I think this item is on the money: http://www.baselinemag.com/c/a/Intelligence/Transforming-Data-Into-Information-849660/ [my comments inserted in square brackets]
"Transformation is an enterprise-wide activity, and the first step is to get a clear picture of the entire enterprise.
Most large organizations have used a variety of internal and external resources to document bits and pieces of the way they operate over time – organization charts, business plans, statements of policies and procedures, and the like. Many of these documents are of little value. They do not use commonly agreed-upon standards and terminology, are only partially complete, therefore they cannot be logically connected to formulate a cohesive picture. [So a common view of the Business context and Architecture is critical]
As a result, companies wrestle with a number of challenges:
- Prioritization hindered by competing business unit goals;
- Isolated process design resulting in loss of linkage to business objectives and unrealistic technology requirements;
- Overlapping business systems proliferating as a result of uncoordinated business units and mergers/acquisitions;
- Critical processes relying on temporary ad hoc “solutions” thrown together to meet immediate needs;
- Lack of asset reusability; difficulty communicating and defining standards;
- Difficulty keeping pace with technology change and vendor competencies;
- Enterprise architecture models that are too technical and detailed for anyone aside from those who designed them to understand and follow.
[- Projects are initiated with no clear explicit linkage back to the business context and with no ability to understand gaps and overlaps betweens the set of transformation initiatives]
For successful execution to be a remote possibility, an enduring transformation requires
... management framework that unites a company vertically – from the board room to the project team, as well as horizontally – across all divisions and including external partners and customers.
... strategic investment management, they have consistent processes for sponsoring, selecting and managing initiatives [So sound Business case development, based on the Business context and Business architecture is key].
... standardized means of structuring projects [and especially the key input to transformation initiatives such as projects i.e. the business requirements]
... ensuring that [transformation] are managed in accordance with enterprise standards.
... standards for determining the demand and the supply of resources—human, financial, fixed, and other—for future initiatives.
For these organizations, data has become information, which is managed effectively across the enterprise and used as the basis to make decisions accordingly. And, in large measure, this information is available through and managed in an integrated, enterprise-wide automated system that facilitates decision-making. These organizations understand both the specific strengths and the limitations of point solutions, and they have created management dashboards and other tools to make decision-making and management consistent. [This enterprise wide system contains their business context, business strategy, business architecture, business transformation initiatives and the associated requirements, the existing assets (including technologies) and views of new assets to be aquired). The systems isn't however focused on the detailed engineering of the technology assets (any more that it is focused on the detailed engineer of cars, building or other technologies).]
Now engaged in continuous process optimization: they learn, adapt, implement, and improve, in an ongoing cycle ... They conduct fully data-driven decision-making enabled by a consistent, coordinated, and integrated use of automation. Every professional has an appropriate level of access to enterprise-wide information, analysis, and management tools, and the enterprise makes this uniform, data-driven model fundamental to its way of doing business. [That is to say this critical information is just held within provence of a few strategists or architects]
“Every piece of business strategy acquires its true significance only against the background of that process and within the situation created by it.” .. the reality is those same principles and a transformative set of repeatable processes are what’s needed to build strong, healthier companies..."
Most large organizations have used a variety of internal and external resources to document bits and pieces of the way they operate over time – organization charts, business plans, statements of policies and procedures, and the like. Many of these documents are of little value. They do not use commonly agreed-upon standards and terminology, and are only partially complete. Therefore, they cannot be logically connected to formulate a cohesive picture.