In previous posts we have introduced MappIT methodology and related to this some terms, such as business strategy, operating model, enterprise architecture, which require a brief definition and some example to be clearly understood in practice.
The top section of the framework is the Business Architecture concept, a set of business components (processes, organization, people, channels, products, etc.) that are required to run your current corporate business.
Business Strategy define how to properly shape, change and mix these components together to reach the target company vision, mission, goals and objectives considering in the meanwhile the external and internal constraints (business drivers). This part of the framework is not the target of this book but is mainly the input of all other following parts.
To implement the business strategy, or in other terms reaching the desired business architecture, a set of Capabilities are required which represent the link between the business and IT world.
These capabilities are enabled first of all by the IT Architecture model, meaning all systems and technologies which are delivered by IT to the business in order to support the Business Architecture. This architectural model should serve as a starting point for IT strategic planning.
However a proper IT strategy should also envision other area of IT, such as staff and resources allocation, sourcing options and strategies, vendor management plans, organizational and skill management, etc. In other words this architectural model is transformed, operated and managed over the years through what is called the IT Operating Model which can be split into two main areas:
- IT Operating Spending model which describes spending and investments allocated by IT department to manage the IT architecture and to run the IT activities
- IT Operating Sourcing model which describes the organization structure of internal and external staff, roles and skills used to run assigned activities
The mix of target IT architecture, IT spending and IT sourcing capabilities and how they are delivered through IT Initiatives define your IT Strategy.
To complete our framework we have also included the IT Governance concept in order to position them respect to the IT strategy.
As a matter of facts once the IT strategy has been defined and communicate to all stakeholders, a second level of details will come in place to support and monitor the implementation of this IT strategy; this level is named IT governance.
In this sense IT strategy is mainly focused on defining, from an higher, concise and long term perspective how resources and assets should be used, while IT governance is more focused on:
- detailed definition and specification of the spending/sourcing model (e.g. Supplier SLA Management, Supplier Consolidation…) and the organization model (detailed role profiles, skill definition, career path, incentives,…)
- detailed IT Service model which defines the IT Services exposed to the business and their attributes (accounting and charge back models, SLA…)
- detailed IT Process model and procedures linking together all above models and defining how the IT department run in order to manage and evolve the architectural model.
In next post we will briefly traverse the framework to describe some key definitions related to these key concepts; we will start from the static concepts (Architecture and Operating Models) and then moving to the dynamic ones (Business Strategy, IT Strategy and Governance).
Read more on this topic from my eBook…or stay tuned for new posts.