Category Archives: The Open Group

Digital Transformation and Business Architecture (Part 3 of 3) – Presented by Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Huawei

At The Open Group Shanghai 2016 summit, we invited Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Chief Business Architect of HUAWEI Service Strategy and Architecture Practice, to give a keynote speech “New Open Business Architecture (O-BA) to Support the Construction of Digital Business and Smart Government”.

Huawei was a Diamond Sponsor of this summit, is a Platinum Member of The Open Group and is participating in the creation of the O-BA standard, whose first part was launched in July 2016 as a Preliminary Standard.

Giovanni, who is leading this effort within Huawei, presented Huawei’s perspectives on Business Architecture coming from best practices.

This is part three in a three-part series.

Part #3 – Business Architecture Answers the Business Questions

When undertaking our transformation efforts we need to answer, in a structured way, the inherent business questions, such as:

How to ensure a common understanding of the transformation within the organization? How to align an organization and its constituents towards the goal? Do we have the necessary skills and what changes should we drive, even in our organization’s culture? How to unleash technology-driven innovation to lead business model innovation, as well as the other way round? How processes and organization are going to be impacted? How to identify priorities? What about dependencies and risks?

More importantly: how to focus investments and ensure that the desired business outcomes will be achieved?

How our partners and channels are going to be impacted? How our customers/users’ experience is going to be impacted?

The O-BA standard reflects industry best practices addressing the business view of a transformation.

There are several techniques to uncover the capabilities that a business requires. Any of them will try to combine the business stakeholders’ views in a holistic picture.

For a digital business sake, as discussed in my first post, we want to start from the intended customer experience and make it our baseline.

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The relevant customer journeys – tailored to customer personas – represent the main value stream which is the backbone of the whole story.

Along with the customer’s perspective, we will align the relevant value streams of the other stakeholders, including their pursued goals.

Then we will analyze them and uncover the capabilities that enable each stage of the value streams and their respective relationships (e.g. information exchanges).

Capabilities will be mapped to organization and then we will identify respective enablers such as technology, application, process, information, skills.

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Business Architecture builds the overall picture and connects the dots in a logical a traceable framework, generating blueprints that represent the current state, future state and possible intermediate steps of a transformation. In this way we can find answers to our business questions.

O-BA describes a typical transformation lifecycle providing a framework for two dimensions of traceability: vertical (from strategy to competitive assessment to investment to implementation and outcomes) and horizontal (across different domains of the organization/ecosystem).

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While O-BA is meant to be the overarching framework for a transformation, technology, data and application architectures complete the view according to TOGAF®, an Open Group standard.

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Diagrams like the one reported below show the overall transformation and traceability across business objectives (customer’s being on top), capabilities and their interconnections allowing to achieve the objectives, metrics that audit capabilities, applications and relevant investments enabling the desired capabilities. In a closed loop, business architecture provides a framework to control the return on investment from a complex transformation.

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More details on this example are given in the linked whitepaper produced by Huawei and published by The Open Group: https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/catalog/W166

The O-BA is an initiative in the Architecture Forum of The Open Group, driven by six Platinum Members (Capgemini, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IBM, Oracle, Philips) It intends to standardize a common understanding of Business Architecture, reflecting the best practices in the industry (most notably with a contribution by the Business Architecture Guild).

Members of The Open Group can download this presentation at http://www.opengroup.org/public/member/proceedings/Shanghai-2016-08/Presentations/Giovanni%20Traverso-Keynote4.pdf

The Open Group Shanghai 2016 event proceedings are available for members here.

@theopengroup

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Giovanni Traverso
• 28 years in telecom business, Product Management, R&D Management, Business Unit GM and Transformation Management
• Now leading the Enterprise Architecture team at Huawei Global Services, Standard and Industry Development Dept.
• Certified Business Architect (CBA)
• Contributor to The Open Group Open Business Architecture (O-BA) Standard and the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge (BizBOK)

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Digital Transformation and Business Architecture (Part 2 of 3) – Presented by Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Huawei

At The Open Group Shanghai 2016 summit, we invited Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Chief Business Architect of HUAWEI Service Strategy and Architecture Practice, to give a keynote speech “New Open Business Architecture (O-BA) to Support the Construction of Digital Business and Smart Government”.

Huawei was a Diamond Sponsor of this summit, is a Platinum Member of The Open Group and is participating in the creation of the O-BA standard, whose first part was launched in July 2016 as a Preliminary Standard.

Giovanni, who is leading this effort within Huawei, presented Huawei’s perspectives on Business Architecture coming from best practices.

This is part two in a three-part series.

Part 2 – Business Architecture Enables the Digital Transformation

 

So how to approach such complexity of changes without losing sight of the business intents? How to answer the business questions about investment, risk and assurance, responsibilities, relationships, impacts?

In order to answer our business questions we need a discipline that identifies the components of a business and their relationship. Components and their relationships define architecture, so here comes the “Business Architecture”.

