If you are new to this debate you might want to join EA Connections, chaired by Steve Melville who penned the following words….
Your value proposition sets expectations with potential customers. The more compelling your value proposition, the larger the pool of potentially interested customers and the fewer competitors that can match it. So, the goal is to create product and service offerings that set expectations that more customers find compelling and few competitors can match. In so doing, you have re-set the bar for customer expectations within your market and created the foundation for your organization’s success.
But here’s the catch… you have to deliver against those expectations. One failure and you begin to lose your customer’s trust. You lower their expectations with your actions, regardless of your lofty initial promises of value. And, with the explosion of social networking, blogs, 24 hour news channels, online reviews, etc., any failure to deliver against expectations, gets broadcast pretty quickly. Ask BP or Toyota what happens when you fail to meet customer expectations of safety.
So… to match the high expectations of your value proposition, the delivery processes of your organization need to consistently meet those expectations. And it is in the design and deployment of those delivery processes that the critical dependency on EA surfaces. For, in the 21st Century, such processes are heavily dependent on technology:
eCommerce and online support sites, mobile applications, ERP systems, RDBMS, SOA, SANs, etc. And not just some delivery processes, Outside-In companies recognize that the entire enterprise needs to be focused on delivering successful customer outcomes.
So the challenge becomes to align all of the process, application, information and technology resources across the entire enterprise to deliver successful customer outcomes in order to support higher and higher customer expectations. And alignment is the sweet spot of enterprise architecture. EA is the right fit because both its sweep (across the entireenterprise) and its scope (processes, information, application, and the technology that supports them) match the demands of the Operational Framework Layer of the Outside-In enterprise.