New Ardoq Playbook: How Automated IT Governance Unlocks Value in EA

26 Jan 2024

by Cynthia Kristensen

Imagine if you could guarantee an up-to-date software application inventory  - and the details necessary for IT governance. Wouldn’t it be great if the mundane parts of Enterprise Architecture could be automated, leaving more time for value-adding activities? Let’s explore how this is possible with the right tools and techniques.

In this article, you will:

  • discover the benefits automation can bring to you
  • uncover ways IT governance can be automated
  • see a video about how the right software supports the process

Focus On Being Outcome-Driven

To deliver more value to the organization, Gartner suggests that Enterprise Architects move from a traditional technology and compliance focus to a business outcome-driven approach. EA teams should clearly identify specific business outcomes that will be achieved through Enterprise Architecture - and build step-by-step to deliver additional outcomes. 

In practice, this means talking to key stakeholders and clearly defining what questions they need answered rather than starting too broad and gathering lots of background data. If stakeholders aren’t good at communicating what they actually want, architects may need to act like detectives to clarify their meanings. 

Once the outcome is defined, it’s important to try to focus on the end result and not get caught up in details. It's easy to spend too much time deciding what should be modeled, how to define various concepts, where the information will come from, and the appropriate level of detail and granularity. There is not enough time to go around - especially when processes are tedious and manually intensive.

These time-intensive tasks include:

  • Collecting information– about organization structure, business processes, capabilities, software applications, infrastructure, etc.
  • Maintaining information when it goes out of date
  • Modeling and analyzing various scenarios
  • Creating roadmaps
  • Fetching and handcrafting presentations
  • Seeking approvals
  • Chasing decisions 

If these tasks take too long, stakeholders become impatient and wonder when they will see results. No matter how fast or intensive an EA team works, they often see that stakeholders don’t appreciate the value they bring to the organization. 

What can Enterprise Architects do to fix the problem?

Simplify IT Governance

One way Enterprise Architects can save time and deliver more value to a wider range of stakeholders is to automate the IT governance processes. Ardoq has a full range of features and functions in its platform that simplify IT governance. 

Automating governance shortens the time it takes to gather baseline data for modeling and analysis and makes the best use of resources.  

A continuous IT governance process includes four major components: 

  • Maintaining IT asset information
  • Maintaining business structure information
  • Assigning ownership and identifying applications without owners
  • Creating reports and enabling self-exploration of governance data

continuous IT governance process

 

In the first of Ardoq’s new process playbooks, ‘Automating Application Ownership’, we provide a step-by-step guide on automating the collection and maintenance of mandatory and optional information needed to satisfy governance and IT quality policies. 

This process helps Enterprise Architects overcome the common and time-consuming problems of manually updating application inventories and maintaining data accuracy. Automation makes it easier to spread the work of good IT governance across the organization, creating trust and improving efficiency simultaneously. 


See Our Playbook

By following the steps in the playbook, Ardoq’s platform can automatically send surveys and collect data about application ownership and application inventory.  This makes it easier for application owners to fulfill their responsibilities on time and with greater accuracy - benefiting the entire organization.

Some examples of information that can be collected with surveys includes: 

  • Application name
  • Hosting type
  • Service level
  • Lifecycle position
  • Known technical debt
  • Key users
  • Key subject matter experts
  • Business criticality
  • Contribution to products, services, processes & business capabilities

Ardoq automatically captures the survey data and any changes are automatically reflected in models, diagrams, analysis, and Ardoq Discover dashboard reports. If application owners aren’t assigned to an application or someone doesn’t complete the necessary forms, Ardoq triggers reminders or customized messages to the relevant people.

Key Benefits of Automation

Automating governance processes reduces tedious, manual work needed for IT governance and facilitates better, data-driven decision-making. As the quality of data increases, stakeholders can feel increasingly confident they are making valid decisions. 

Automation enables organizations to: 

      • Secure fundamental application ownership: Ensure applications are providing the best value for the business users
      • Free up valuable time: No longer rely on slow and expensive processes to capture application data
      • Improve data quality: Improve the quality of information that is governed
      • Scale more readily and speedily: No additional effort is needed even when the organization grows
      • Reduce risk: Increased visibility and ownership of applications makes it easier to assess and manage risk

Examples of Processes That Can Be Automated

Many key processes, in addition to the application ownership process, can be automated. Some examples include: 


  • Data Ownership - Support your data governance team by implementing a process that ensures all data entities in your data catalog have a business owner and that key compliance information is continuously maintained, reducing compliance risk and maximizing the value your organization gets from its data resources.
  • Risk Management - Ensure that risks are regularly identified and reviewed, owners allocated and made accountable, risk actions taken, controls and other treatments tracked, and reports distributed.
  • Strategy and Investment - Adopt a data-driven approach to the formulation of business and/or IT strategic priorities, objectives, and the prioritization of investment opportunities. Use Ardoq to engage key stakeholders, present them with up-to-date information, and ensure they are engaged and active in the strategy process.
  • Benefits Realization - Many organizations fail to track the benefits of key initiatives or projects. Use Ardoq to trigger a survey when initiatives or milestones are reached, and automatically gather quantitative and qualitative data to measure the initiative's success.

Next Steps

Automation can be incredibly empowering for Enterprise Architects, and there are many types of processes that can be automated. Our playbook focuses on application ownership specifically, but the same principles and functionality can be equally relevant to other processes, from data ownership, to risk and compliance. The flexibility of the Ardoq platform means that the only limit is your imagination. 

To learn more, contact your Customer Success Manager or get in touch with us.

More to Explore
Cynthia Kristensen Cynthia Kristensen Cynthia is a Product Marketing Manager at Ardoq and has over 20 years experience in senior marketing roles and management teams at B2B tech companies.
Ardoq Insights & Events

Subscribe to Ardoq's Newsletter

A monthly digest of the latest news, articles, and resources.