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IT architecture and strategy Cheat Sheet by

Revision of IT architecture and strategy
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COBIT features

Business orient­ation
COBIT Framework organizes IT governance objectives and good practices by IT domains and processes and link them to business requir­ements
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Links business goals to IT goals
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Uses metrics and maturity models to measure achiev­ement
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Respon­sib­ilities
Process sub domains (IT focus)
Process descri­ptions provide a reference process model and common language for everyone in an organi­sation
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Plan and Organize (plan)
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Acquire and Implement (build)
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Deliver and Support (run)
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Monitor and Evaluate (monitor)
The processes map to respon­sib­ility areas of plan, build, run, and monitor
Total 34 processes
Control object­ives
Provides a complete set of high-level requir­ements to be considered by management for effective control of each IT process
Mana­gement guidel­ines
Helps assign respon­sib­ility, agree on object­ives, measure perfor­mance, and illustrate interr­ela­tio­nship with other processes
Maturity models
Assesses maturity and capability per process and helps to address gaps
IT Governance = COBIT

What is COBIT?

Control Objectives for Inform­ation and Related Techno­log­ies
Good practice framework
First released in 1996
High level detail standard
By the Intern­ational profes­sional associ­ation ISACA
For IT management & IT governance
COBIT provides
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Implem­entable set of controls over inform­ation technology
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Organizes these controls around a logical framework of IT-related processes and enablers
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A set of generic processes for IT management
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Recomm­ended best practices for governance and control process
Process defini­tions include
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Inputs and outputs
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Key activities
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Objectives of the process
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Perfor­mance measures
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Maturity model

COBIT is an integrator

Acts as an umbrella framework
Aligns and harmonises other more detailed IT standards including:
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COSO
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ITIL
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BiSL
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ISO 27000
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CMMI
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TOGAF
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PMBOK
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Val IT 2.0 (COBIT 5)
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Risk IT frameworks (COBIT 5)
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ISACA's IT Assurance Framework (COBIT 5)
Links good practice models with governance and business requir­ements
Integrates these different guidance materials
Summarises key objectives of each
Help ensure regulatory compliance

COBIT benefits

Less wasteful inform­ation management
Improve retention schedules
Increase business agility
Lower costs
Better compliance with data retention and management regula­tions
The conseq­uences of not using COBIT are the opposite of these

Inform­ation and technology (IT) governance

IT governance is the respon­sib­ility of the board of directors and executive manage­ment. It is an integral part of enterprise governance and consists of the leadership and organi­sat­ional structures and processes that ensure that the organi­sat­ion’s IT sustains and extends the organi­zat­ion’s strategies and objectives
AS8015­-2005 Australian Standard for Corporate Governance of Inform­ation and Commun­ication Techno­logy. AS8015 was adopted as ISO/IEC 38500 in May 2008

Roles of a CIO

Business leader. CIO must make executive decisions regarding
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Purchase of IT equipment from suppliers
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Creation of new systems
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Workforce requir­ements
Gain a compet­itive advantage
Balance interests of employees
Map out the ICT strategy, covering:
-
Future proofing
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Procur­ement
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External standards
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Internal standards
Map out the ICT policy, covering:
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How ICT is utilized
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How ICT is applied
IT governance
Clarifying accoun­tab­ility
Clarifying the role of commitees
Manage systems and functions
Places great emphasis on internal customers
Focuses on technology applic­ations in the business and how this can be managed

How does an ERP support agility?

Integrated business processes are faster and more efficent
One central database with no duplic­ation of data reduces workload and potential for data errors
One single ‘view of the truth’ means faster more accurate decision making
Easy-t­o-use, powerful reporting across the whole suite (and therefore the whole organi­zation)
All applic­ations have same look-a­nd-feel across the whole system, making training and using the ERP very straig­htf­orward.
Facili­tates the flow of inform­ation between all business functions
Links to outside stakeh­olders (supplier and customer systems)
Key objective = bring together business functions to make operations run more effici­ently
Deliver real-time business intell­igence
Encourage business process improv­ements
Leverage mobile technology
Offer end-to-end automation
Utilise cloud archit­ecture and modular design
Example: Business intell­igence - previously senior leaders would have to wait days–s­ome­times weeks for analysts to process and present data. Common for these reports to have errors caused by manual data
extraction and manipu­lation. Within ERP fast and relevant data can be extracted from ERP database, and then manipu­lated as desired. everything is in the one place. Extraction and analyses functions are offered in a user-f­riendly way.
 

