Saturday, January 10, 2009

Enterprise Mapping - The Quest For Transparency

Yesterday, William Laurent published a nice article in Dashboard Insight, titled Enterprise Mapping - The Quest For Transparency, where he told about the work of mapping business processes in the companies.

He said that unfortunately, many of us still have to educate senior management and leaders of business strategy on the necessity and advantages of a discovery and mapping project. It is vital for senior level IT managers and consultants to effectively communicate all of the advantageous outputs of enterprise mapping, because it will provide your organization with intelligence that will positively impact and drive a multitude of strategic objectives:

- Business Continuity: Once the relationships and dependencies of people, processes, and assets have been discovered, documented, and promulgated throughout the organization, robust plans for disaster recovery and operational continuity can be put in place; BC policy becomes much more real as its logical promises merge with empirical realities.

- GRC: Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance practices derive their power from a full transparency into enterprise, which comes about from mapping and discovery. Without mapping, you have a lack of knowledge, and therefore a lack of governance and management.

- Change Management and Configuration Management: Corporate change management continues to be an area where massive improvements can still be made. This is especially true with respect to IT, where the smallest change may impact dozens of systems and large user communities.

- Data Stewardship: Assuming that the mapping and discovery process can be extended to a lower stratum, i.e. data level, a business will have the proper facilitation for creating a meta data repository, global data dictionary, real semantic lexicon, and get their business rules in order via a rules engine.

- Business Intelligence (BI): Once the enterprise is charted and mapped, all types of organizations can better view and understand their portfolio of assets from multiple dimensions (geographic, risk, demographic, etc.) and classifications.

- Green IT: Only until an enterprise fully appreciates their entire asset portfolio can they understand how to be a good corporate citizen and conduct their business in a sustainable way with minimized environmental footprint.

- Business Process Reengineering and Best Practices: ITIL, Six Sigma, and other quality management initiatives must be customized and tailored to the unique business processes, asset classes, and human capital of each corporation.

- Security: Quite simply, what is not discovered or known can not be secured and protected. In this age of terrorism, hackers, and lawsuits at the drop of a hat, no decisions are being made without an eye towards security.

"Because enterprise mapping and discovery projects are usually large-scale adventures, it is always a good idea to start small, tackling one business segment or area of mission-critical interest.", he said, and also: "Enterprise mapping projects offer organizations the best means to achieve literally dozens of the most critical governance-centered objectives in existence today."

He concluded with: "The end result of enterprise mapping propositions should be the dashboard-enabled portfolio management of all corporate assets. With full transparency into their organization’s important riches, companies will be able to assess all impacts to their business, no matter what the circumstance, business segment and function, geographical region, project line, area of customer interest may be.

The best way to embark on this journey is to conduct an initial gap analysis that focuses on the amount of transparency and information currently available throughout the company and contrast that with the perceived value that would come from having specific (horizontal and vertical) insight into their commercial syndicate at various levels."

William Laurent wrote a nice article, and I believe that with the complexity of business, the companies need to mapping business processes to obtain an effective corporate governance.

Talking about BI, I believe the companies need rethinking BI for processes, looking for new concepts, approaches and tools, because only BI tools are insufficient for analyzing and monitoring business processes. Although the BI vendors are creating new tools, with new concepts embedded, and new terms to define these tools, like operational BI, pervasive BI, real-time BI, etc. I think an interesting way can be Business Intelligence and Performance Management working together with Decision Management.

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