Specific characteristics and capabilities for each enterprise are defined and built based on the needs and priorities of each organization.
Enterprise need to achieve information agility, leveraging trusted information as a strategic asset for sustained competitive advantage.
A corporation must create an Information Agenda that include the strategic vision and roadmap for it to:
- Identify and prioritize Enterprise Information projects consistent with the business strategy and based on delivering real business value.
- Identify what data and content is most important to the organization.
- Identify how and when this information should be made available to support business decisions.
- Determine what organizational capabilities and government practices are required to provision and access this data.
- Determine what management processes are required to implement and sustain the plan.
- Align the use of information with the organization’s business processes.
- Create and deploy an Enterprise Information Architecture that meets current and future needs.
Since the Information Agenda process will involve many different types of stakeholders, it is important to communicate in the various ‘languages’ they speak and understand. For example, a CEO might think in terms of competitive differentiation and shareholder value. The CFO will look for hard numbers and speak in financial terms. A CRM or Marketing leader might think in terms of customer experience. The IT leaders think in terms of data and systems. Because of this, it is important to describe strategy in ways that engage these different audiences.
Without good goverance, decisions will continue to be ad-hoc, poorly managed and coordinated, and cost businesses real money. Decision making is driven from good goverance which requires accountability (assigning responsibility and ownership) and some form of measurement and performance management to ensure compliance and effectiveness.
Architecture principles should enable the EIA Reference Architecture as a tool that can help you map between the organization’s business goals, business architecture, IT landscape, and the solution delivery, and help the Enterprise Information Architecture to be the conduit to understand the implications of planned new business requirements.
In some data domains, such as Master Data, the information is extracted from a variety of sources, harmonized and loaded into a centralized system, managing it and making it available to consumers through services decoupling the data from the consuming applications. Timely and trusted information includes data governing rules that define availability, standardization, quality and other relevant attributes so that it can be trusted. This principle is particularly applicable for the Master Data domain because Master Data has the characteristic of high re-use across a large number of business process. However, there might be applications with too many embedded business rules so that the de-coupling of the data would be cost-prohibitive or even impossible. In such a case it might be appropriate to consider the application itself as information source and consume it through a Cloud Service for example.