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In this article you will learn about a new methodology on how to link enterprise business strategy with IT architecture, so that IT becomes an enabler or even driver for strategy and innovation. This approach is called Business-Driven IT Architecture and has been developed by SAP´s Enterprise Architecture team in 2022.

As organisations face digital transformation, it’s essential for IT to be aligned with business strategy. However, this is often not the case. In our experience only few enterprises are able to demonstrate how their IT strategy is aligned with corporate business goals and therefore IT mostly is experienced as a barrier for innovation and strategy execution.

The problem is that traditional IT approaches, such as waterfall and top-down architecture, are too focused on efficiency and cost reduction. They don’t take into account the ever-changing business landscape and the need for agility and flexibility to manoeuvre successfully.

This new methodology provides a simple and straightforward way to connect the two, so that businesses can reap the benefits of both.

It starts with identifying the most important business goals and creating a detailed desired future state as an archimedian pivot point in the future. From this future fulcrum, a retrograde development of steps towards a future-proof IT architecture are done in a systematic and tool based process. This creates a close relationship between business and IT, so that IT becomes an enabler and, as a team player, even driver for business success.

The Business-Driven IT Architecture approach has been successfully used in a number of large organisations to create IT architectures that are aligned with business goals and requirements.

It has been designed to work with different business models across industries and actually enables any organisation to learn from business model patterns and experiences made by other players and industries. Please find an example discussion of Business Model Patterns related to the important trend to "everything as a service" or XaaS across industries here.

Due to the large amount of prepackaged content and fully tool based support by SAP Consultants, it is easy to implement  and does not require special skills or knowledge. Resources required and overall time for the process have been minimised to weeks or a couple of months depending on size and complexity of your corporate structure. This reflects the desired level of interaction between business and IT working together proactively, where today IT departments too often are expected to just keep the lights on.

Customers feel excited and optimistic about the potential improvements to their business that this new methodology promises. They expect that this new approach could help them to achieve their goals and improve their bottom line by leveraging IT for digital transformation instead of retroactively managing the obstacles along the way.

So no matter whether you want to maximise value from your existing SAP RISE transformation or are still planning for your next steps in digital transformation towards a sustainable, intelligent enterprise, contact us to learn about the potentials for your organisation. Also, please share your feedback or thoughts in a comment below.

If you are interested in IT architecture you may want to find additional resources here and here.
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