Knowledge management strategies

Codifi­cation
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Actively managing knowledge
-
Collecting and storing codified knowledge in electronic databases to make it accessible
-
Might be tacit or explicit knowledge
-
Also involves retrieving knowledge they need that other indivi­duals have provided
Person­ali­zation
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Encourages indivi­duals to share their knowledge directly
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Making knowledge requests of experts associated with a particular subject on an ad hoc basis
-
Expert indivi­duals provide insights to requestor
Inst­rum­ents
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Intent­ional knowledge sharing
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Stpryt­elling
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Cross-­project learning
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After action reviews
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Knowledge mapping (a map of knowledge reposi­tories within a company accessible by all)
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Commun­ities of practice
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Expert direct­ories (to enable knowledge seeker to reach to the experts)
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Expert Systems (knowledge seeker responds to one or more specific questions to reach knowledge in a reposi­tory)
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Best practice transfer
-
Knowledge fairs
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Competence management (syste­matic evaluation and planning of compet­ences of individual organi­sation members)
-
Proximity & archit­ecture (the physical situation of employees can be either conducive or obstru­ctive to knowledge sharing)
-
Master­-ap­pre­ntice relati­onship
-
Collab­orative software techno­logies (wikis, shared bookma­rking, blogs, social software, etc.)
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Knowledge reposi­tories
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Measuring and reporting intell­ectual capital
Comp­etative advant­ages
-
Making available increased knowledge content in the develo­pment and provision of products and services
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Achieving shorter new product develo­pment cycles
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Facili­tating and managing innovation and organi­sat­ional learning
-
Leveraging the expertise of people across the organi­sation
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Increasing network connec­tivity between internal and external indivi­duals
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Managing business enviro­nments and allowing employees to obtain relevant insights and ideas approp­riate to their work
-
Solving intrac­table or wicked problems
-
Managing intell­ectual capital and intell­ectual assets in the workforce (such as the expertise and know-how possessed by key indivi­duals or stored in reposi­tories)

Knowledge management techno­logies

Groupware
facilitate collab­oration and sharing of organi­zat­ional inform­ation
Workflow tools
Repres­ent­ation of processes associated with the creation, use, and mainte­nance of organi­zat­ional knowledge
Conten­t/D­ocument Management
Automate the process of creating web content and/or documents
Enterprise Portals
Web sites that aggregate inform­ation
eLearning
create customized training and education software
Scheduling and planning
Automate schedule creation and mainte­nance
Telepr­esence
Virtual "­fac­e-t­o-f­ace­" meetings without assembling at one locatio

Profession vs profes­sional

Prof­ess­ion
Discip­lined group of indivi­duals who adhere to ethical standards
Members possess special knowledge and skills
Utelise a recognised body of learning derived from research, education and training at a high level
Applies this knowledge and exercise these skills in the interest of others
Is recognised by the public as the above
Prof­ess­ional
A member of a profession
Governed by codes of ethics
Profess commitment to compet­ence, integrity and morality, altruism, and the promotion of the public good within their expert domain
Are accoun­table to those served and to society
Prof­ess­ion­alism
Personally held beliefs about one’s own conduct as a profes­sional
Often linked to the upholding of the princi­ples, laws, ethics and conven­tions of a profession as a way of practice

Management

Classical approach
based on the belief that employees have only economical and physical needs and that the social needs & need for job satisf­action either does not exist or are unimpo­rtant
Three catego­ries
Scientific
“one best way” to do a job
Admini­str­ative
focuses on the manager & basic managerial functions
Bureau­cratic
Guidelines for struct­uring with formal­isation of rules, procedures and a clear division of labour

Government inform­ation

Within liberal democr­acies there is the expect­ation that public inform­ation should be publicly available
Challenges
-
Definition of public sector inform­ation
-
Who owns public inform­ation
-
May impact economic and social value
-
Technology is shifting
-
Depends on citizens attitudes, attitudes change
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Uses
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Decisi­on-­making
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Informing the public of decisions
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Analysis of policy decisions
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Assessment of govern­ments, governance
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Social and economic reuse
There is a notion that all government inform­ation belongs to its citizens because it is derived through govern­mental processes and therefore should be freely accessible and re-useable by them/
Access to public inform­ation is considered of fundam­ental importance for the effective functi­oning of democratic systems, as it enhances govern­ments' and public officials' accoun­tab­ility
Benefits of access
accoun­tab­ility, partic­ipation and efficiency
 