Digital business requires the Business Architecture practice to be open and agile. Open means that it should look beyond our organization’s boundaries, be centered on customer experience and projected towards its industry ecosystem, besides internal focus. Agile means that it should decompose the business into loosely coupled and highly cohesive components, so that the architecture is modular and changes can follow business opportunities incrementally, quickly, limiting risks and mastering dependencies.

The O-BA standard, reflecting industry’s best practices, fulfills these requirements being based on Value Streams and Capabilities.

Capabilities represent the modular components of a business, while Value Streams represent the value creation mechanism that delivers value to the business stakeholders, enabled by those Capabilities. On a macroscopic level the whole thing determines the organization’s unique characteristics that in the O-BA are called “competences”.

How do we apply Business Architecture?

In my previous post, we discussed how digital transformation regards Experience / Operations / ICT Infrastructure. This implies that changes have to happen consistently on three fields: Offering (products/services own and in partnership), Business Practice (processes, skills, organization, information), ICT.

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According to this view, technology evolution sustains capability increments, which sustain product and services evolution along with the interactions with ecosystem and customers (determining the customer experience).

This structure unleashes digital business innovation.

In a top-down way, a new business model can be decomposed into required capabilities that will be developed, pulling-in certain technologies.

In a bottom-up way, technology evolution can enable/automate new capabilities that will be made available for business. So we have a bidirectional channel that connects and catalyzes innovation however it is originated.

On the other hand, this structure fits with agile delivery.

The digital ICT branch of an organization can build microservices (reflecting a shared capability map) exposed through APIs, while the Lines of Business (or partners) can rapidly consume them creating service chains that realize a business service or automate some process.

For example, a digital service operator can leverage geo-location technology (already built-in) to create an analytic app that, combined with other existing capabilities, allows to send customized ads to users, generating quickly incremental revenues at marginal cost.

Building upon existing capabilities that are well identified allows to generate new services dynamically “on-demand”, thus enabling the business to set the pace, as opposite to traditional monolithic ICT constructions.

Modern business architecture, based on capability maps, is essential to guarantee coordination so that the benefits of DevOps techniques and the API economy can be applied at scale. That is, without losing sight of the business sense and priorities because capabilities are defined by the business, shared in business language, translated systematically into application, information, technology, process, organization and skills.

Members of The Open Group can download this presentation at http://www.opengroup.org/public/member/proceedings/Shanghai-2016-08/Presentations/Giovanni%20Traverso-Keynote4.pdf

The Open Group Shanghai 2016 event proceedings are available for members here.

@theopengroup

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Giovanni Traverso
• 28 years in telecom business, Product Management, R&D Management, Business Unit GM and Transformation Management
• Now leading the Enterprise Architecture team at Huawei Global Services, Standard and Industry Development Dept.
• Certified Business Architect (CBA)
• Contributor to The Open Group Open Business Architecture (O-BA) Standard and the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge (BizBOK)

 

 

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The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum

Recently, a new Forum commenced operation in The Open Group, the Open Process Automation™ Forum. This new Forum is focused on developing a standards-based, open, secure, interoperable process control architecture.

The first Members Meeting of the Forum was held in San Francisco, CA, November 16-17, 2016. The industry turnout for this initial meeting was impressive with 57 individuals from 30 different organizations attending.

Forum membership (as of December 7, 2016) includes the following companies:

ABB Fujitsu nxtControl
Accenture
Aramco Services Georgia-Pacific Praxair
ARC Advisory Group Process Systems Enterprise
Aspen Technology Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
ATE Enterprises Honeywell International, Inc. Radix
Huawei RealIRM
BASF Relcom
IBM RTI
Cirrus Link Solutions Inductive Automation
Cisco Intel Schneider Electric
Conexiam Invista Shell
Curtiss-Wright Siemens
Koch Industries
Dow Chemical TATA
Lockheed Martin
Emerson Process Yokogawa Electric Corporation
Ernst & Young Merck & Co.
ExxonMobil MITRE
Mocana

 

A bit of history about this initiative:

ExxonMobil has been describing the need for a new standards effort in the process control automation area for several years. In early 2016, having seen how a similar Open Group standards effort transformed the avionics industry, ExxonMobil approached The Open Group to potentially initiate a new open standards activity. From March to September 2016, ExxonMobil and staff of The Open Group worked to build a “coalition of the willing” comprising end-users in the process control-using industries, and their key suppliers. During this time, several public outreach meetings were held including face-to-face meetings and webcasts to build interest and identify early participants. As the incubation work proceeded, it became clear that there was interest from at least seven different industry sectors who use similar systems from the same community of suppliers in their process manufacturing environments:

  • Food and Beverage
  • Mining and Metals
  • Oil and Gas
  • Petrochemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Utilities

During the first Members Meeting, a few things quickly became very clear:

  • There are common pain points spanning multiple sectors, such as aging control systems and the need for more rapid technology insertion, which the proposed standards effort can address to the benefit of customers,
  • There are common pain points shared by suppliers in current business models,
  • The supplier community is eager to work collaboratively on an open standard for process control, and,
  • The participants had a common understanding that a “win-win” outcome providing benefits to end users and suppliers is essential, and the members of the Forum are keen to deliver on this.

