By Vishal Kumar, Consultant, Deloitte Consulting
A master’s in business administration helps students understand business dynamics better. I believe having the ability to see business as a wholesome thing is paramount in today’s era. There is a dire need for students to apply the lens of Enterprise Architect and break the silos approach to enable students to see the business as a single unit. It is pivotal to understand that enterprise doesn’t run in silos the way the subjects during our MBA might make us think. For an enterprise to run efficiently and effectively, it needs to run collaboratively, i.e., all the fundamental constituents of an enterprise need to make progress in tandem.
“An enterprise is only as strong as the weakest link.”
Let’s take an analogy of the human body. For a human body to run efficiently, it needs an intention and goal, and it requires food as fuel, sleep as refreshment and a family as a support system.
Similarly, an enterprise needs strategic vision, business alignment to that vision, applications to execute the business strategy, data to act as fuel to propel growth and technology as the underlying support to get the enterprise running at all times. When we can see phases – Business, Application, Data and Technology as a connected whole, the administration of the business is bound to succeed. Enterprise Architecture ties these phases as a single navigable unit. Hence this subject is a fantastic opportunity for MBA graduates to connect the learnings of various subjects and apply them to get the enterprise engine moving.
MBA students often appreciate and enjoy drilling down on subjects and going deep in the subject of choice. And there is nothing wrong with this because it is the essence of mastery. However, I believe there is an urgency to zoom out and see the panoramic view of enterprise to augment the deep dive. The ability to see an enterprise as a connected unit would open new frontier and emerging business models. In addition, the zoom-out view would help future architects know how various components play their part in running an enterprise effectively. With EA as a subject, students would be able to see the big picture, connect technology to business priorities and help visualize an integrated view across business units (BUs).
Enterprise architecture as a subject and knowledge of reference architecture like IT4ITTM would help EA aspirants appreciate tools for managing a digital enterprise. As students, we know that various organizations are undergoing digital transformation. But hardly do we understand where to start the journey or how to go about the digital transformation if we are left on our own. Knowledge of the TOGAF® Architecture Development Method (ADM) would be a fantastic starting point to answer the abovementioned question. The as-is assessment followed by to-be assessment (or vice versa depending on context) across business, data, application and technology could be a practical starting point. The phase “Opportunities and Solutions” would help get a roadmap of several initiatives an enterprise can choose for its digital transformation.
Enterprise Architecture as a subject in b-school would cut across various subjects and help students with a holistic view. For instance, in a business analytics course, student learns statistical modelling and make data-driven business decisions. Now with Enterprise Architecture as a subject, they will start to appreciate thoughts like:
- Maturity of analytics capability within the enterprise
- Importance of single source of truth in a multi-application environment
- Importance of maintaining a data catalog with all the data elements and creating matrices like application-data matrix
- Technology to support the business analytics application – Is it in the cloud, etc.?
The benefits of having Enterprise Architecture as a “must-have” subject are many. I am confident that MBA Graduates with the ability to see enterprise as a collective unit would benefit their organizations navigate through the changing business requirements. And while they are driving this navigation, they would be skilful with the know-how of executing changes to respond quickly enough to the changing reality of business. Hence, EA as a subject will help MBA graduates grow their enterprise in a sustainable and resilient way.
Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.
Vishal Kumar, Consultant, Deloitte Consulting:
Vishal is a TOGAF® certified professional and served as the working group leader for digital technology adoption roadmap series guide. He is actively involved in India Academic Initiative in Architecture (INITIATE) working group activities. He is working as a consultant and is associated with Deloitte Consulting. He is ITIL® certified and has enhanced his career experiences with an MBA in Telecom Management from Symbiosis Institute of Digital and Telecom Management, Pune, India. He has co-authored three research papers that are published in SCOPUS indexed journals in the subject of financial inclusion, facial emotion detection technology, and brand communication. He believes in taking part at community-based activities and is an active participant of the AEA Hyderabad Chapter. He is an avid book reader, marathon runner and long-distance cyclist.