Posted by: Derek Weeks on: May 11, 2011
The Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit in London came to a close yesterday. After two days of insightful keynotes, analyst presentations, workshops and networking, it was clear that business processes and EA are inherently and necessarily linked to one another. In a recent Gartner survey, improving and aligning business processes was cited as an EA priority as well as a key business and IT priority for CIOs. As Gartner analyst Elise Olding discussed, in her session, “BPM – The Catalyst to Deliver outcomes,” when EA and BPM join forces, the results are much more than either can achieve alone.
Organizations are looking to leverage enterprise architecture to develop a strong, detailed understanding of the operating model and supporting organization structures with clearly defined business rules and requirements. Adding a business process management layer to the mix allows you to actually apply and automate the business practice improvements defined during your modeling phase.
Think of enterprise architecture as your enterprise context or your value chain, which helps you define the larger, more complex business capabilities you perform every day. As you spend time improving the value chains, you naturally begin to understand, associate and define your business operations in greater detail – focusing on specific pieces of the whole. When you are ready to execute the processes you have mapped out, you have a complete map of both the micro and macro view of your business operations. Thus, you are able to keep the larger picture in mind as you are improving and automating specific pieces, but still have the ability to drill down deeper and analyze, reevaluate and improve your practices leveraging what you’ve learned at the enterprise level to drive operational excellence deeper into the organization.
According to Gartner analyst, Phil Allega, “Enterprise architecture is the process of transforming business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change.” Business processes are a critical part of this transformation and organizations can extract maximum value by leveraging EA and BPM tools in tandem. Together, these solutions can transform your business by allowing you to truly understand, model, analyze and automate how the people, processes, systems and technology work together to deliver your business goals and improve your enterprise.
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