A lot of people view enterprise architecture as a bunch of sign-offs and permissions but it’s really a lot more than that. In reality, enterprise architecture should be viewed as a set of underwriting guidelines for IT. Here’s why…

Enterprise architecture is about taking a holistic view of risk, avoiding long-term unforeseen consequences, and making informed decisions to manage total company risk to within pre-defined appetites. Sounds a lot like underwriting guidelines, right?

Enterprise architecture, conflicts with the desire to move fast without regard for long-term consequences. Sound familiar? Underwriters vs. Agents…IT vs. Project Management

Although often maligned, enterprise architecture’s purpose is to ensure long term success for insurers. Below is a checklist (or maybe we should call them guidelines) based on the direct experience of Novarica Principals and Research Council Members that can help CIOs to determine their architectural governance maturity.

  • Identify key business and IT strategic drivers and create reference documents that will arbitrate technology decisions
  • Establish a target technology reference architecture that reflects all possible investment needed without economic constraint.
  • Link architecture governance to funding governance through logical gates.
  • Create a standard template to capture all dimensions of the architecture review and highlight the tradeoffs that may be needed.
  • Gain commitment in writing for future projects and investments.
  • Adopt a test-and-learn culture for architecture. Test the proposed solution and its expected benefits, implementation complexity, and its technical feasibility.
  • Support the architecture process consistently.

The dependence on complex technology architecture is increasing and in order to be successful, CIOs need to create a strong architecture governance function to ensure that each project is consistent with the overall technology direction of the firm.
A strong architecture process will guarantee that an insurer will be simplifying the IT landscape over time, deploying more agile business capabilities quicker and future proofing the solutions as technology continues to evolve rapidly in the years to come.

As always I welcome your feedback. Send me a message at email or to learn more about Novarica’s executive brief on Architectural Governance, download a preview here.

This blog has been reprinted with permission from Novarica.

Mitch Wein is a principal in the insurance practice at Novarica.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Mitch using the “Add Your Comments” box below.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.


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