Plate A illustrates the “normal”
but flawed mental model, that many Enterprises have. It takes the view that the
Business Strategy is written and then thrown over a wall to those IT bods to
figure out the IT strategy, and out of that there then comes projects - Generally
IT projects, because most transformation is all or mostly, about changing IT.
Effectively the proper Roadmapping phase (the core of EA) is lost or, if not
lost, is limited to and conflated with IT Strategy.
Plate B illustrates the Pragmatic view where the Business and IT strategies
are formulated together. They are (should be) inextricably linked and must be
formulated together as each feeds on the other. The IT Strategy is shown
smaller because the Business Strategy is much bigger! The Business Strategy
includes, Methods, Artefacts, Culture and part of Environment (IT - which is
itself a sub domain of the larger Technology domain) while the IT Strategy only
covers the IT part of the Technology Part of the Environment domain. Thus the
Business Strategy and IT Strategy come together to make the Enterprise Strategy
which then flows into the Transformation Strategy (the high level plan of how
the required Enterprise Transformation will be undertaken)
Enterprise Strategy (aka Business Strategy)
A strategy is really just a high level plan and answers four
Where are we?
Where do we want/need to go?
Why do we want/need to go there?
How will we get there?
I say “should” because many “Strategy” documents produced by
Enterprises are not Strategy documents at all based on this definition. The
only thing that makes a lot of them “Strategy” documents is because they have
the word “Strategy” written on the front!
Although we use the term Enterprise Strategy (and urge others
to do so) many Enterprises refer to this as Business Strategy. The term is in
widespread use and there is nothing wrong with that per se. But as time has
passed since it was first used, IT happened! More importantly people have begun
(unfortunately) to refer to IT and “The Business” (as PEAF does - because you
cannot ignore reality however wrong it may be from a purist’s perspective). The
word Business has come to mean “everything in the Enterprise that is not IT”.
This distinction is reinforced with terms such as Business Analysis and
Business Analysts who work 99% of the time purely on the people and process
issues of a solution, leaving the IT issues to someone else. So the term
Business Strategy would seem to intimate that there is a separate IT Strategy
(another slight misnomer as explained below). In addition the term Business is
not very general to refer to the whole (do people refer to the Army as “The
Business”?) and so we prefer to use the word Enterprise hence we use the term
Enterprise Strategy instead of Business Strategy because it is, after all, the
Strategy of the Enterprise - aka a high level plan of where we are, where we
want to go to, why we want/need to go there and how we are going to get there.
Transformation Strategy (aka IT Strategy)
Although we use the term Transformation Strategy (and urge
others to do so) many Enterprises refer to this as IT Strategy. This has
happened because most of the Transformation happening in any Enterprise is IT
Transformation. The difference between Transformation and IT has become blurred
It should be noted here that we are walking a fine line
between the words I would like to use and the words I have to use because of
history and the way people generally use them (rightly or wrongly).