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Hardcover Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution Book

ISBN: 1591398398

ISBN13: 9781591398394

Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution

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Book Overview

Does it seem you've formulated a rock-solid strategy, yet your firm still can't get ahead? If so, construct a solid foundation for business execution--an IT infrastructure and digitized business processes to automate your company's core capabilities. In Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution, authors Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, and David C. Robertson show you how. The key? Make tough decisions about which...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

This book is about IT Strategy

I have read very few books which comes this close to defining IT's Strategic practice. Enterprise Architecture is the place where IT meets the needs of business. Enterprise Architecture is where operational risk is measured, future operational planning is done and the new business strategy is transformed into IT strategy. This book does a very good job of linking Enterprise Architecture with core business processes. It also explains the differences between, often confusing terms, such as -- application, data and IT systems/infrastructure architecture. In last few years EA has become a large practice for Federal Government. It is fast becoming a need for every big company who is involved in making its IT agile, productive and innovative. IT managers and business strategists both should read this to understand their role in crafting EA. This book is an easy read and uses very simple words, business examples and analytical frameworks. It is an unique book because most of Enterprise Architecture arena is muddled with acronyms and jargons, which makes the issue not only confusing but also very intimidating. Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution

A Must Read for Corporate CXOs

Ross & Weill (this time with Robertson) have done it again. This is a must-read for corporate CXOs who need to understand what it takes to create an efficient, responsive and agile IT organization. In particular, the discussion of the operating model is worth the price of the book alone. As a long term, practicing enterprise architect I was surprised by the insights I gained to past successes and failures from an analysis of the operating model. That model and its implications have become the topic of (sometimes heated) debate by the Executive Committees of at least two major corporations that I'm aware of. Moreover this is a book that corporate strategists can relate to. I gave a copy to the head of strategy of a Fortune 100 company and was surprised to get a call two days later from this individual. He had finished the book over the course of two evenings, and wanted me to come in and discuss it further with him. I have always believed that corporate strategists and EAs should be natural allies, and in this case Ross & Weill's book proved that point. Finally the delivery of the message to senior corporate leadership that there is no silver bullet, and the way to fix IT problems is to build the right foundation, one block at a time was long overdue. The authors make this argument clearly & concisely, and most importantly, understandably. While I don't agree with everything that was stated in the book (in particular wish the authors hadn't drawn the distinction between enterprise architecture and technical architecture) overall it is a very solid piece of work with lots of real-world value.

Using IT to support the business, not the other way around...

All too often, an "enterprise architecture" is designed for a company by IT, and then it gathers dust as everything continues along the same path it always has. The book Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating A Foundation For Business Execution by Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, and David C. Robertson approaches the whole subject from a different perspective, and it's one that actually integrates IT and business... Contents: To Execute Your Strategy, First Build Your Foundation; Define Your Operating Model; Implement the Operating Model Via Enterprise Architecture; Navigate the Stages of Enterprise Architecture Maturity; Cash In on the Learning; Build the Foundation One Project at a Time; Use Enterprise Architecture to Guide Outsourcing; Now - Exploit Your Foundation for Profitable Growth; Take Charge! The Leadership Agenda; Notes; Index; About the Authors In most companies I've observed, the enterprise architecture (if it even exists) is an IT thing that defines what software they'll use and support. But there's only a loose tie-in to the overall strategy of the company from a business process view. This book twists that around and first forces you to define what type of business model you want to pursue... Coordination, Unification, Diversification, or Replication. Each of these models have distinct advantages based on what type of company you are, and it has a huge bearing on how the IT department should be set up to support the business. Once the business model is defined, then it's a matter of traversing the maturity continuum of your enterprise architecture... Business Silo architecture, Standardized Technology architecture, Optimized Core architecture, and Business Modularity architecture. The further to the right you go, the more mature your organization is in terms of building systems that integrate and support the business, as well as leveraging existing technology to avoid one-off solutions. There are some excellent techniques here that can, if practiced consistently, allow all your projects to fulfill specific business needs as well as contribute to the overall enterprise architecture. A few careful decisions on one project can lay the groundwork for upcoming projects to build on, and in fact can allow both the current and future projects to share the cost of certain technology implementations, knowing that both sides will benefit. It's obviously not an easy thing to do, but it can make the difference between being a good and an outstanding organization. Definitely a recommended read for IT management responsible for the overall direction of how technology supports the business...

