Adopting an enterprise architecture approach can significantly help organizations align technology and business strategies to achieve their goals. It helps ensure that the business has the capabilities needed for present and future success and provides metrics that help architecture teams align people, processes, and systems with business and technology goals.
The Cisco IT Architecture and Technology organization's role is to align the company's technology architecture with its business priorities. This approach to the practice of enterprise architecture is notable in several ways:
- Although the practice of architecture is recognized and encouraged at many levels, the Architecture and Technology group is responsible for defining strategies and governance processes that span the IT organization.
- The same group has responsibility for foundational platforms such as the enterprise data warehouse and business intelligence systems.
- It also owns critical business functions such as vendor management, and acquisition IT integration.
The IT Architecture and Technology group framework for guiding IT:
- Uses the network as the platform for all strategic content and processes
- Adopts service-oriented architecture (SOA) to enable process agility
- Implements collaboration technologies to accelerate productivity, encourage interactions and spur innovation
How Cisco Operationalizes Enterprise Architecture
Cisco enterprise architecture incorporates three elements:
- Architect to Operate: Seeing what systems, processes, and skill sets are in place today; and what are the gaps and priorities for the next 12 months
- Structure to Scale: identifying the common foundational services or technology platforms needed to achieve business goals
- Business to Technology Strategies: Preparing for the future, which includes evaluating and deploying new capabilities that accelerate progress toward goals