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Flipping IT!

Drew Cook from Lincoln was the second speaker this afternoon.  He used to work for Staples, which grew through mergers to become Europe-wide.  Their IT became very complex so to try and help themselves, they introduced Enterprise Architecture  (EA).  Drew has now introduced this at the University of Lincoln.

IT, as per the name, tend to be about the technology.  Even our organisational structure tends to be based about the technology, with sections for networking, databases, applications, etc.  EA puts business processes at the heart of the activity.  The main framework for EA is TOGAF, which defines an Enterprise as any collection of organisations with common goals, and an Architecture as the structure of components their inter-relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time. 

Drew took us through the basic aims of EA, which I’ve blogged about before.  I would love to be able to take this approach.  It ties back to Simon’s presentation yesterday about focusing on the business processes.

In response to a question, Drew said that Lincoln use BizDesign as their EA tool.  It is not the cheapest tool but is also by far not the most expensive.  In Drew’s experience, you need a central repository and some tools don’t have this.  You could even do EA using Visio but you would struggle with keeping the core repository up to date.

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