Building blocks for digital enterprises

Every organisation now aims to be digital, innovative, competitive, agile and fast growing apart from being profit-making at minimal cost. Any sane organisation would set it’s sights on the aforementioned targets but the path to achieving the same is tricky. The problem, sometimes, is lack of alignment between the business goals and implementation of it and sometimes (often), businesses are so shrouded with buzzwords that they prioritize being associated with buzzwords rather than building capabilities to achieve business opportunities or solve business problems.

Abuzz with buzzwords

The path to agile digitalization and innovation is carved by identifying use cases based on business goals and thereafter defining the business as well as technical enablers required to accomplish those use cases. One or more capabilities can facilitate one or more use cases, but the mapping exercise needs to be done prior to implementation, bridging the gap between strategic business objectives and capabilities. The capabilities required by a business (the what) tend to remain comparatively constant while, the implementation process (the how) is likely to change frequently. I have come across multiple instances where organizations want to implement AI or chatbots and often without a clear goal or vision in mind, resulting in shadow IT, additional costs and often failed attempts to productionalize the efforts.

Many organisations lack governance, making every new requirement a burdensome task, taking several years to deliver even minute features. I have also come across organisations that have some form of governance, group of enterprise architects, working on process mapping, information modelling etc. but there is a huge gap between the enterprise architecture and the actual IT development. A lack of visibility of the path between purpose and implementation creates silos, making it tedious to deliver enablers for digitalization.

Approach for implementation

Business capability is about identifying what factors facilitate accomplishment of business goals. Be it customer experience, pricing strategy, promotion and distribution of ideas, products and services, the idea is to satisfy the strategic objectives of an enterprise.

Mapping business capabilities to strategic goals makes the business strategy tangible and more visible to the entire enterprise. This leads to a more effective way of using technology to achieve business goals, eliminating enterprise-wide redundancies. A capability-centric organization also helps overcome the common problem of organizational silos.  Visualizing use case -> business capability-> technological capability leverages transparency, integrates, constructs, and reconfigures resources and competences to achieve high performance. The resulting organization is a more agile and adaptable one, leading to faster time-to-market.

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