How to achieve and then sustain superior execution

I do not recall reading another business book in recent years which I found more intellectually stimulating...and practical. Where to begin? Perhaps the most appropriate approach would be to quote the authors. In their Preface, Ross, Weill, and Robertson suggest that, until now, research and executive education have failed to make a breakthrough in understanding and improving IT architecture efforts. They then recall Albert Einstein's observation, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them." What do the authors recommend? "The focus needs to be higher - on [in italics] enterprise architecture [end italics], the organizing logic for core business processes and IT infrastructure reflecting the standardization and integration of a company's operating model...[Therefore] enterprise architecture boils down to these two concepts: business process integration and business process standardization. In short, enterprise architecture is not an IT issue - it's a business issue." Ross, Weill, and Robertson arrived at their conclusions after rigorous and extensive research which revealed what certain top-performing organizations do and how they do it. In this volume, they share what they learned so that other organizations can be guided and informed in their efforts to improve their own performance. More specifically, they respond to questions such as these: 1. What are the most common symptoms ("warning signs") of an inadequate foundation for execution? 2. Which three disciplines must be mastered in order to build one which is solid? 3. What are the key dimensions of an appropriate business model? 4. How to implement the operating model via enterprise architecture? 5. What are the four stages of enterprise architecture development and how must each be navigated? 6. What are the specific benefits during the implementation of the enterprise architecture? 7. When establishing a foundation for execution, why is it best to build it "one project at a time"? 8. How can - and should - enterprise architecture be helpful when outsourcing? 9. How to leverage its foundation for profitable growth? 10. What are the "Top Ten Leadership Principles" for creating and exploiting a foundation for execution? With regard to the last question, it is important to keep in mind that Ross, Weill, and Robertson's recommendations refer to enterprise-wide initiatives. Therefore, there must be effective leadership at all levels and in all areas of a given organization while creating a foundation for business execution. Everyone involved must be committed to the foundation, help to identify and remove barriers to progress, "feed the core" with continuous experimentation, use the architecture as a "compass and communication tool," and collaborate with others while proceeding through each stage. These are the capabilities of exemplary companies such as Merrill Lynch Global Private Client, Dow Chemical, JM Family Enterpr

Enterprise Architecture for Executives where it belongs

Ross, Weill and Robertson do what no one else has done in the area of Enterprise Architecture (EA). They have made it understandable and accessible for the executive. EA is an over abused term, often by IT people to intimidate business users and others. Ross, Weill and Roberston provide a well researched, clearly written approach for enterprise architecture and how it applied to business and technical strategy. The subject may sound dry, but think of it this way -- how do you design your company for current success and future flexibility and you have an idea of the power behind the practices in this book. I say practices rather than ideas because this book is filled with well documented case studies and discussions of what real executives are doing. UPS, CEMEX, Delta Airlines, ING Direct, TD Banknorth are all companies that have realized value. This makes the book practitioner focused and all the more valuable. Enterprise Architecture zealots will find this book wanting in terms of detailed diagrams and statement professing the unqualified necessity of EA. That is a signal to business executives that this is a book for them to understand the business implications of enterprise design and architecture. This work is the result of careful examination and study of the topic from a business perspective and that care shows. The book is a balanced and action oriented view on EA, rather than a source of gushing enthusiasm which is something you find in more consulting oriented books. If you are thinking about how your enterprise can become and sustain its competitive power, change at low risk, and take advantage of new opportunities; then EA may be an answer and this book is the clearest business description of EA, how to implement it and how it works out there. If you are an IT person, read this book to see how IT concepts like EA are really business initiatives and how to explain them as such to your executives. If you have unbridled enthusiasm for EA then you may be disappointed in this straightforward, business focused discussion. The book is organized clearly and presents a well structured argument that can lead executives to better understand the value of an enterprise level design. Chapter 1: To execute your strategy, first build your foundation. This chapter discusses the factors that underpin a well designed organization that is agile and efficient. Chapter 2: Define your operating model. This chapter covers the missing piece for many company strategies and plans -- how are we going to operate. This section includes an analysis of four major operating model types and what makes them successful. Chapter 3: Implement the operating model via enterprise architecture. This chapter is among the most important as it puts EA in its proper place as a tool for strategy realization rather than as an end to itself. Chapter 4: Navigate the states of Enterprise Architecture Maturity. This is a look at the benefits executives should
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