During the meeting, the scope of the standards effort was discussed, the Forum organization was created, and interim leadership roles were identified for the Forum and for specific work groups. Interim co-chairs for the Forum will be Don Bartusiak of ExxonMobil and Trevor Cusworth of Schneider Electric. The Business work group described a number of specific sub-groups in the areas of outreach, business guide development and certification. An Enterprise Architecture work group was formed, as was a Technical workgroup. The Technical workgroup conducted a pain points brainstorming exercise that will be useful in shaping and defining the technical standard. In addition, the Forum is working on a standards landscape document, which will survey other standards for possible incorporation into the “standard of standards” that we expect to create. Outreach and engagement with other standards organizations is currently being discussed and planned.

A great deal of progress was made in a short period of time, and the members are eager to move forward quickly with development of the technical standard, marketing and outreach activities, and consideration of a certification program. During the meeting, it was also clear that the proposed standard could be transformational in a way that is positive for all industry participants. The word “renaissance” was used (and embraced by the participants) to describe the potential impact of this standards effort on the industry at large.

Launch events are being planned to coincide with The Open Group San Francisco 2017, January 30 – February 2 and the ARC Industry Forum meeting in Orlando, February 6-9, 2017.

Last but not least, we encourage customer organizations, suppliers, academics, systems integrators, and others who want to help influence the direction of the standards development to become members and get directly involved. Details on how to join may be found here.

For those who want to track the progress of this initiative, we have established an open LinkedIn group for the Forum, and will use this to communicate upcoming events and ongoing progress. To follow, join and/or invite others who may be interested, please click here.

The website for the Open Process Automation Forum is accessible here.

Presentation about automation to improve reliability and productivity

http://www.opengroup.org

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Digital Transformation and Business Architecture (Part 1 of 3) – Presented by Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Huawei

At The Open Group Shanghai 2016 summit, we invited Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Chief Business Architect of HUAWEI Service Strategy and Architecture Practice, to give a keynote speech “New Open Business Architecture (O-BA) to Support the Construction of Digital Business and Smart Government”.

This is part one in a three-part series.

Part 1 – The Digital Transformation Challenges

Huawei was a Diamond Sponsor of this summit, is a Platinum Member of The Open Group and is participating in the creation of the O-BA standard, whose first part was launched in July 2016 as a Preliminary Standard.

Giovanni, who is leading this effort within Huawei, presented Huawei’s perspectives on Business Architecture coming from best practices.

The O-BA standard focuses on transformation as a discipline to support business decision-making and bridge business and ICT. It does so on one hand, by aligning all aspects and actors of a transformation with business vision and goals while, on the other hand, answering the business questions regarding structural investments, especially in ICT.

Giovanni’s speech introduced the O-BA standard and illustrated how it can serve governments and businesses striving to become “digital”.

First, we should characterize what is digital transformation is about. According to Huawei practice, digital business entails three constituents driving (left to right) and enabling (right to left) each other: experience, operations and (ICT) infrastructure. Each one of these involves its own challenges that have to be addressed holistically.

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Experience is the ultimate front-end between a digital business and its users, customers, partners, employees. Digital businesses deliver experience to them through products, services and their combination, individually or as part of an ecosystem. In order to help focus, Huawei has encoded the key principles of experience as “ROADS” (Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY, Social).

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For example, customers of digital service providers typically will learn about new services through their social network, will want to be empowered to subscribe and consume their services in real-time when they need it, typically through app or portal.

Operation had been revolutionized by digital disruptors in terms of agility, personalization, innovation speed. Thanks to digital technologies, operations are going to be automated, simplified, precisely informed, promptly reactive and even predictive. The new mode of operations is open and collaborative, goes by fast cycles delivering incremental functionality, which allows for adaptive “fail-fast” approach with limited risk.

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For example, Amazon makes a production change every 11 seconds, Google deploys over 2 billion containers each week, Netflix launched simultaneously in 131 countries (source: state of DevOps report 2015).

ICT Infrastructure is consistently pushed to become open, resilient, self-healing, scalable.

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Business Architecture coordinates all these evolutions, ensuring that investments will actually deliver the desired business outcome. Beyond decision-making, Business Architecture can also facilitate the actual execution of the new agile service delivery model. We will discuss this in the next post.

Members of The Open Group can download this presentation at http://www.opengroup.org/public/member/proceedings/Shanghai-2016-08/Presentations/Giovanni%20Traverso-Keynote4.pdf

The Open Group Shanghai 2016 event proceedings are available for members here.

