Digital transformation or digitalization is a widely (and wildly) discussed topic these days. Digitalization does not only offer an abundance of opportunities to reshape processes with new technology. It rather promises to change your company completely based on (data-driven) business models.
In our first episode on digitalization we proposed a general process for the creation of the Digital Roadmap. Today we would like to go deeper: How do I quickly analyze my existing IT landscape? How do I identify main strategic directions for my applications? To answer these questions, we propose a “Smart Scan for Digitalization”:
Smart Scan for Digitalization
We often ask our potential customers one question: Do you know you IT landscape, do you have transparency about its components and applications – and have you assessed your applications in terms of business criticality, strategy fit, cloud readiness, etc.? Without a positive answer no digitalization efforts are advised. Only knowledge about the as-is IT landscape allows to derive meaningful strategic options for applications to be incorporated in the Digital Roadmap.
“Smart Scan for Digitalization” is a means to get the above question answered. It comprises four steps:
- Capture business capabilities: First, a capability model of your business is created (with the aid of established industry-specific reference models).
- Capture application portfolio: The most important and critical of your applications are collected (using standardized Excel sheets or web-based surveys).
- Link business capabilities with applications: Linking both information shows which applications support which business capabilities or – put the other way round – which business capabilities depend on which applications to be performed (see an example from the Alfabet Enterprise Architecture Management tool below).
- Analyze and evaluate gathered data: Using matrix and graphical report capabilities different strategic options for the applications are identified – it may e.g. be useful to rethink and improve business processes (and their IT support) for core competencies rather than for commodities which in turn could be standardized and/or moved into the cloud.
The results of all steps are collected in an Enterprise Architecture Management tool, e.g. Alfabet or leanIX. This means all information about the IT landscape is stored in one place (single point of truth about the architecture) and is saved in a structured way using a meta model (consistent data).
“Smart Scan for Digitalization” is intended for CIOs to prepare for talks with the business side, especially when it comes to consequences to be drawn from digitalization and recommendations for the business.
Would you like to know more…? If you’re interested in the big picture, refer to the first episode of our digitalization blogs. There will be more episodes in the future. Next time, we’ll present the findings from an investigation we undertook with a school of applied sciences into the ways companies are addressing digitalization these days.