TOGAF And IT Strategy
• What is an IT Strategy?
Before understanding what IT Strategy all about is, you have to know about strategy. In order to obtain a definite target, all the tasks that you have to go through have to be planned accordingly to reach the definite objective. And this planning and designing are called as the Strategy of the operation. If your target is clear, then you do not have to be in confusion in forming the strategy. If you know the goal, then you will find any possible way to reach the definite goal. IT Strategy is important in the IT enterprises, but TOGAF Online Training does not provide any method for building up of this strategy. Planning of the tasks in order to reach the IT goal is called as the IT Strategy of the IT enterprise. Sometimes while planning the IT strategy you may feel whether the way you have selected to reach the ultimate goal is enough or not. In many of the strategies, we feel that the opposite way might have been better than the way you have selected in the IT strategy. You are in a competitive market and to run a successful organization, you have to be a monopoly in maintaining the strategy. If your strategy is towards customer orientation and the opposing strategy of being non-customer orientation will push your enterprise towards failure. You do not have any second choice and hence, you have to follow being customer oriented only. One should try getting an idea about the organization’s strategy, by observing its business plans itself. Sometimes few enterprises do not even have a strategy of their own. Any organization having no strategy means the organization does not have specific sets of planned tasks. And without planning, no enterprise really stands up to reach its goals. If in any organization has no proper task strategy and all that matters to them are their budget, then working on that particular enterprise’s strategy seems to be not so smooth. If it gives more importance to the strategy, of course, your enterprise will come to a level where it can compete with other enterprises in the IT industry.
It Strategy is all about making decisions on the following Strategies:
• Application Strategy
• Integration Strategy
• Infrastructure Strategy
• Service Strategy
• Application Strategy: An IT Strategy will be containing numerous plans and although your plan for all them following the Application Strategy is very significant. The strategy that contains all the directions and principles of handling all the IT applications in your enterprise is the Application Strategy. This strategy also contains plans and ways of maintaining the business plans of the organization by utilizing the IT applications.
• Integration Strategy: Integration Strategy plans in connecting all the applications in your IT enterprise because in most of the moment, the IT application is not specific and the enterprise consists of a large number of applications. Building a connection between all the IT applications in the organization and also building the connection with the outside of the enterprise comes under the Integration strategy.
• Infrastructure Strategy: Every enterprise has got their infrastructure, and outsourcing the complete infrastructure, of course, needs planning and strategy. Your enterprise’s network and global reputation describe the complete infrastructure strategy of your company. Also, safety and security solutions are factors mattering the infrastructure strategy.
• Service Strategy: When comes to the question of providing proper customer satisfaction, the services any IT company provides to their customers matters a lot. The proper strategy is required whenever you need to provide services to your customers, at what time you need to serve them and to what level of service different customers ask for. The planning of all these activities related to customer service is known as the service strategy.
• Sourcing Strategy: Although you know from when you will source and then develop your system, you still need a sourcing strategy. The management of the enterprise themselves decides on which products they will produce themselves and which products they will outsource. Sourcing can be done by your company alone, or even it can be done with your single or even large number of multiple providers. Achieving the target resources and the need of sources in order to pursue them involves planning which comes under the sourcing strategy. How to control and manage each area, financing each one requires strategy. The distribution of sources in different areas even needs planning and needs to be checked. You have to make a checklist of all the tasks you need to perform.
Table 1 : Checklist for IT Strategy
|Degree of control system||Divisional|
Once you are able to answer all the questions in the strategy, then you can confirm yourself that you are following all the strategies in the correct way. Try not to miss any of the questions you mark on the checklist in order to develop the perfect IT strategy for your company. Let all the employees know about their particular department strategies and once everyone knows about the strategy, they will get a clear view of the effect of their part of the work in running their IT strategy.
How to Get the Strategies Done?
In order to reach a proper strategic stage, you have to undergo a lot of tasks and processes. The proper Strategy would be met only once the IT managers will be in proper coordination with the business managers. This is always not possible, but such session is really important to meet up and decide on the strategic plans. Having a hard copy of the enterprise strategy is very important which is usually not seen in many of the companies according to the real-time surveys till date. CIOs will not come to you, most of the time to let you know about the most elements of the Strategy, so it is your duty to haul out all the information and ideas you need to build up a proper strategy for your company.
The process of hauling out of sufficient data in order to develop a rich and high standard IT strategy without wasting more workforce is called as the IT Maxim process. The IT officers and the business managers together decide and develop two kinds of Maxims. These maxims are called as the
• Business Maxims,
• IT Maxims
The IT strategy whatever developed, in order to convert them into written document, certain principles are required. And these principles are the Maxims. If you form a Maxim workshop then about 5 total maxims you can develop.
The workshop in order to document the complete IT strategy i.e the maxim workshop is divided into two parts. They are:
• Searching the business maxim,
• Developing the IT maxim
In order to find the business maxims you have to extract information from the senior people who have already developed business strategies in their early career.
And in order to obtain the IT maxims, you have to question about the IT architectures and platform and ways you can bring the IT cost down. Coordinate all the IT applications wherever business issues occur. Also, coordinate between all the business processes in order to bring peace in the business like in IT.
If you develop such strategies, it will positively affect the control of the IT operations of the company. IT governance will reach its height is the enterprises consist of proper strategies and if each and every statement in the strategy is being strictly followed. So the controlling of the enterprise should meet the maxims.
Difficulties in developing the IT maxims:
• Whenever the CxOs feel the IT as inferior, they do not seem to invest the proper time in the maxim generating workshops.
• Also, if there are internal problems going on in the CxOs office and they do not want to get in touch with any of the outsiders because they do not want to take the risk to reveal their problems, then they will never agree to attend any workshops for generating IT maxims. The proportionality of the CxOs not participating in the maxim workshops is directly proportional to the unavailability of the IT maxims in the enterprises.
Remodifying the Business Strategy
Remodifying of the strategy is required when management is not interested in any change of the strategy, but you are being the enterprise IT architect wants changes in strategy. There are even organizations seem to be operating perfectly without having a written strategy. In these conditions, you have to learn all the business strategy patterns and then have to apply analogies in order to bring certain required changes you wish for the welfare of the company. Checking all the standard sourcing, applications and infrastructures, you can develop your strategy with a goal to reach them.
TOGAF also proposes a capability analysis. Still, the combination of Business Strategy and IT Strategy seems to be considered as something outside the scope of at least the TOGAF ADM.
The architectural vision of TOGAF suggests us that we have to overview the business careers prior to the beginning of any project. The potential analysis of TOGAF is just brilliant. It gives a significant lesion of developing one’s enterprise by the planning of proper strategies and implementing those strategies for the fast growth of the enterprise.
TOGAF has nothing to propose for IT portfolio management. So let’s present a short summary of application and infrastructure portfolio management as well as set the pointers to the few spots in TOGAF.
What is an enterprise architecture framework?
An enterprise architecture framework is a set of methods and processes for growing a bigger range of diverse IT architectures. It allows the IT users to form the correct architecture for their enterprise. Also plans the best to reduce the cost as much as possible in the designing and implementing enterprise solutions.
Every business has got its needs and overcoming those needs require proper strategy as to carry the operational tasks including the basic tasks of the company. These come under the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM). Along with the basic and advanced business requirements, this architecture also provides us with other architectural assets. Whether it is a single system, a small organization or bigger ones, this main objective of TOGAF 9.1 architecture is to develop tasks to have a strong architecture for the enterprise.