Digital transformation or digitalization is a much (and hotly) debated topic these days. Digitalization not only offers a wealth of opportunities to redesign processes with new technology. Rather, it promises to completely change your company on the basis of (data-driven) business models.
In our first episode on digitalization, we proposed a general process for creating a digital roadmap. Today we want to go deeper: How do I quickly analyze my existing IT landscape? How do I identify the most important strategic directions for my applications? To answer these questions, we propose a “Smart Scan for Digitalization”:
Smart Scan for digitization
We often ask our potential customers one question: Do you know your IT landscape, do you have transparency about its components and applications – and have you evaluated your applications in terms of business criticality, strategy fit, cloud readiness, etc.? Without a positive answer, digitization efforts are not advisable. Only with knowledge of the current IT landscape can meaningful strategic options be derived for applications to be included in the digital roadmap.
The “Smart Scan for Digitalization” is a means of answering the above question. It comprises four steps:
- Capturing business capabilities: First, a capability model of the company is created (with the help of established industry-specific reference models).
- Recording the application portfolio: The most important and critical of your applications are recorded (using standardized Excel tables or web-based surveys).
- Linking business capabilities with applications: Linking the two pieces of information shows which applications support which business capabilities or, to put it the other way around, which business capabilities are dependent on which applications (see an example from the Alfabet Enterprise Architecture Management tool below).
- Analyze and evaluate the collected data: Use matrix and graphical reporting capabilities to identify different strategic options for the applications – for example, it may make sense to rethink and improve business processes (and their IT support) for core competencies rather than commodities, which themselves could be standardized and/or moved to the cloud.
The results of all steps are collected in an enterprise architecture management tool, e.g. Alfabet or leanIX. This means that all information about the IT landscape is stored in one place (single point of truth about the architecture) and stored in a structured way in a metamodel (consistent data).
“Smart Scan for Digitalization” is intended for CIOs to prepare for discussions with the business side, especially when it comes to the consequences of digitalization and recommendations for the business.