One of the most exciting rising trends that Gartner has identified in the newly published Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture, 2021 is DigitalOps, a term that describes how people and systems work together to execute business operations. Practicing DigitalOps means discovering, modeling, analyzing, combining, extending, and optimizing business processes in a way that drives continuous performance improvement. The Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture, 2021 reports that DigitalOps will provide a transformational benefit to organizations within the next five to 10 years.
What sets DigitalOps apart from simple business automation is its model-driven nature. DigitalOps focuses on uncovering patterns in business processes, decisions, and events, and finding ways to model those patterns in reusable components instead of custom-built code. Reusability is the key to scaling digital business operations. The Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture, 2021 states:
“With digitalization, enterprises are usually still constrained by the need for knowledge workers to deliver key elements of organizational products and services. The model-driven nature of DigitalOps enables businesses to scale their operations, despite scarce knowledge worker resources.”
The Connection Between DigitalOps and Enterprise Architecture
As digital transformation has become critical for organizations across industries, the discipline of enterprise architecture (EA) has grown and changed. In the past, an enterprise architect might have been limited to IT or software engineering tasks; today, their work touches every aspect of the digital business.
This change in EA has only been accelerated by COVID-19. According to the Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture, 2021:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced every organization to consider new technologies to deliver their business outcomes, highlighting additional use cases for the EA function to deliver value outside of the IT estate management and IT process improvement. The new focal point for many is business architecture and innovation management.”
DigitalOps is a natural progression of the EA function because enterprise architects have the skillset required to assess the organization’s approach to business processes and decisions and redesign that approach with reusability as a top priority. They also have the technical knowledge to evaluate and recommend software tools that will help the organization automate processes and decisions at scale.
How to Succeed with DigitalOps
EA and technology innovation leaders have many opportunities to lead organizations to success with DigitalOps. They can help executives understand the benefits of a model-driven approach to digital business operations, especially when it comes to scaling customer interactions. They can collaborate with product development teams to design reusable components for common business capabilities. And EA is in an excellent position to provide governance over processes, decision models, shared components, and configurations as they evolve over time.
Gartner, Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture, 2021, Philip Allega, 6 August 2021
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