• What changes to a capability will improve key capability metrics? Focusing first on the capabilities that most drive top-level outcomes, identify opportunities to drive integrated business-technology improvement. To identify tech-driven investment opportunities, look for ways that a given technology addresses the business dynamics of each capability. For example, a highly variable capability that is sensitive to fixed- costs might benefit from cloud-based options that can be easily scaled back to reduce expenses in hard times.
• What portfolio of initiatives can deliver the necessary capability change? Don't stop with a single technology to improve a capability: Consider all of the parts of a capability, rather than focusing on individual siloed applications and technologies. Aim for a portfolio of initiatives that will deliver value now while, over time, weave legacy applications, B2B relationships, diverse data stores, varied user interfaces, collaboration platforms, and more into the long-term success of each capability.
• How must your technology platform evolve to enable the change portfolio? Your portfolio of integrated business-technology initiatives becomes the basis for planning the evolution of your technology base to deliver near-term business outcome improvements in a way that also facilitates sustained long-term change. Getting above technology silos allows you to see how technology for SOA, event processing, BPM, embedded analytics, and many other technologies should form a unified multitechnology platform for your business capabilities.
Randy Heffner is Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, serving enterprise architecture professionals. He will be speaking at Forrester's IT Forum, May 25-27 in Las Vegas.
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