IT Business Model Dynamics

This past decade IT organizations have been challenged by executives to demonstrate business value. After years of budget crunches and pushes to show ROI on every line item Executives are questioning whether their IT organization provide value to the business or should these organizations be dissolved in favor of purchasing cloud services.

The problem for IT is as a function they have not focused on identifying and creating business value. This may have to do with its origins as a service and expense. Thus understanding how IT contributes to business value has not traditionally been a high priority as much as dealing with ever increasing demand and a shrinking budget to service such.

However, for IT to contribute to business value the organization needs to overcome three major problems: Alignment, Prioritization, and Interdependency.  Solving for these design constraints can be challenging.  However, if one applies system engineering methods a optimization of the business model and its implementation can be achieved.  This though is not a design once, build one, operate forever endeavor.  As with the Enterprise conditions change and IT organizations will need to be more agile in more than creating IT functionality.

Business Value led IT using Balance Scorecard, VA/VE, and DSM

Last several weeks picking up my R&D around business design and construction.  Most of the research has been around translating physical product engineering methods to work on intellectual product design and development.  This was a line of R&D I was doing at IBM years ago that show lots of promise before IBM Research was downsized.  Today as Business Models have become identified as highly valuable commodity the engineering of these verse ad hoc creation could be the next big productivity gain in industry.  The slide below are some of the concepts I’ve been using in my practice with great success aligning IT initiatives with business strategic intent.   Not sure this slide will make it as is for the business design and reengineering course I’m building but as lest I got some of the concepts recorded


Business Value Led IT using VA

Business Model Strength Evaluator V1 content complete

Version 1 of Business Model Evaluator based upon Business Model Canvas (refer Business Model Generation, Alexander Osterwalder, et al) content complete.  Sent out to colleagues this morning for testing with Real Customers.  Version 2 in process which will add ecosystem analysis (e.g., P.E.S.T, etc.)


Business Model Evaluator V1

Business Design and Reengineering Workshop

Back to my nightly development project working on a Business Architecture Curriculum / Workshop.  Finished the outline several weeks ago.  Now I’m detailing out the slide decks, next will be the  examples and problem sets for students to work out.  Expect to have entire weeklong workshop packaged and ready to deliver by end of year.  Most likely I’ll hold the workshop in greater Eatonville area, so as to ensure students can focus on materials rather than be interrupted by calls from office.  Next thing to nail down will be pricing.  Wondering how much to charge per person, given I’ve seen less than 1/4 of thus type of content go for $10k per person.

Business Design Course Agenda

Most likely will include in the course will be all the tools I’ve developed (spreadsheets, templates, and course materials burned on a DVD) I’ve developed over the years to support the methodology.

Business Model Analysis

E.g., Business Model Analysis Tool


Organizational Design

This weekend I restarted efforts around organizational design dimension of business architecture. Its interesting to note that this is an area that most Enterprise and Business Architects do not address in their practice.  Perhaps as its been seen as non-technical and squishy, thus relegated to Human Resource Departments.  I think this is a tremendous oversight.  Both HR and Enterprise/ Business Architecture has a lot to gain from the synergies of working together.  EA/BA work is not all technology as it appears to be heading often.  This maybe due to the situation of EA/BA departments being rooted in IT organizations that are tasked with building out technology and see the others aspects (process, organization, economics, etc.) as a means to an end which Executives measure the IT organization on ( running back office software and fulfilling PC requests).

Organizational Design

About two years ago I started some R&D around the organizational design vector of Enterprise / Business Architecture, came across an excellent book by Burton, Obel & DeSanctis on the topic and started to translate the materials into a analytic tool in EXCEL.  As I come close to completing the Business Model Evaluator spreadsheet, I plan on restarting this effort and linking to the BMC and Portfolio Management work I continue with.

IT Asset Class Hierarchy cio workbench Logical Architecture

…and yes this was the original vision I had for Active Directory way back when during my first stint with Microsoft.   Looking back twenty years its hard to believe we’ve progressed so much and so little.  I thought by now CIO Workbench (aka Enterprise Portfolio Management) would be a reality now, but the state of the industry is still a cataloging system for applications and a separate accounting system for tracking IT expenses.   The Value/Benefits Management work done at IBM, DMR, and Microsoft still is used as sales aids more than a investment management tool.  Guess I’m going to have to get funding and build out the system myself.

Business Model Evaluator

After a long gap in posting, I’ve got a short minute or to but out a status.  Still working on my Business Design and Reengineering course in spare time.  This past week I got back to working the Business Model Evaluation spreadsheet in connection to the Enterprise Portfolio Management section of the book.  Below is an in process screenshot.  Expect to complete tool by Thanksgiving.

BMC Evaluator

Business and Dynamic Change: Digital Edition The Arrival of Business Architecture

Early Access: As our email subscriber, you’re getting this special Digital Edition launch discount offer 12 hours before the offer goes live on the book page. (Apologies if you got this twice, it means you are also on our Preferential list and we didn’t want you to miss this.)

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Business and Dynamic Change: Digital Edition The Arrival of Business Architecture

This is a uniquely relevant book on a topic that continually undergoes debate and redefinition. Within these pages you’ll find some of the most insightful perspectives on how businesses can design the means to create value. Each section contains an opinion and direction on how to use Business Architecture to its advance. What is different about this book than others is that it set about documenting the convergence of opinions that is being established.   – Brian K. Seitz, Principal Enterprise Architect, Microsoft.


Offer limited to first 199 downloads only!

Use discount code BDCL15 for additional 15% discount off the already-reduced price of $31.95.

Digital Edition (18mb, 251 pages) Digital BENEFITS: Enjoy immediate PDF download, live URLs, searchable text, graphics and charts in color. No shipping charges. Delivered in unzipped PDF; mobile device-friendly


About This Book

The chapters in this book are contributed by visionaries who see the need for business leaders to define their organizations to be agile and robust in the face of external changes. The goal is to build something knowing that it will be changed; so that you have no need to go back to the metaphorical drawing board for every market condition change.


In his Foreword, Keith Swenson asks you, “Consider what it means to say that the business will adapt in the face of external changes. The business architecture is not simply a model that specifies how to run the business for now and the next few years. The people making the architecture cannot know the pressures that will be faced. Instead, it must support leaders and executives within the organization to make consistently good decisions on how to adapt their practices. The architecture is not a plan that anticipates all the decisions; instead it embodies a set of core guiding principles that enable decision-making.”

Understand that the term “business” used this way is not limited to for-profit enterprises but includes all forms of organizations that have a strategic need to accomplish goals. Pragmatically speaking, business architecture is the conceptual understanding that people have on why particular choices were made in forming the organization in a particular way.

This book will help you understand your options and how to relate them to your own organization.

Who should read this book?

This book will stimulate thinking about a more complete approach to business architecture. As such, it is imperative reading for executives, managers, business analysts, and IT professionals that require an understanding of the structural relationships of the components of an enterprise.



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