@theopengroup

by-the-open-group

Giovanni Traverso
• 28 years in telecom business, Product Management, R&D Management, Business Unit GM and Transformation Management
• Now leading the Enterprise Architecture team at Huawei Global Services, Standard and Industry Development Dept.
• Certified Business Architect (CBA)
• Contributor to The Open Group Open Business Architecture (O-BA) Standard and the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge (BizBOK)

 

 

 

 

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Customer Experience and Transformation in Financial Services – Part 2

By Stuart Macgregor, CEO, Real IRM and The Open Group South Africa

This is Part 2 of a two part series.  Part 1 can be found here.

The financial services industry is undergoing massive change. For financial services companies to achieve transformation and digitisation, addressing the architectural foundations is the starting point.

Chapter 4 – Customer Engagement Model (Part 2)

So, this is not simply about technological advancement. The harsh reality is that financial companies have fallen out of touch with customer needs. These disruptors have arrived to serve an unmet need.

In the era of the modern-day customer, more demanding and empowered than that of decades ago, should banks still be rolling out vanilla services like cheque accounts, credit cards, and rewards programmes?

Should banks still be classifying customers into vast segments based primarily on monthly income? Should they still be quantifying affordability and risk in the same way? Should they still seek to derive their non-interest income from monthly fees and transaction fees?

The entrance of new disruptors proves that most of these practices, embedded into the anatomy of a bank, often prevent the bank from meeting the modern customers’ expectations.

For another perspective on the needs and expectations of digital customers, we can look at The Open Group ‘ROADS principles’. These can be summarised as follows:

  • Real Time: The customer can commence or progress a journey at any time, with responses and updates tailored in real-time to meet the customer’s evolving needs.
  • On Demand:The service provider has the flexibility to adapt and adjust the services delivered to the customer on demand.
  • All-Online: The customer is able to accomplish all activities and transactions associated with the journey online. An offline channel need only be used if absolutely required to handle a physical product or service.
  • Do-It-Yourself: The customer is provided with the capability, and has the choice, to complete the activities and transactions associated with the journey alone. Interaction with a service provider representative is not required.
  • Social: The journey is tightly integrated with digital social media, so at any stage of the journey the customer is able to access social media for advice, recommendations and feedback.

Financial companies’ general inability to respond  to these demands can often be linked back to fundamental architectures and tools.

These are the outdated architectures that are unable to conduct impact assessments, not able to fully leverage resources and technical capabilities, and not able to find meaning in the masses of customer data and documentation stored inside their four walls.

We can define this as the concept of Big Data: teasing out the learnings from the masses of structured and unstructured customer data streamed from various sources and systems – with the goal of creating customer-specific engagement tactics.

Chapter 5 – Customer Engagement Model (Part 3)

To survive the onslaught from advancing attackers to the financial services industry, we advocate ‘outside-in thinking’ – working backwards from the customer frontline (designing the experiences that customers will love) – and then plotting the internal processes that support the customer experience vision.

This systems-thinking approach uncovers the optimal roles and relationships within the organisation, the metrics on which to evaluate success, and maps the reinforcing loops that will accelerate change and enhance value delivery. Keeping EA at the centre of the reengineering process ensures a sharp focus on the information that’s required to make these new processes successful.

Organisations can now understand where underlying data is housed, how it can be best integrated between systems and across functions, and how information should be delivered to  those team members that are tasked with supporting customers. This is brought to bear in business capability maps, causal loop diagrams, process models, value-chain diagramming, and the like.

The leading financial services firms of tomorrow will use these these insights, to invest in architectures and systems that creates superior customer experiences. Ultimately, this is the only approach that can help financial companies stay relevant in the face of new and disruptive threats.

It goes without saying that customer experience is felt at the various digital and traditional touchpoints with which customers engage. But ‘touchpoints’ in the truest sense of the word incorporate any engagement that the consumer has with the financial services brand, products, services, or staff.

A number of models seek to define these customer touchpoints. The Open Group’s Customer Experience Reference Model, for example, notes that any organisation needs to look beyond itself, and take a wider view of the broader ecosystem when understanding the customer journey.

To measure progress, the Customer Experience Reference Model suggests defining a set of key performance indicators. Depending on the organisation and its strategy, these could take a multitude of forms – including Net Promoter Scores, click-through rates, churn rates, average revenue per customer, cart abandonment rates, valency indexes, conversion rates, and much more.

Scenario: customer journey in the Insurance sector

Insurance policies traditionally involve reams of paper, reliance on customers to enter information accurately, and high back-office administration costs. They are typically updated on an annual basis, and do not reflect an accurate assessment of risk.

As a result of the inefficiencies in the system, insurance tends to be a very expensive item in household budgets.

But in the next few years, insurers will start consolidating feeds from connected devices within cars, geolocation data from smartphones, smart keys, as well as wearables (like smartwatches) and even ‘digestibles’.

Known in technology circles as the Internet of Things, this example shows how an insurer can far more accurately assess and mitigate risk – by tracking everything from driving behaviour, to cardiovascular activity, smoking habits, or whether or not a person has locked their house.

By developing customer insights at this level of detailed granularity, insurers are able to package accurate, personalised insurance premiums (rather than segmenting customers into broad risk groups, as they do today). Of course, customers who want to benefit from preferential, personalised rates, will sacrifice some level of personal privacy.

This leads us to the ethics of tracking intimate customer details for use in designing such personalised and fluid insurance policies – which dynamically adjust based on customer behaviour (for example, a trip overseas to a country with high crime statistics many cause a temporary increase in one’s premium).

Chapter 6 – Development Agenda

When considering the financial services enterprise of the future, it’s not enough to simply aim for excellent customer service. Unless this generates higher levels of profitability, better customer retention or improved customer acquisition, any customer service effort is going to be in vain.

These three questions above – relating to a financial services company’s business goals – should be guiding forces for the architecture team, as they create the optimal design for the future.

In essence, the firm’s architecture needs to enable the flow of information and investment of resources to the markets, segments, demographics and regions that offer the most profitable opportunities at any given time.

As financial companies come under increasing threat from new competitors, narrowing the focus to certain services, or markets, is a way of maintaining profitable leadership positions in certain areas – while exiting over-traded, hyper-competitive or unprofitable markets.

However, this is no longer a static, consistent landscape. To succeed, financial services firms should be “striving for continuous improvement and renewal”, as a recent Backbase/Efma Report describes.

From an EA perspective, this means one’s technology and application architecture must support the rapid and continuous delivery of new services and features to customers.

“The innovation planning cycle is far too slow for today’s high-speed digital banking environment,” notes the report, adding: “Today’s big digital players in other industries test and learn as part of an iterative process. They’re agile and experiment in real-time with their own customer base. The decision-making process is much faster and the rollout is fast … very fast!”

Across the breadth of architecture realms – from business, information, data, applications and technology – one’s EA frameworks should be designed with rapid prototyping and delivery in mind. By doing so, financial companies are able to capture new windows of profitable opportunity, react faster to changing customer demands, and produce new services in a cost-effective manner.

This could come in the form of instant home loan approvals, new services for wearable technology, or a concerted focus on a niche insurance segment. The specific opportunities depend on the company in question and where they are at a given point in time.

In short, having the architecture to unleash digital transformation, opens up new value streams for the bank and increasing satisfaction and loyalty for the customer.

Chapter 7 – Capabilities and Insights

The final McKinsey “timeless tests” looks at how to anchor customer centricity within the organisation, and align governance approaches and staff incentives to fit with the new customer service ethos.

From an Enterprise Architecture perspective, this is reflected in the maturity from ‘EA execution’ to ‘EA leadership’. The concluding article in our series on change management in EA highlights the hallmarks of a mature-state EA practice – the state of EA leadership.

EA helps to create the structures that will thrust customer-centricity to the forefront of all business decision-making. Specifically, it can support the organisation’s customer experience vision in the areas of:

  • Mandate and governance
  • Strategy
  • Performance management
  • Organisational transformation

But the reality is that so few firms ultimately realise the value of EA in their customer experience and digital transformation ambitions. Another of our series – on what catastrophes often cause the EA practice to implode – addresses the common reasons for this.

Because so few organisations fully leverage the power of EA, those financial services firms that do get it right, have a tremendous competitive advantage over their peers – who continue struggle away in disjointed silos, bondaged in unnecessary red tape.

Addressing these final two McKinsey tests requires a relentless focus on customer insights; and then ensuring the voice of the customer be heard when structuring, integrating or re-designing all business processes.

Without EA at the core of these endeavours, the organisation’s leadership cannot take full advantage of these rich sources of insights. More specifically, they wouldn’t have the architectural work products to improve resource allocation, reduce decision-making biases, assess strategic alternatives, manage change and complexity, or chart the innovation journey.

In this way, EA provides deeper insights into the unintended consequences of certain potential decisions – like company restructuring or deciding to enter a new market.

To conclude, the McKinsey tests represent the important questions that financial services organisations need to ask themselves as they seek to put the customer at the heart of their digital transformation initiatives.

And, as we’ve teased out in this series, having the fundamental architecture to support these goals, and prepare for an uncertain and volatile future, is an absolute prerequisite for success.

by-stuart-macgregor-ceo-real-irmStuart Macgregor is the CEO, Real IRM Solutions and  The Open Group South Africa. Through his personal achievements, he has gained the reputation of an Enterprise Architecture and IT Governance specialist, both in South Africa and internationally.

Macgregor participated in the development of the Microsoft Enterprise Computing Roadmap in Seattle. He was then invited by John Zachman to Scottsdale, Arizona to present a paper on using the Zachman framework to implement ERP systems. In addition, Macgregor was selected as a member of both the SAP AG Global Customer Council for Knowledge Management, and of the panel that developed COBIT 3rd Edition Management Guidelines. He has also assisted a global Life Sciences manufacturer to define their IT Governance framework, a major financial institution to define their global, regional and local IT organizational designs and strategy. He was also selected as a core member of the team that developed the South African Breweries (SABMiller) plc global IT strategy.

