Integrative IT planning and portfolio management, part 2

Issue 1, 2016

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Alfabet and BPA systems: a 360° view for business and IT transformation

In this series of articles, we look at how to derive synergies among IT management tools when planning and managing the IT landscape. In particular, we discuss how Alfabet for Enterprise Architecture, IT Planning and Portfolio Management best works with other tools to provide optimal support for your business and IT transformation efforts.

Re-thinking processes

In order to facilitate big transformation initiatives, business process executives need to understand large business concepts and translate them into terms that reflect their meaning for different parts of the company. Transformation is no longer about optimizing the performance of an individual process. It’s about re-thinking processes altogether: How do they connect across the enterprise? How do they relate to the customer experience? What is their context and location? How can IT help re-define processes into a digital experience? What new processes are needed?

Business process professionals need to think about enterprise goals as the starting point for process design. In today’s digital business age, these goals will more than likely have a large IT component.

Design thinking

Digital business is also affecting Enterprise Architecture (EA) and IT planning across the globe. EA and IT planning practices must accelerate their efforts to become more business-oriented, architecting for business outcomes and not for the perfect standard platform. They need to prove their ability to purge traditional systems-thinking to make room for design-thinking of the human experience, not solution design.

Existing EA capabilities (e.g., holistic thinking, governance, planning and coordination of activities across the enterprise) are needed more than ever before. Applying these capabilities to an expanded BPA is important for a successful transformation to a digital business.

Alfabet and BPA

In order to provide the interoperability needed to build the digital enterprise—from translating digital enterprise strategy into an enterprise operating model and business capability requirements, capturing the business model, defining the business processes and planning the IT landscape that supports them—Alfabet integrates with common BPA tools such as Casewise® and ARIS. This integration allows companies to close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility by providing a continuum of planning and management support from the highest level of business assessment and definition to the individual activities in IT planning and portfolio management.

Together, Alfabet and BPA tools greatly improve your agility to create digital business solutions by providing:

  • Tighter business-IT collaboration from inception to implementation
  • Clear insight into change impacts on process and IT
  • Cost reduction through business and IT standardization
  • Revenue growth through customer focus and market differentiation

Figure 1: Alfabet integrates tightly with ARIS to accelerate solution design for new digital processes by presenting a full understanding of the impact of changes on processes and the application landscape.

Alfabet works with BPA products in a read-only or bi-directional mode that allows changes to be made to business process descriptions and definitions on either side. Alfabet has particularly tight interoperability with ARIS that allows for regular synchronization of data between both products.

In addition, you can easily traverse between the user interfaces of ARIS and Alfabet for a 360-degree view of business processes and their corresponding application portfolios. You can move from Alfabet to a specific Event-driven Process Chain (EPC) / Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMNTM) diagram in ARIS or choose a model in ARIS and link to the process variant in Alfabet to study the underlying IT.

Next in the series

Strategy and planning meet operations excellence. Stay tuned for how Alfabet integrates with Configuration Management Database (CMDB) systems in the next issue of TECHniques.