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Enabling Enterprise Agility with Coforge’s Office of Enterprise Architecture

 

As the rapid rise of the pandemic demonstrated in early 2020, a company’s ability to react and respond to the changing business environment is a critical capability. Even prior to the pandemic, a NelsonHall survey of ~1k IT service buyers showed ~60% placing high importance on increasing the agility of existing core productions applications. Companies are looking for agility in not just their technical foundation that lets them pivot to, for example, a distributed work model overnight or launch new products and services rapidly, but they are also looking for agility in their IT service cost models. Applying the variable cost structures of cloud to other services enables greater alignment of IT service costs to the business environment.

Coforge is positioning on its ability to deliver this agility to clients with a set of offerings being launched in 2021 that aim to simplify enterprise architecture. An umbrella offering it calls Architecture as a Service is comprised of three pre-packaged, composable offerings that become the foundation for a client to build an Office of Enterprise Architecture. Building this centralized business function ensures that decisions are made which align to overall business objectives and in a structured manner that ensures that individual decisions are consistent with the broader technical landscape strategy.

Coforge has developed three offerings which support this approach:

  • Office of Enterprise Architecture (EAO): Coforge provides clients with a set of tools and processes for governance, including architecture review boards, and a dedicated staff to execute project reviews. The model is intended to be flexible to align the Coforge team to the specifics of the team required; for example, bringing niche specialists in blockchain or quantum computing to help facilitate specific proof of concept projects
  • EAO + Enterprise Strategy Planning platform (ESP): Coforge’s EAO offering is supplemented by its enterprise strategy planning platform which provides a centralized management platform that aligns technology and business capabilities with business unit strategic objectives. See below for more details on ESP
  • EAO + ESP + Digital Foundry: Coforge has a network of Digital Foundry studios, which offer a portfolio of assets and accelerators across areas including data, integration, AI and automation within a dedicated space that clients can leverage for design thinking, ideation sessions and hackathons. In essence, Coforge can provide an innovation center on demand for clients as well as point specialist talent. Coforge currently has physical studios in New Jersey, London and Noida, India and can provide access to assets in a virtual studio environment as necessary.

Coforge is looking to enable clients to build a customizable set of services based on their unique requirements. With a foundation of EAO services, clients can add recurring subscription services such as strategic planning, KPI management and reporting, as well as on-demand point capabilities including program architects, innovation pilots and design thinking delivery.

Coforge has a defined three-month initiation phase to kick off these engagements, starting with a startup and discovery phase to analyze existing processes, the technical landscape, business objectives, and gather KPIs and documents. It then works with the client in a collaborative model to develop the to-be model encompassing communication protocols, the architecture review board, operational cadence, decision methodology, and deployment roadmap.

In part, value is driven by structuring the enterprise architecture office to better align it to the objectives of individual business groups through the engagement of all stakeholders in the implementation process. This allows stakeholders to both provide their input as the future model is defined but also get better visibility into how the office operates.

ESP

Implementing ESP in addition to the EAO provides clients with a technical cockpit to provide common visibility and alignment across the organization. In particular, ESP provides visibility to enterprise strategy and its alignment to business units, processes and enabling technologies.   

The cloud-based proprietary offering captures details of the existing landscape as well as proposed initiatives for assessment. Once the current state is modeled, the enterprise model can be replicated and used to model transformational initiatives, revealing dependencies and how these changes will impact the enterprise.

It will ultimately encompass capabilities to capture and manage four key areas of data for use in assessing the alignment of initiatives:

  • Architecture models: designs, business processes, data and orchestration workflows as well as CMDB and helpdesk data
  • Project execution data: project execution metrics, testing and rework and SDLC throughput as well as the associated budget, ROI and timeline
  • Strategic planning: capturing objectives, priorities and target delivery dates
  • Operations: alignment to business functions including finance, sales, GRC as well as comparison to the broader market.

In phase two of a client deployment, after the completion of the implementation and stabilization phase, ESP enables the automated capture and reporting of KPIs by pulling data from ERP or CRM systems. Coforge uses this data to develop industry-specific KPIs based on their experience and broader market perspective.

It is also proactively developing integrators to common packaged software products. Its first connectors to ServiceNow have been developed.

Coforge is also looking to minimize client lock-in. ESP is hosted on Azure, and Coforge has defined the services to be left behind at a logical transition point back to client personnel, if necessary.

Rollout and Roadmap

The rollout plan in 2021 for the components of ESP includes:

  • Q1, launch of the strategy and planning components. Industry-specific accelerators and KPIs for insurance
  • Q2, integration capabilities for other systems (such as ServiceNow) and embedding the use of market data in defining KPIs. Expansion of target sectors to BFS
  • Q3, augmenting core cockpit capabilities with collaboration and AI capabilities. Addition of healthcare as a target sector
  • Q4, adding adaptors to enable integration with ERP platforms. Expansion of target sectors to travel, transportation & hospitality.

Once rollout is complete, Coforge is looking for its EAO and EPS to be a fundamental capability in driving clients’ digital transformation initiatives, minimizing the risk of failure in achieving their objectives through the active management and tracking of such initiatives relative to their strategic intent, and also embedding agility into the foundation of the organization.

Maintaining alignment between the IT function and business units has become increasingly imperative. Coforge highlights EAO and EPS as a connective tissue ensuring that technology and architecture plans act as enablers, not inhibitors, for realizing business objectives.

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