2017 CIO Predictions Indicate Another Big Year for Enterprise Architecture

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The results from a Nomura Holdings study interviewing CIOs about 2017 plans, hint at another good year for Enterprise Architecture. Much of what CIOs are looking to achieve will benefit greatly from a well deployed EA initiative.

The United States based study interviewed 50 CIOs who consensually indicated Big Data, Security and Cloud Computing, would take priority in upcoming budget cycles.

A CIO priority mainstay, Security, topped the chart for ‘Top Drivers of IT spending’ with 82% of the vote from CIOs. Cloud Computing earned 62%, and Big Data 60%.

Nomura Holdings study should make Enterprise Architects very happy, as it’s likely that their services will be needed in order to implement, or get the most out of technologies behind the IT spending drivers listed above.

Security, Cloud & Big Data all benefit from Enterprise Architecture

Security

With so many cases of high profile data leaks, breaches and DDoS attacks, it’s no surprise that security was again seen as the top budgetary priority for CIOs. With the amount of sensitive information a business has to store, and the escalation of said sensitive information where a Big Data strategy is involved, the stakes haven’t been higher.

It’s important that business get security right.

That said, many businesses get security wrong for the same reasons. Sometimes its necessary for security to be implemented on a reactionary basis, following the uncovering of a security threat or breach. This can often lead to rushed decisions, and a haphazard approach to tacked on new solutions, rather than going the lengths to ensure the business is secure from its foundations up.

Of course, a perfectly secure organization is an impossible task, but Enterprise Architecture can help in bringing a business as close to secure as possible.

The holistic view Enterprise Architecture has of the business is great for combing through the organization and ensuring no stone is unturned. This can help a business plug security issues at the source.

It will also likely save a business money in the long run, avoiding hastily implemented tools/processes that could introduce duplications in process, add to a businesses shelfware, or even expose other security flaws elsewhere in the business’ architecture.

Big Data

Big Data is taking the tech world by storm, so it stands to reason that many CIOs will have a Big Data strategy high on the agenda for 2017. The Nomura Holdings study only goes to further back this assumption up.

Many businesses worldwide have already caught on to the potential Big Data has to offer in terms of insight and strategic planning going forward. However, without the necessary approach, many business end up missing out on Big Data’s peak potential.

Enterprise Architecture is one way businesses can help get the most out of Big Data. The sheer scope of Big Data means that at any one time, only some of the information is useful to the business. By adopting a functioning Enterprise Architecture initiative, businesses can effectively sieve through Big Data data to get greater value from it.

One such way Enterprise Architecture achieves this, is through the perspective it provides on a business’ desired outcomes. Having a better, and more clear understanding of what the business is trying to achieve makes finding the relevant information within Big Data far easier, as the business need only focus on the outputs and metrics that influence the roadmap.

An Enterprise Architecture tool, boasting a view manager makes this an even more useful strategy to adopt. A view manager streamlines information into different ‘views’, effectively washing out the noise and allowing EAs to focus on any one, or group of elements at a time, and in turn, making comparisons easier to make.

Cloud Computing

A deeper dive into the study revealed that by 2017, 46% of the CIOs respective business’ applications will be SaaS based, rising to 56% by 2022.

Enterprise Architecture will help with the adoption of such new technology by indicating which current technologies could be phased out.

CIOs could also advocate for and implement an EA strategy in order to determine which areas will benefit most in adopting cloud-based solutions, by weighing up the business’ current capabilities, with the desired future-state enterprise.

Of course, the benefits of SaaS based solutions typically concern price and ease of installation. But one benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked is how SaaS can aid in aligning the business. The online, connected nature of the tools, mean that different business departments will find collaborating with one another positively, far more achievable. In order to fully realize this benefit though, Enterprise Architecture would have to be leveraged in order to remove the current, detached business departments from their silos.

Businesses may even consider turning to SaaS tools for Enterprise Architecture itself. Historically, EA tools have been expensive to introduce and notoriously difficult to facilitate the engagement of the wider business. A SaaS Enterprise Architecture solution can tackle both of these issues. The flexibility in pricing and licensing, and with no software to implement, business and technical stakeholders are more willing to invest in tools to support the EA practice.

Additionally, the collaborative nature of SaaS-based Enterprise Architecture tools helps architects to truly engage with the wider business. It can facilitate the involvement of relevant departments directly, rather than the lethargic cycle of presenting results, waiting for feedback, and relaying any changes after the fact.

Dan Aston

An enterprise software marketing pro with international experience gained whilst working and living in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and United States. Currently based in Birmingham in the UK, driving Global marketing at Corso.

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