erwin Expert Blog Data Governance Enterprise Architecture Data Intelligence

Integrating Data Governance and Enterprise Architecture

Aligning these practices for regulatory compliance and other benefits

Why should you integrate data governance (DG) and enterprise architecture (EA)? It’s time to think about EA beyond IT.

Two of the biggest challenges in creating a successful enterprise architecture initiative are: collecting accurate information on application ecosystems and maintaining the information as application ecosystems change.

Data governance provides time-sensitive, current-state architecture information with a high level of quality. It documents your data assets from end to end for business understanding and clear data lineage with traceability.

In the context of EA, data governance helps you understand what information you have; where it came from; if it’s secure; who’s accountable for it; who accessed it and in which systems and applications it’s located and moves between.

You can collect complete application ecosystem information; objectively identify connections/interfaces between applications, using data; provide accurate compliance assessments; and quickly identify security risks and other issues.

Data governance and EA also provide many of the same benefits of enterprise architecture or business process modeling projects: reducing risk, optimizing operations, and increasing the use of trusted data.

To better understand and align data governance and enterprise architecture, let’s look at data at rest and data in motion and why they both have to be documented.

  1. Documenting data at rest involves looking at where data is stored, such as in databases, data lakes, data warehouses and flat files. You must capture all of this information from the columns, fields and tables – and all the data overlaid on top of that. This means understanding not just the technical aspects of a data asset but also how the business uses that data asset.
  2. Documenting data in motion looks at how data flows between source and target systems and not just the data flows themselves but also how those data flows are structured in terms of metadata. We have to document how our systems interact, including the logical and physical data assets that flow into, out of and between them.

data governance and enterprise architecture

Automating Data Governance and Enterprise Architecture

If you have a data governance program and tooling in place, you’re able to document a lot of information that enterprise architects and process modelers usually spend months, if not years, collecting and keeping up to date.

So within a data governance repository, you’re capturing systems, environments, databases and data — both logical and physical. You’re also collecting information about how those systems are interconnected.

With all this information about the data landscape and the systems that use and store it, you’re automatically collecting your organization’s application architecture. Therefore you can drastically reduce the time to achieving value because your enterprise architecture will always be up to date because you’re managing the associated data properly.

If your organization also has an enterprise architecture practice and tooling, you can automate the current-state architecture, which is arguably the most expensive and time-intensive aspect of enterprise architecture to have at your fingertips.

In erwin’s 2020 State of Data Governance and Automation report, close to 70 percent of respondents said they spend an average of 10 or more hours per week on data-related activities, and most of that time is spent searching for and preparing data.

At the same time, it’s also critical to answer the executives’ questions. You can’t do impact analysis if you don’t understand the current-state architecture, and it’s not going to be delivered quick enough if it isn’t documented.

Data Governance and Enterprise Architecture for Regulatory Compliance

First and foremost, we can start to document the application inventory automatically because we are scanning systems and understanding the architecture itself. When you pre-populate your interface inventory, application lineage and data flows, you see clear-cut dependencies.

That makes regulatory compliance a fantastic use case for both data governance and EA. You can factor this use case into process and application architecture diagrams, looking at where this type of data goes and what sort of systems in touches.

With that information, you can start to classify information for such regulations as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or any type of compliance data for an up-to-date regulatory compliance repository. Then all this information flows into processing controls and will ultimately deliver real-time, true impact analysis and traceability.

erwin for Data Governance and Enterprise Architecture

Using data governance and enterprise architecture in tandem will give you a data-driven architecture, reducing time to value and show true results to your executives.

You can better manage risk because of real-time data coming into the EA space. You can react quicker, answering questions for stakeholders that will ultimately drive business transformation. And you can reinforce the value of your role as an enterprise architect.

erwin Evolve is a full-featured, configurable set of enterprise architecture and business process modeling and analysis tools. It integrates with erwin’s data governance software, the erwin Data Intelligence Suite.

With these unified capabilities, every enterprise stakeholder – enterprise architect, business analyst, developer, chief data officer, risk manager, and CEO – can discover, understand, govern and socialize data assets to realize greater value while mitigating data-related risks.

