Business Architecture Software Purchase Timing
Business Architecture software purchase is a big decision and not to be taken lightly. Several factors drive the business architecture software purchase decision – feature set, business architecture components supported, ease of use, deployment models and of course cost. All the aforementioned selection criteria for subscribing to a business architecture software are pertinent and valid. However, in this post let’s address the issue of timing. When is the right time to license/subscribe to a business architecture software too?
Business Architecture Software Purchase Timing:
A classic question about the timing is before or after? That is before you start your business architecture work or after you completed at least a majority of the work? There is no perfect answer, and as always it depends on the specific situation of the enterprise.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of before and after timing and associated risks and rewards.
Before commencing the enterprise business architecture journey:
Pros and Cons:
- The business architecture software platform, with a set of features, best practices and workflows can guide the business architecture and capability modeling efforts.
- From day one there is a repository for collaboration, sharing the artifacts, and ability to leverage the contents and deliverables to drive desired outcomes
- Avoids the pain of using general purpose productivity programs – word processing, spreadsheets, presentation applications, and diagramming tools – and then re-entering the information into a software tool.
- It is difficult to choose which business architecture software to pick without experiencing the initial steps. Without the experience, it is difficult to know what you are solving for and what are the most important features to look into.
- Convincing the powers-that-be that a tool is necessary before substantial work has been done and some benefits have accrued a typically a tough sell. The perception will be that one is putting the cart before the horse. Spending money based on a promise, rather than realized benefits, even if they are quick wins, is not easy.
- It is also a bit challenging to find what business architecture tool is right for you, without knowing the ropes.
- Last but not the least, you may be stuck with a significant sunk cost, if either you abandon the business architecture efforts, or if the tool is not a perfect fit for your enterprise.
Convincing the powers-that-be that a tool is necessary before substantial work has been done and some benefits have accrued a typically a tough sell.
After the completion of the business architecture artifacts and deliverables:
Pros and Cons:
- Once you have gone thru at least a cycle or two, you will have a better idea of the value of business architecture per se, and then the value of a tool to drive the work.
- You will know what features and functions are essential for you, what business architecture components are you using, and what are the critical issues you are trying to solve for.
- Once the business architecture is reasonably baked and the linkages with the other areas, such as enterprise architecture and project execution, are well known, then you will understand what integrations and interfaces may be necessary, and what is the appropriate system of record for which entity.
- If you can show value, then seeking to fund a business architecture repository will be a bit easy. (However, the corollary to this argument is if you are not able to show the value because the artifacts are not easily customizable and leverageable, then proving value becomes a challenge.)
- The development of content and deliverables takes longer, and it is hard to share, maintain, and extend the content without a tool. Hence, the business architecture efforts may communicate a (mis)perception that it is a bunch of boxes and arrows on a piece of paper that takes too long and too much in the ivory tower.
All in all, a tough and touchy decision. If you want need assistance in making the business architecture software purchase decision – whether it is building a business case or advice about timing – please contact Capstera consulting services.
Please also consider some of the following products from Capstera.