The IT organization was tasked with increasing capacity so that Skandia could build multiple systems to support business growth and enter new markets, as well as reduce risk, increase the certainty of delivery, and lower costs (the latter through the use of offshore partners).
The existing systems were legacy -- green-screen based and difficult to change. Delivery lacked robust controls and IT was perceived as lacking innovation, expertise, and direction. The tasks were enormous: outsource IT, create a new organization to direct and govern the supplier, rebuild relationships with the business, define a business-aligned technology strategy and roadmap -- and deliver it within a two-year period. All on top of incorporating and enhancing a major platform acquired through the company's merger with Old Mutual.
To guide this transformation, Skandia management created the "Darwin Programme," an enterprise architecture initiative that brought together business and IT leaders. The initiative engaged business units across the United Kingdom and other countries to define and govern a series of system roadmaps. The roadmaps were created jointly by business subject matter experts, business architects, and analysts, as well as the architects in the EA practice who led the definition.
All domain architectures and roadmaps are approved at the Darwin Board and are refreshed regularly to show progress. The new working model and governance has become embedded into the fabric of the company and is considered business as usual -- in fact, it's common for team members to co-locate with business stakeholders, which has solidified the relationship with the business side and ensured adherence to enterprise standards.
Skandia has incorporated hard and soft measures to monitor its EA journey. These include the savings accrued from the reuse inherent in the company's SOA implementation (currently greater than £500,000 in the first year alone) and the level of adherence to the roadmaps and governance process (currently more than 90 percent of total IT spent). Softer measures include the level of satisfaction of Skandia IT's business customers, which has improved to the point where they now actively promote their collaboration with IT. The EA function has changed the perception of IT from "business blocker" to an enabler of better solutions.
"This initiative demonstrates a clear road towards closer business-IT alignment, sought after by many large companies," said Jan-Paul Buijs, a judge for the Enterprise Architecture Awards. "It shows the combined effect of a strong multidisciplinary vision and approach, true IT craftsmanship, innovation focus, delivery power, and a very proactive, hands-on approach."
At Wells Fargo, technology alone does not create competitive advantage. What's more important to the company is the creativity and speed with which technology benefits the customer. Wells Fargo also recognizes that business and technology capabilities will continue to change over time. The company will need to adapt to those changes in order to sustain superior service delivery.
Established in 2004, the Living Target Architecture (LTA) is one way Wells Fargo's EA group helps ensure the company adapts to business and technology changes. LTA is defined as a set of key deliverables for the Wells Fargo Architecture Program. It clearly describes the target architecture of a business system, line of business, division, enterprise, or technology solution within the company. The LTA is comprised of key technology and architecture information necessary to describe the target model and specific business objectives this target expects to achieve within a given timeframe.