined in order to estimate the overall effect of all impacts related to a common initiative
  • “Initiatives” which describes the project required to deliver new or improve existing capabilities in IT modules. These initiatives are described in terms of Impacts on IT and Business side (see later) and in terms project features like Phases, Risks, Key Decisions, Issues and Actions require to overcome Risks and Issues

Read more on this topic from my eBook…or stay tuned for new posts.


About FrankITecture

I'm an IT Consultant with many years of experiences in IT Architecture, IT Governance and IT Strategy projects in many Market Sectors (Telco, Finance, Retail...)
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