Digital Transformation: Decrease technical debt with Enterprise Architecture, October 5th 2018
DUSSELDORF/READING. Digital transformations increase the technical debt of a company and over time make it harder to introduce change. This is the key finding of the latest Enterprise Architecture (EA) research from McKinsey & Henley Business School. The survey covered 150+ respondents from diverse organisations and sectors and has been analysed since 2015. Its goal is to find out what strategies digital leaders are taking to remain flexible for further transformation.
The findings build on the former survey which highlighted the negative impacts of complexity. The latest edition looked at what digital leaders are doing differently and what sets them apart from the average (peer group).
One major result is that EA within digital leaders is a top management (CXO) topic. 60 percent state that their EA teams interact the most with the C-suite and senior business stakeholders rather than with other stakeholder groups (compared to 24 percent in the peer group). They treat the digital transformation not just as an IT matter, but rather as a fundamental change to their business model.
“When we see digital transformations struggling, they are often setup as an IT project”, said Dr. Oliver Bossert of McKinsey, who authored the survey. “But in order to be successful with the transformation you have to realise that it’s a fundamental change – with IT only being a part of it.”
The survey also made clear, that all digital leaders in this survey model future and target architectures – compared to only 58 percent in the peer group. This focus on strategic planning
activities delivers more sustainable business solutions.
Prof. Sharm Manwani, who teaches Enterprise Architecture strategies at Henley Business school, said: “When we teach practitioners in the architecture space, it takes some time for them to absorb that they can and should engage in strategy development. Preparing an architecture target state linked to the strategy is essential. This often requires new capabilities and mindsets.”
Digital leaders are also more focused on developing their people than on selecting a specific technology asset. They put far more effort into educating their staff on EA (90 percent vs. 44
percent in the peer group). Another finding is that tier-1 talent is motivated mostly by interesting challenges, recognition, and education opportunities than by traditional HR levers such as salary and career advancement.
With regard to the actual solutions and tooling that companies are using, no significant differences between digital leaders and their peers were found. Digital leaders recognise the need for a more modular, perpetually evolving architecture and implement more services (on average 191 vs. 63 in the peer group). They are also more likely to work with latest innovations such as microservices.
Graphic material can be found attached; further graphics are available on request.
Dr. Oliver Bossert, McKinsey & Company
Prof. Sharm Manwani, Henley Business School
McKinsey & Henley EA Survey - www.easurvey.com
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McKinsey & Company
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Henley Business School
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