New business models and disruption are fuelling increasing demand for technology in the enterprise. A recent survey revealed that “70% of leading EA practitioners report that they are either responsible or accountable for the success of digital business.*” This makes it imperative for EAs to improve their rapport with all parts of the business. Here are some tips on how Enterprise Architects can improve communication.
If you are like the majority of EAs we speak to, you may find it difficult when it comes to communicating important technology portfolio challenges with business stakeholders. The outputs you create and the conversations you have are easily understood by other architects and members of the technology team, but fall flat on all but the most technologically savvy business stakeholders.
A common reason for this is that most EAs (and other technology roles) tend to focus on the specific technical issues of the underlying technology assets, and not the business outcomes those assets provide. While you have deep, valuable, and important information that would help your business make better decisions and reach their transformation goals that information never gets translated into business-centric outputs. Often these technically centered artifacts are not meaningful to business stakeholders. As a result they don’t engage with the EA team and wind up making decisions without this valuable information.
Enterprise architects need to ability to change how they communicate by framing all technology in a business context. I encourage you to engage your business stakeholders in a new business-centric conversation. Watch the for and overview and download the eBook, “6 Business-Centric Reports That Empower Enterprise Architects,” for a look at capability maps and out-of-the-box reports that visually map technology to business needs, outcomes, and objectives.
Here’s a sneak peek into the six common technology questions and how enterprise architecture reports can answer them:
- Which business capabilities carry the most technical debt and how should that impact prioritisation?
- Where do we have duplication and waste in technology systems?
- What technology enhancements are in the pipeline for my business capabilities, and when will I get them?
- What capabilities are strategic to our business and may be improved by technology?
- What are our most strategic capabilities that help us achieve our corporate goals?
- How will future IT investments impact business capabilities?