Aligning IT and Business

Refers to using inform­ation technology (IT) effect­ively to achieve business objectives - typically improved financial perfor­mance or market­place compet­iti­veness
Goal is to improve the business value of IT invest­ments
Integrates the inform­ation technology to the strategy, mission, and goals of the organi­zation
Common business problems
IT and business profes­sionals gaps in:
-
Objectives
-
Culture
-
Incentives
-
Unders­tanding of the other group's body of knowledge
Gaps often result in expensive IT systems that do not provide adequate ROI
Six requir­ements to achieve IT/Bus­iness alignm­ent
1
View inform­ation technology as an instrument to transform the business.
2
Hold customer service, both externally and intern­ally, as priority. Commun­ication is key.
3
Rotate IT and business profes­sionals across different depart­ments and job functions. Knowledge, experi­ence, unders­tanding and commun­ication between functions must be achieved.
4
Provide clear and specific goals to both the IT and business employees. This will create an integr­ation of both entities to achieve a common goal.
5
Ensure that IT and business employees understand how the company makes or loses money. So that money is not carelessly poured into the IT department with no return on that investment
6
Create a vibrant and inclusive company culture. There must not only be inform­ational unity, but a company as whole.
Be careful
Business and IT profes­sionals often experience conflict and in-fig­hting as lack of mutual unders­tan­ding, failure to produce desired results leads to blaming and mistrust
Establish trust between these two groups and a mechanism for consensus decisi­on-­making

How to support evolving business needs

Ability to scale
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To meet growing customer demand
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Globally in compliance across subsid­iaries without scaling headcount
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Easily manage a distri­buted workforce
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Automate wherever possible to replace manual processes
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Infras­tru­cture that can flex with growth without complex integr­ations bogging it down
Responsive to
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Market dynamics
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Customers
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Ability to execute - outrun compet­itors
Is data driven
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Real-time visibility anytime, anywhere, across geogra­phies and subsid­iaries
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Maintains one version of 'the truth' or 'the facts' about customers, financials and compliance
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Growth as a science
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Culture of rapid testing to determine what works
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Intent­ionally generates data
Is Innovative
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Unders­tands customer needs
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Unders­tands customer pain points
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Is able to generate customer insights based on customer unders­tanding
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Able to bring multiple discip­lines together to design a unique solution and to differ­entiate itself from compet­itors

Leadership

A set of skills and attitudes for:
Influe­ncing
Motivating
Persuading
Stra­tegic leader­ship
Ability to antici­pate, envision, maintain flexib­ility and empower others to create strategic change as nessessary
Manage business on behalf of stakeh­olders
Provide direction
Formulate and implement change to corporate strategy
Monitor and control operations especially
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Financial results
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Produc­tivity
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Quality
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Customer service
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Innovation
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Technology
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New products and services
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Staff develo­pment
Leadership styles:
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Autocr­atic: punish and control
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Bureau­cratic: rules are enforced without challenge or questions
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Charis­matic: make people want to follow and believe
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Partic­ipa­tive: Everyone gets a say, leader gets final say
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People­cen­tric: Based on thoughts and actions, serve the people they serve
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Task/F­unc­tio­n/P­rocess: Do it exactly like this and it will work

What is an ERP?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows an organi­zation to use a system of integrated applic­ations to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to techno­logy, services and human resources
Suite of integrated applic­ations
Use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from many business activities
Activi­ties:
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product planning, purchase
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manufa­cturing or service delivery
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marketing and sales
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inventory management
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shipping and payment
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finance
An ERP software package generally includ­es:
Core functions
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Financial accounting
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Distri­bution
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Human Resources
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Product lifecycle management
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Advanced applic­ations
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Customer Relati­onship Management (CRM)
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Mobile applic­ation for account and sales management
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Warehouse Management System
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Supply chain management software
 
*
Purchasing
 
*
Manufa­cturing
 
*
Distri­bution

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