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Business & Enterprise Architecture

The Role of Platforms for Digital Transformation

by Markus Warg, by Markus Frosch, by Peter Weiss, by Andreas Zolnowski

Connecting a platform with an existing company to a platform organization is beneficial for both established companies and insurtechs. Without pursuing that ave­nue, the insurtechs face the risk that their competitiveness may decline if others can copy their digital skills at low cost. Thus, connecting their platforms with the incumbent organizations that possess hard-to-copy capabilities guarantees the uniqueness and sustainability of their own business model. The disadvantages of established companies, in comparison to insurtechs, are the reason why tradi­tional companies need platforms. Platforms require changing the culture and business logic in a company from product to service dominance, making proc­esses in relevant areas real-time capable, opening the company to the reuse and integration of solutions and services from other actors, and replacing a hierarchical culture with modern, agile, team-oriented approaches that make optimal use of the internal and external workforce.

Toys Come Alive

Will Architecture be Ready When Our Toys Come Alive?

by Balaji Prasad

As we are making improvements in human-computer interfaces, we are subtly nudged into realizing that these interfaces are there only because the two worlds — human and computer — exist separately. Computers do what computers do, and humans do what humans do. Yes, computing has bled into the interface between the two, making the line in between a bit easier to traverse. And yes, we will continue to see improvements in this area as we move forward. However, none of these “advances” has accomplished any fundamental change in the division of roles and responsibilities across man and machine; they have not shifted the line between them. Arguably, what we have done over the past couple of decades is merely spread computing’s ability to automate specifiable rules across larger swaths of people. It may not be helpful to think of computer-based systems as tools — as human augmentation — anymore. We may need to rethink how we think about the computing landscape, and consider rejigging our tools of thinking, notably architecture. This Advisor suggests stretching in that direction so that we are positioned more effectively to meet a qualitatively different future as it charges rapidly toward, and at us.


3 Steps Toward Organizational Equilibrium

by Wilhelm Lerner, by Marten Zieris

We believe existing organizational development approaches are not far-reaching or holistic enough when it comes to the scope of the issues they address. Most methods either focus on strengthening the scale/productivity dimension (often within the context of Lean models) or push the speed/creativity dimension (commonly referred to as the Agile model). However, choosing either the Lean or the Agile path does not provide the right mindset and tools to address the complexity and competitive challenges of most large organizations. Moreover, those frameworks that are ambidextrous are not operationally focused enough to enable day-to-day management and lack a link between strategy definition and organizational development. From our experience, these missing qualities are essential to making well-informed business decisions.


Exploring the Limitations of RPA

by Mohan Babu K

Robotic process automation (RPA) has emerged as a popular technique to automate routine and repetitive human-system interactions across functional domains such as finance, marketing, human resources (HR), and other transaction-processing areas. Adopting such intelligent automation techniques allows businesses to enable efficiencies without major system transformations. Business leaders may find it compelling to invest in RPA tools and resources but should be aware of the foundational work required before rolling out the initial robots. This Advisor explores some of challenges facing organizations looking to adopt RPA.

Blockchain Decision Making

Blockchain Decision Making

by Thomas Costello, by Phil Laplante

With so many variants of the core components of the blockchain definition — like validation, distribution, opportunities, and challenges — it becomes clear that exec­utives may need a matrix or rubric to decide if/how to adopt blockchain based on industry and objectives. Even if your company is not considering automating processes via blockchain, your competitors may be doing so, and government entities may even force your hand. Therefore, it is important to start the internal discussion now. In this Advisor, we’ve shared some questions to help your organization quickly engage in deep discussions.


Design Considerations for Smart Automation

by Aravind Ajad Yarra

Design thinking provides a structured approach to uncover the human factors in smart automation. It is also important to understand the design considerations involved. We explore those as well as the systems/technology and business processes involved in this Advisor.


The Data Warehouse’s Evolving Role in Digital Business

by Pat OSullivan

The growth of automated and cognitive systems drives the need for more expressive and adaptive forms of metadata to enable and underpin such AI, which, in turn, raises questions about the traditional role of such metadata components as the data catalog, the business vocabulary, and the data model. This Advisor explores the data warehouse’s evolving role in digital business.


Understanding Fragmentation and Volatility in a Connected Architecture

by Martijn ten Napel

In digital businesses, fragmentation is a design decision to deal with the fluidity of the business processes and business boundaries. It’s important to understanding the consequences in terms of the energy it takes to keep information con­sistent across a fragmented data landscape. Once you can accept that the beastly nature of working with information is created by your own actions and is an inherent part of the collaboration process that makes information work for you, you can finally start to for­mulate solutions.