Stuart, as the lead researcher, assisted the IT Governance Institute map CobiT 4.0 to TOGAF®, an Open Group standard. This mapping document was published by ISACA and The Open Group. He participated in the COBIT 5 development workshop held in London in 2010.

 

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Customer Experience and Transformation In Financial Services – Part 1

By Stuart Macgregor, CEO, Real IRM and The Open Group South Africa

This is Part 1 in a two part series.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

The financial services industry is undergoing massive change.

Around the world, organisations offering banking, lending, insurance, trading, and payments services are realising that customer-centric, design-led approaches can revolutionise the way that financial services are delivered to a new generation of consumers.

But to achieve practical, sustainable transformation, financial services firms must turn their attention to their business architecture. Combined with sage business strategies, having the right architecture unleashes the dynamism and agility to succeed in the new digital era.

In other words, for financial services companies to achieve transformation and digitisation, addressing the architectural foundations is the starting point.

In this series, we’ll apply an Enterprise Architecture lens to McKinsey’s ‘10 timeless tests’ from its ‘Banking on customer centricity’ white paper’ – a litmus test for an organisation’s customer experience qualities.

These ‘tests’ are essentially questions that financial services companies need to ask themselves, areas to address, and activities they need to perform as they steer their way towards transformation and customer-centricity. They are housed within four distinct (but inter-related) groupings:

  • Vision and positioning: shaping the strategic direction, so that customers want to use your products and services, and employees feel highly engaged within your organisation.
  • Customer engagement model: defining the solutions and developing the go-to-market approach that will deliver exceptional customer value.
  • Development agenda: Ensuring your short-term growth and long-term success, with customer-oriented activities rooted in the pursuit of economic goals (and not just customer satisfaction).
  • Organisation, capabilities and insights: Anchoring customer-centricity within your organisation by creating optimal structures, incentives, capabilities and governance frameworks.

In this series, we’ll explore how the right business architecture is essential for your organisation to progress along any of these four dimensions.

Business architecture becomes the common vocabulary to define your organisation – across business units, silos, or geographies. It allows leaders to understand the complex, organic structures of the organisation. It forms the basis for strategy implementation and the context for programmes and projects.

More broadly, we’ll look at how Enterprise Architecture helps to free financial services firms from the tangled mess of legacy infrastructure, entwined over decades and decades, which hold them back from delivering exceptional customer experiences.

We’ll explore the ways in which Business Architecture supports rapid innovation and helps financial services companies to fend off the challenges from leaner start-ups in the FinTech space, from local telcos and retailers, and borderless digital giants like Google, Apple and Facebook.

And we’ll show how business architecture brings a new richness of customer insights – to develop closer customer engagement and tailor-made solutions.

Chapter 2 – Visioning and Positioning

Across nearly all industries, a brand’s value is increasingly dependent on the delivery of exceptional customer experiences.

In fact, services-oriented industries are those with the most burning need to create superb experiences that surround the direct (transactional) engagement.

Whether they’re in wealth management, business asset financing, general retail banking, insurance, or anything in-between, financial services firms will only remain relevant by continually delighting their customers. For this reason, embedding experience design into every facet of their services has become the mantra for any forward-thinking financial services organisation.

But – with often millions of customers to look after – so many financial organisations are struggling to translate these lofty ideals into tangible reality.

As noted by this Open Group paper titled Roads to a digital customer experience new technologies “are rendering obsolete the traditional frameworks and models that companies have been using to capture and design customer journeys and customer experiences”.

The answer? Start with the architectural building blocks

It’s only by developing the right architectures, processes, and systems that the organisation’s customer experience vision can find solid footing. By taking an Enterprise Architecture (EA) approach to experience design, the vision becomes a defined set of behaviours, incentives, and operational processes.

Ultimately, this spawns a new culture of customer-centricity that delivers meaningful enhancements to customers’ experiences. Empowered by new technologies and unshackled from outdated ways-of-working, staff are given the tools to execute on the customer experience vision.

EA enables the organisation to build a clear roadmap to transition from its current state, to its desired target state – by looking through the lenses of Business, Information, Data, Applications, and Technology (BIDAT).

By developing the roadmap in the context of these five domains, the organisation can pinpoint exactly how EA can facilitate the organisation’s goals of delivering exceptional customer experiences.

It unearths the complex inter-relationships within the organisation that impact customer experience, supports those that are responsible for designing and implementing the change.

For instance, EA helps firms understand where their customers’ data is housed, helps to eliminate duplications of this content, or identify overlapping systems that are trying to achieve the same objectives.

Ensure the brand and vision are guiding behaviour

As the financial services organisation moves from a product focus, to a customer experience focus, it becomes imperative to look at the internal company culture –  and eliminate the ways-of-working, cultures and habits that are no longer competitive.