You can start a free trial of erwin Evolve here.

Enterprise architecture review

erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture: Secrets to Success

For enterprise architecture, success is often contingent on having clearly defined business goals. This is especially true in modern enterprise architecture, where value-adding initiatives are favoured over strictly “foundational,” “keeping the lights on,” type duties.

But what does enterprise architecture success look like?

Enterprise architecture is central to managing change and addressing key issues facing organizations. Today, enterprises are trying to grow and innovate – while cutting costs and managing compliance – in the midst of a global pandemic.

Executives are beginning to turn more to enterprise architects to help quickly answer questions and do proper planning around a number of key issues. The good news is that this is how enterprise architects stay relevant, and why enterprise architect salaries are so competitive.

Here are some of the issues and questions being raised:

  • Growth: How do we define growth strategies (e.g., M&A, new markets, products and businesses)
  • Emerging Markets: What opportunities align to our business (e.g., managing risk vs ROI and emerging countries)?
  • Technology Disruption: How do we focus on innovation while leveraging existing technology, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud and robotics?
  • Customer Engagement: How can we better engage with customers including brand, loyalty, customer acquisition and product strategy?
  • Compliance and Legislation: How do we manage uncertainty around legislative change (e.g., data protection, personal and sensitive data, tax issues and sustainability/carbon emissions)?
  • Data Overload: How do we find and convert the right data to knowledge (e.g., big data, analytics and insights)?
  • Global Operations: How do we make global operations decisions (e.g., operating strategy, global business services and shared services)?
  • Cost Reduction: What can we do to reduce costs while not impacting the business (e.g., balance growth goals with cost reduction, forecast resources needs vs. revenue)?
  • Talent and Human Capital: How do we retain, empower and manage employees and contractors (e.g., learning and development, acquisition and retention, talent development)

Enterprise architecture

Undeniable Enterprise Architecture Truths & the Secrets to Success

As enterprise architects, we need to overcome certain undeniable truths to better serve our organizations:

  1. Management does not always rely on EA to make critical decisions: They often hire consultants to come in for six months to make recommendations.
  2. Today’s enterprises need to be agile to react quickly: Things change fast in our current landscape. Taking months to perform impact analysis and solution design is no longer viable, and data has to be agile.
  3. Enterprise architecture is about more than IT: EA lives within IT and focuses on IT. As a result it loses its business dimension and support.

What can enterprise architects do to be more successful?

First and foremost, we need to build trust in the information we hold within our repositories. That has been challenging because it takes so long to collect and keep relevant and that means our analyses aren’t always accurate and up to date.

With more governance around the information and processes we use to document that information, we can produce more accurate and robust analyses for a true “as-is” view of the entire organization for better decision-making.

Next, we need to close the information gap between enterprise architecture functions that fail to provide real value to their stakeholders. We also need to reduce the cost of curating and governing information within our repositories.

Taking a business-outcome-driven enterprise architecture approach will enhance the value of enterprise architecture. Effective EA is about smarter decision-making, enabling management to make decisions more quickly because they have access to the right information in the right format at the right time.

Taking a business-outcome approach means enterprise architects should:

  • Understand who will benefit the most from enterprise architecture. While many stakeholders sit within the IT organization, business and C-level stakeholders should be able to gain the most.
  • Understand your leadership’s objectives and pain points, and then help them express them in clear business-outcomes. This will take time and skill, as many business users simply ask for system changes without clearly stating their actual objectives.
  • Review your current EA efforts and tooling. Question whether you are providing or managing data the business does not need, whether you are working too deeply in areas that may not be adding value, or whether you have your vital architecture data spread across too many disconnected tools.

Why erwin for Enterprise Architecture?

erwin has a proven track record supporting enterprise architecture initiatives in large, global enterprises in highly regulated environments, such as critical infrastructure, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

Whether documenting systems and technology, designing processes and critical value streams, or managing innovation and change, erwin Evolve will help you turn your EA artifacts into insights for better decisions. And the platform also supports business process modeling and analysis. Click here for a free trial of erwin Evolve.