Written by Kevin Heisey
on June 07, 2022

Global spending on digitally transforming business practices, products and organizations is forecast to reach an unprecedented high of $2.8 trillion in 2025 according to the International Data Corporation. Much of that spending is on the implementation and use of innovative technologies to replace, streamline or augment your current capabilities. Many of you see the great automation tools out there like Pega, Salesforce or ServiceNow, and are eager to take advantage of this technology to automate and streamline ad hoc and manual processes. The problem is too many organizations buy technology before they understand how it integrates with what they have and contributes business value.

As a result, industry surveys show that 25% or more of a typical organization’s software purchases go unused or become shelfware, a common term for software that metaphorically sits on the shelf, unused. Three main reasons why your technology spend might result in unused shelfware:

  1. Failure to align new technology with organizational capability and Value Streams
  2. Buying technology before building Use Cases
  3. New technology isn’t effectively customized to optimally meet organizational needs

Business Architecture creates an enterprise blueprint that aligns business requirements and operations with your strategic objectives. The blueprint creates a framework that can be used to assess and ensure that the new technology you buy will effectively work with the people, processes, technology and infrastructure you have in place.

Understand Capabilities and Value Streams

Business Architecture helps you understand your organization’s capabilities and Value Streams, so you can trace business value to the tools you are considering and identify the gaps and business opportunities the technology can address. Automation technology is often implemented to carry a function more efficiently, but if the automated function isn’t creating business value, efficiency doesn’t matter. Business Architecture ensures your gains in efficiency create business value.

Build Use Cases First

Use Cases should be built before you decide which technology to buy. Business Architecture helps identify gaps in your capabilities, create Use Cases and align new technology to your Value Streams before you make a purchase decision. You create Use Cases by looking at your Business Architecture first, which aligns the new technology with business value and helps you avoid buying technology without understanding how to effectively use it or if it is the right fit for your needs.

Customization Unlocks Value

Organizations often struggle to customize new technology effectively. If you do not optimally customize the technology to meet your organization’s unique goals, capabilities and regulatory requirements, you are not getting the most value from your spending. Business Architecture maps your unique capabilities and needs so you can optimally customize new tools to achieve optimal business value.

Business Architects bring value by creating a clear map taking you from strategy to execution. A clear map identifies gaps in capability, redundant steps and manual processes that can be automated. With a strong Business Architecture in place, you have a better understanding of how and where new technology can improve performance and add value. You’re positioned to build Use Cases first, then find the right technology and implement it in the most efficient way that best meets your organization’s needs, delivers value and doesn’t end up underutilized and sitting on a metaphorical shelf. 

Watch our on-demand webinar, Business Architecture: Gain the Clarity Needed for Successful Transformations, where xScion’s CTO, Mason Chaudhry, and Business Process Management expert, Ivan Blinov, explain how Business Architecture can help you understand how to optimize your technology stack to deliver efficient, effective solutions to your customers.