Complex Enterprise System“Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it. Alan Perlis
Last week’s IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis – London Chapter meeting, kindly hosted by Credit Suisse) revealed a wealth of opportunity.

While the financial markets are struggling with low growth, increased volatility, low margins, and the enveloping burden of increased regulation (e.g. Frank Dodds), the requirements for IT change still come…and come…to do more for less.

Any company in possession of an IT estate consisting of duplicated systems, application and interfaces (see Conway’s Law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway’s_law), must be in want of simplification.

The opportunity… is to step back from tactical solutions and consider:

  • the lifetime cost of the change for RoI calculations,
  • how to leverage and re-use the existing estate,
  • consolidating systems and ‘clean up’ of the infrastructure
  • adopting standard data and methods

The cleaner the operating model, the easier it will be to:

  • show regulatory compliance,
  • find the truth in data
  • ease estimation of the costs of Acquisition + Merger integration

When this also allows progress toward the architect’s Target Operating Model (TOM), it spreads a common language and understanding across the business.

So… the recommendation is to make time for real design, take steps towards the TOM, and reject the tacticals!

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery