- Technology road map
- Reference architecture road map
- Utility/capability road map
American Express's reference architectures have enabled business solution delivery teams to bring products and services to market faster by reducing infrastructure procurement and provisioning from months to a matter of days and, in some instances, hours. The use of reference architectures has resulted in fewer service outages, increased standardization of infrastructure, improved mean time to repair, and a dramatic decrease in support costs. Converged architectures based on reference architectures meant that the first quarter of 2011 had the fewest problem tickets in American Express's IT history.
During the next 12 to 18 months, American Express is extending its road map coverage to encompass the rationalization of business capabilities and the maturing of SOA. Within the next few years, American Express plans to develop new reference architectures mapped to business-aligned capabilities, along with a new taxonomy to align EA and IT services with business needs.
With 55,000 employees spread around the world and a rich history of mergers and acquisitions, Bayer Healthcare is a big, complex organization. In 2009, it launched its Enterprise Architecture Management program with the creation of a global, Web-based Standards Management Platform that today serves the entire Bayer group.
Bayer's program is designed to act as a "knowledge bridge" between business operations and IT. Business and IT objectives include:
- Increase business agility through optimization, simplification, and consolidation of processes
- Drive value from existing platforms, increasing cost efficiency
- Support lifecycle management of IT assets in a rapidly changing business environment
- Improve process and system knowledge for better future-state planning
- Increase the efficiency of merger, acquisition, and divestiture business processes
- Unify business and technology decision-making across the enterprise
In 2010, the team began an aggressive program to optimize their application portfolio. One of the deliverables from the project was a complete application repository, the Bayer Application Portfolio Portal, which would include all related processes. The biggest challenge Bayer faced was data input and management. In the past, data had been collected using surveys sent to various regions, which were difficult to reconcile and keep current. The team set a goal to liberate the data from many repositories around the globe and unify it in a single, consolidated repository.
The online portal is available to all IT and business managers across the company. Users can log in at any time to find an application and its related process data. The repository builds in application lifecycle management and proposals for specific activities, such as migration, integration, toleration, and elimination.
The repository includes assessments from business, technology, and financial perspectives and identifies application gaps, overlaps, and improvement opportunities. Applications are inventoried and registered against key metrics, and data integrity is maintained through an ongoing data stewardship program. Of particular importance was the need to build in strong collaboration tools, so business owners and IT could more easily share and discuss change scenarios. To facilitate this, reports and visualizations can be generated directly from the portal. For instance, the Application Technology Risk Summary Heat Map uses color to illuminate specific application risk areas to drive rapid and early problem mitigation.