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IT architecture and strategy Cheat Sheet by

Revision of IT architecture and strategy

COBIT features

Business orient­ation
COBIT Framework organizes IT governance objectives and good practices by IT domains and processes and link them to business requir­ements
Links business goals to IT goals
Uses metrics and maturity models to measure achiev­ement
Process sub domains (IT focus)
Process descri­ptions provide a reference process model and common language for everyone in an organi­sation
Plan and Organize (plan)
Acquire and Implement (build)
Deliver and Support (run)
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
Implem­entable set of controls over inform­ation technology
Organizes these controls around a logical framework of IT-related processes and enablers
A set of generic processes for IT management
Recomm­ended best practices for governance and control process
Process defini­tions include
Inputs and outputs
Key activities
Objectives of the process
Perfor­mance measures
Maturity model

COBIT is an integrator

Acts as an umbrella framework
Aligns and harmonises other more detailed IT standards including:
ISO 27000
Val IT 2.0 (COBIT 5)
Risk IT frameworks (COBIT 5)
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
Purchase of IT equipment from suppliers
Creation of new systems
Workforce requir­ements
Gain a compet­itive advantage
Balance interests of employees
Map out the ICT strategy, covering:
Future proofing
External standards
Internal standards
Map out the ICT policy, covering:
How ICT is utilized
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

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
Encourages indivi­duals to share their knowledge directly
Making knowledge requests of experts associated with a particular subject on an ad hoc basis
Expert indivi­duals provide insights to requestor
Intent­ional knowledge sharing
Cross-­project learning
After action reviews
Knowledge mapping (a map of knowledge reposi­tories within a company accessible by all)
Commun­ities of practice
Expert direct­ories (to enable knowledge seeker to reach to the experts)
Expert Systems (knowledge seeker responds to one or more specific questions to reach knowledge in a reposi­tory)
Best practice transfer
Knowledge fairs
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.)
Knowledge reposi­tories
Measuring and reporting intell­ectual capital
Compet­ative advantages
Making available increased knowledge content in the develo­pment and provision of products and services
Achieving shorter new product develo­pment cycles
Facili­tating and managing innovation and organi­sat­ional learning
Leveraging the expertise of people across the organi­sation
Increasing network connec­tivity between internal and external indivi­duals
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

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
create customized training and education software
Scheduling and planning
Automate schedule creation and mainte­nance
Virtual "­fac­e-t­o-f­ace­" meetings without assembling at one locatio

Profession vs profes­sional

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
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
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


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
“one best way” to do a job
focuses on the manager & basic managerial functions
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
Definition of public sector inform­ation
Who owns public inform­ation
May impact economic and social value
Technology is shifting
Depends on citizens attitudes, attitudes change
Informing the public of decisions
Analysis of policy decisions
Assessment of govern­ments, governance
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:
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
View inform­ation technology as an instrument to transform the business.
Hold customer service, both externally and intern­ally, as priority. Commun­ication is key.
Rotate IT and business profes­sionals across different depart­ments and job functions. Knowledge, experi­ence, unders­tanding and commun­ication between functions must be achieved.
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.
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
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
To meet growing customer demand
Globally in compliance across subsid­iaries without scaling headcount
Easily manage a distri­buted workforce
Automate wherever possible to replace manual processes
Infras­tru­cture that can flex with growth without complex integr­ations bogging it down
Responsive to
Market dynamics
Ability to execute - outrun compet­itors
Is data driven
Real-time visibility anytime, anywhere, across geogra­phies and subsid­iaries
Maintains one version of 'the truth' or 'the facts' about customers, financials and compliance
Growth as a science
Culture of rapid testing to determine what works
Intent­ionally generates data
Is Innovative
Unders­tands customer needs
Unders­tands customer pain points
Is able to generate customer insights based on customer unders­tanding
Able to bring multiple discip­lines together to design a unique solution and to differ­entiate itself from compet­itors


A set of skills and attitudes for:
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
Financial results
Customer service
New products and services
Staff develo­pment
Leadership styles:
Autocr­atic: punish and control
Bureau­cratic: rules are enforced without challenge or questions
Charis­matic: make people want to follow and believe
Partic­ipa­tive: Everyone gets a say, leader gets final say
People­cen­tric: Based on thoughts and actions, serve the people they serve
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
product planning, purchase
manufa­cturing or service delivery
marketing and sales
inventory management
shipping and payment
An ERP software package generally includes:
Core functions
Financial accounting
Human Resources
Product lifecycle management
Advanced applic­ations
Customer Relati­onship Management (CRM)
Mobile applic­ation for account and sales management
Warehouse Management System
Supply chain management software


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