This requires all areas of the organisation to come together and agree on the vision, and the definition of the target state that everyone will work towards.

By taking a transformative, almost ‘entrepreneurial’ approach to one’s operations, it becomes possible to start optimising and digitising processes, and decluttering wherever inefficiencies exist.

At a foundational level, EA enables the organisation to clearly delineate and distinguish between one’s functions, processes and capabilities.

EA enables the organisation’s leadership to link roles to processes, generate useful process guides, and define the training needs analysis for those various roles. Not only does this give individuals clear career paths; it also reduces the costs of producing training material (now that roles and processes are clarified and standardised).

Chapter 3 – Customer Engagement Model (Part 1)

In its paper ‘Disrupting beliefs: a new approach to business-model innovation’ McKinsey’s starting point is that “every industry is built around long-standing, often implicit, beliefs about how to make money”.

In retail banking for example, these beliefs include industry concepts like ‘share of wallet’, ‘cross-sell opportunities’, ‘acquisition costs’, and ‘lifecycle value’, among many others.

“[These beliefs] are often considered inviolable, “ continues the McKinsey paper, “until someone comes along to violate them. Almost always, it’s an attacker from outside the industry.”

Nowhere is this more apt than in financial services. Attackers from other industries are certainly threatening to invade the hallowed turf once reserved exclusively for banks, insurers, investment and trading providers, and others.

In retail banking, for example, these disruptive forces include the likes of:

  • Mobile wallets (such as M-Pesa)
  • New payments solutions (like Apple Pay or Square)
  • Cryptocurrencies (such a bitcoin)
  • Social lending (eg The Lending Club or Prosper)
  • Personal financial management tools (like Moven)
  • Crowdfunding (eg KickStarter)
  • Non-banks offering financial services (like Virgin or Discovery)

Other areas of financial services are certainly not immune to change as well. In the insurance realm, for example, disruptions like:

  • Usage-based vehicle insurance using GPS and accelerometers in smartphones or sensors
  • Online insurance aggregators and marketplaces
  • Other industries encroaching (eg insurance bundled offers from cellular providers or retailers)
  • Peer-to-peer insurance networks
  • Autonomous, self-driving vehicles in the not-too-distant future.

For incumbents, this presents a worrying reality: newer and more agile attackers won’t have the internal cost structural issues, the legacy infrastructure and higher head-counts – meaning these cost-efficiencies can be passed down to the consumer.

Part 2 to be published on The Open Group blog on November 29, 2016.

by-stuart-macgregor-ceo-real-irmStuart Macgregor is the CEO, Real IRM Solutions and  The Open Group South Africa. Through his personal achievements, he has gained the reputation of an Enterprise Architecture and IT Governance specialist, both in South Africa and internationally.

Macgregor participated in the development of the Microsoft Enterprise Computing Roadmap in Seattle. He was then invited by John Zachman to Scottsdale, Arizona to present a paper on using the Zachman framework to implement ERP systems. In addition, Macgregor was selected as a member of both the SAP AG Global Customer Council for Knowledge Management, and of the panel that developed COBIT 3rd Edition Management Guidelines. He has also assisted a global Life Sciences manufacturer to define their IT Governance framework, a major financial institution to define their global, regional and local IT organizational designs and strategy. He was also selected as a core member of the team that developed the South African Breweries (SABMiller) plc global IT strategy.

Stuart, as the lead researcher, assisted the IT Governance Institute map CobiT 4.0 to TOGAF®, an Open Group standard. This mapping document was published by ISACA and The Open Group. He participated in the COBIT 5 development workshop held in London in 2010.

 

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Filed under digital strategy, digital technologies, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Architecture (EA), Standards, The Open Group, Uncategorized

The Open Group Paris 2016 Event Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, The Open Group

In the City of Lights, The Open Group hosted the last quarterly event of 2016, October 24-27.  With the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe as backdrops, 200 attendees experienced a very full agenda featuring presentations and case studies on e-Government, Boundaryless Information Flow™, Enterprise Architecture (EA), Interoperability and much more.  The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile.

On Monday, October 24, Steve Nunn, CEO & President of The Open Group, welcomed all in fluent French, expressing his appreciation for the attendees from 26 countries who made the journey to the event.

It was an honor to have Emmanuel Gregoire, Deputy Mayor of Paris, begin the sessions.  His keynote was titled “Modernize, Innovate and Transform:  Paris Administration Case Study on e-Government.”  He provided great insight on how to successfully manage and architect such a tremendous endeavor with the objective of digital transformation.

Roland Genson, Director, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union then spoke about “Standardized Boundaryless Information Flow”.  He stated without standards and interoperability, a transformation is impossible.  Boundaryless Information Flow is the key enabler for efficiency, cost-effectiveness and agility.  Roland also discussed the balance of openness, confidentiality and security.

