HOW TO DEAL WITH COMPLEXITY or SINGLE SOURCE OF TRUTH as the basis of a holistic view.

Reading time: 7 min.
Audience: enterprise architect

Today’s world is complex. The huge amount of data is rather paralyzing because they are often too large and too detailed to process. What's more, everything takes place in a virtual digital world. And it will never be different. It will only get more difficult. Artificial intelligence can help, but so far no one can replace the human brain, human creativity and thinking.

The dilemma we are struggling with is how to simplify complexity without losing meaning. A holistic view, holistic solutions therefore seek non-linear simplification, which is the optimal way. However, you need a tool to help you create a holistic view that is simplistic but maintains the context and connections that are important. It is a system that integrates data in a smart way. One option is a holistic enterprise architecture.

It would be a bit of an exaggeration to say that if the boards of large companies and key CEOs understood the vision and potential of a holistic enterprise architecture, it would have played a vital role in organizations for a long time. Unfortunately, so far EA is more of an IT domain that is developing at the solution and application level. On the other hand, EA is gradually making way into business. The architects' initial enthusiasm met with reality. Now we are in the second wave, which opens up completely different possibilities.

Big picture

Leaders must have a vision. To create it, it’s necessary to have an accurate picture of where they are so that they can begin to design a vision of where they are going. The strategy is to connect these two images. Experienced leaders have in their heads the image of the organization, the image of the business domain, because it is a playground where, together with the competition, they fight for positions and results. By the end, experienced leaders have in their heads the image of the whole society, because everything is connected to everything and in turbulent times, context plays an even more crucial role. Innovative solutions are often based on non-traditional connections in the sense of products or services, which can copy solutions from completely different areas, e.g. technology or entertainment. A very trendy approach of "reframing" or framing reality requires a truly comprehensive perception. Each framing is preceded by the creation of a current framework and a deeper understanding of its functioning and meaning.

Smart data integration

However, even the most experienced leader cannot do without data. For data, it is becoming absolutely crucial how to integrate them efficiently from various sources into one SINGLE SOURCE OF TRUTH. It is absolutely clear that there is a need for smart integration that preserves or even creates connections, dependencies, links that are the basis of a holistic view.

Organizations often have different systems that manage huge amounts of data that have their own internal system logic, such as SAP. There is also Snow or another CMDB. And in every organization, there is a huge number of catalogues, Excels and PowerPoint where information about the organization is stored. They weren't actually designed to integrate with each other, respectively integration is possible only to some extent. It requires a lot of effort and is static. And now we add an aspect of time and timeliness and we're done. The idea of a dynamic model that can integrate data from different systems in real time is sci-fi. And yet it is possible in a holistic enterprise architecture. Managers and business leaders are beginning to ask questions and require answers. Need is vital.

Questions they ask us that we can't answer

In discussions with our clients and prospects, we very often come to the point where realisation happened “so we would finally be able to answer all the questions they ask us and which we now have no answers to at all or it takes us an awful lot of time and energy and at the time of creation it is actually obsolete because there is no simple update… ”.

Every tool is only as good as the master who uses it

Creating a holistic enterprise architecture that describes the organization and can then play a role that takes full advantage of its potential is always tailored to the organization and its needs. However, there are universal views and therefore universal benefits.

Understanding the current state of the organization, creating the future state. Designing a roadmap based on a strategy, based on a transformation that fulfils the (business) potential of the organization. And most importantly - it's the execution and implementation of the strategy into real life. It is the management of projects and initiatives so that their implementation is optimal. There is a huge topic of budgeting and investment allocation, which is a key strategic initiative. However, data that would precisely define individual scenarios in sufficient quality is certainly not a standard. Portfolio optimization of applications, systems, products, services, etc.

In this part of the discussion, clients are already beginning to see and create themselves. Their vision of the role that holistic enterprise architecture can play in their organization.

The best time to be an architect

The need for a holistic enterprise architecture in business or even public administration is absolute. So far, the need to describe the system as a whole and capture the context is recognized. So far, enterprise architecture is not recognized as a solution, or it is not recognized sufficiently.

Being part of this process and being able to build enterprise architecture in companies and organizations is an extraordinary mission. Appreciation, fulfilment and meaningfulness is what architecture brings. This is what most people is looking for in their work. Architecture and architects have a great future ahead of them.

author Zuzana Behová