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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

The GODS generic business map

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What is and why would we need a reference business map? 

For the purpose of this, a business map is the functional organisation of an enterprise while a reference business map is a business map that is generic enough to apply to most industries.  

At the beginning of the 80s, Michael Porter suggested that in any Enterprise there are two categories of activities:

·      Primary, which are the operational processes that deliver the product, such as Inbound Logistics, Manufacturing, Outbound Logistics, Sales...

·     Support activities that are all other supporting activities, as, for example, Human Resources, technology development, procurement, etc.

But, in a world that spins faster and faster, while technology changes exponentially pushing the digital transformation on everyone's list, the enterprise development activities are worth a separate category for themselves, the Development one. Enterprise functions such as strategy and business development, new products and capabilities development, R&D, digital office... that ensure the competitive edge of the Enterprise and its continuity, are in this Development category.

More and more activities are outsourceable and outsourced nowadays. Even Operations, the Primary core activity, is outsourced today. That is, someone else does the manufacturing for you. A different company may do the development work. And other firms may do HR, Finance etc. The only part that stays with the Enterprise today is the Governance, the function coordinates all other activities and ultimately identifies the company. 

But even when everything else is, the  Governance function may not be outsourced. The nimble enterprises of today may only consist of this Governance function that coordinates all other activities, outsourced for that matter.

GODS stands for the following top level enterprise functions:

·      Governance - the function that coordinates all other. Consisting of forums, roles, policies...

·      Operations - primary activities in Porter such as sourcing, manufacturing. distribution...

·      Development - new capability and product development, new business development, strategy...

·      Support - HR, IT, Finance, Regulatory, Sourcing, Procurement...

Each of the GODS functions consists of lower level business functions. The Operations function, for example, can be further described by such activities as

·      Research market and Plan

·      Make Products/Deliver

·      Sell and Service

Here is the resulting GODS high level enterprise reference canvas, or business reference map, a model that customised, would help you structure your enterprise and the description of it to support the enterprise evolution process.

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Adrian Grigoriu blogs about everything relating to enterprise and business architecture, SOA, frameworks, design, planning, execution, organization and related issues.

Adrian Grigoriu

Adrian is an executive consultant in enterprise architecture, former head of enterprise architecture at Ofcom, the spectrum and broadcasting U.K. regulatory agency and chief architect at TM Forum, an organization providing a reference integrated business architecture framework, best practices and standards for the telecommunications and digital media industries. He also was a high technology, enterprise architecture and strategy senior manager at Accenture and Vodafone, and a principal consultant and lead architect at Qantas, Logica, Lucent Bell Labs and Nokia. He is the author of two books on enterprise architecture development available on Kindle and published articles with BPTrends, the Microsoft Architecture Journal and the EI magazine. Shortlisted by Computer Weekly for the IT Industry blogger of the year 2011.

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