The plenary continued with a presentation by Robert ‘Bob’ Weisman, CEO/COO, Build the Vision, Inc.  Bob, based in Ottawa, Canada, shared his key learnings on EA and e-Government.  Enterprise Architecture acts as the cohesive glue between the many management frameworks. Bob said that government has the reliability mindset and e-Government has the validity mindset, and an organization needs to ensure EA is used properly to manage the gaps.

The morning culminated with a European Interoperability Reference Architecture (EIRA) “State of Play” by Dr. Raul Mario Abril Jiminez, Program Manager, EU Policies, European Commission.  The EIRA v1.1.0 is based on TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, expressed in ArchiMate®, also an Open Group standard.  EIRA defines for cross-sector and cross-border interoperability.

by-loren-k-baynes-director-global-marketing-communicationsDr. Raul Mario Abril Jimenez, EU Policies, European Commission

Each session concluded with a Q&A, moderated by Steve Nunn, with many questions posed by attendees.

Two lunchtime presentations featured Phillippe Desfray, Director General & Product Manager, Modeliosoft and Dominique Marie, Lead Solution Consultant, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.  Phillipe discussed the need to combine standards to cover entire EA modeling scope.  Dominque shared how HPE uses the IT4IT™ standard with customers.

The afternoon offered tracks in Open Business Architecture (O-BA) and IT4IT programs, as well as continuing the theme of EA and Government.  A panel discussion was held on the preliminary O-BA standard, an Open Group standard. Subject matter experts were from Huawei Technologies, Philips and Capgemini. They stated the five key elements to BA are common language, holistic view, horizontal and vertical traceability, and integrated practice.

In the evening at the hotel, the attendees enjoyed a networking reception and sponsor exhibits.

Day two of The Open Group Paris, October 25, began with a conversation about business transformation with Steve Nunn and Eric Boulay, CEO and Founder, Arismore and Memority, and partner of The Open Group Paris. Eric stated that business transformation is continuous and never ends. It is a long journey with quick wins along the way.

by-loren-k-baynes-director-global-marketing-communications

Packed house in the Plenary on October 25

The theme of digital transformation continued with a joint presentation by Olivier Flous, Vice President, Engineering and Eric Cohen, Chief Enterprise Architect, both with the Thales Group.  According to Olivier and Eric, the three streams of the digital transformation framework are customer, operations, people.  Furthermore, EA helps manage the complexity associated with digital transformation.  Digital driven EA capability is based on an ecosystem collaboration and also applies lean thinking.

Ron Schuldt, Manager, Data-Harmonizing, LLC provided a brief overview of The Open Group O-DEF (Open Data Element Framework) standard. O-DEF is a prime example of The Open Group vision of ‘Making Standards Work™’.

The plenary further featured ‘Continuous Architecture – Reconciling EA and Agility’ by Renaud Phelizon, Senior Consultant, Arismore.  He explained continuous architecture is architecture based on shorter and richer feedback loops (build, measure, learn).

Tuesday’s plenary concluded with Bill Wimsatt, Oracle Business Architect, sharing his vision of architecting the digital business – a merger of customer experience and EA.  Bill said there is no more stratification as it is now becoming ecosystems.  “The advent of full digital business is to become the biggest business/ IT disruptor since the internet.” Digital Lifecycle Methodology consists of ideation, prototype and impact.

Partner lunchtime presentations on EA were offered by Lars Lundgren, Manager and Founder, Biner and Konstantin Govedarski, CTO, Smart360.

The afternoon agenda was full with tracks on Open Platform 3.0™, Digital Architecture, IT4IT, Automation and Standards in ICS Sytems, ArchiMate and Professional Development.  Presenters were from companies including Huawei Technologies, ExxonMobil, FEAPO, Capgemini, HPE and The Open Group.

The group then ventured to the evening off-site function at the quaint Le Chalet des Iles in the Bois de Boulogne. It was a fantastic night networking over an exceptional French meal.

Wednesday, October 26, consisted of many tracks / workshops on the subjects of Bridging Strategy and Implementation, Open Platform 3.0™, Architecting for IoT, Architecting Smart Cities and Agile EA. The speakers came from a wide range organizations such as the University of Stuttgart, IBM, Salesforce, Hitachi and BMW AG.

Members only meetings were held every day, including Thursday, October 27.

A special ‘thank you’ goes to our sponsors and exhibitors:  BiZZdesign, Good e-Learning, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Modeliosoft, Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), Arismore, Biner, Mega, Orbus Software, Smart360

@theopengroup #ogPARIS

Looking forward to seeing you at The Open Group San Francisco, January 30 – February 2, 2017! #ogSFO

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing CommunicationsLoren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations and social media. Loren has over 20 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Boundaryless Information Flow™, Digital Transformation, e-Government, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Architecture (EA), EU, European Commission, European Union, Interoperability, IoT, Open Platform 3.0, Smart Cities, Standards, Steve Nunn, The Open Group, The Open Group Paris 2016, Uncategorized