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The 2016 Enterprise Architecture Awards

Alex Cullen | Sept. 20, 2016
This years' winning EA initiatives, brought to you by Forrester Research and InfoWorld, meet the challenges of accelerated change

This year’s Enterprise Architecture Awards come with a theme: speed and responsiveness. Business leaders are demanding that their organizations move faster -- everything from updating digital capabilities to enabling greater agility in interactions with customers and suppliers.

In theory, EA should be able to help achieve this acceleration. But how can enterprise architects, often considered the police of technology, deliver on the potential?

Our 2016 batch of EA Award winners shows how. Humana, one of this year’s award winners, expresses the core idea in a simple sentence: “’Enterprise architecture is primarily a verb, not a noun.” In other words, EA should drive continuous change, not merely enforce policies or manufacture static end-states.

That sentiment applies to all five of this year’s winners: Humana, MassMutual, South Sate Bank, Aetna, and Cummins. The EA teams in these companies are delivering business results because they embed insight and guidance into the decisions made by their business and IT leaders -- enabling those leaders to “enterprise architect” how they achieve business results. The result? Speed and responsiveness for the enterprise.

To select our winning entrants this year, we assembled a panel of three expert judges. Our heartfelt thanks to Kishore Sarathy, vice president of architecture for CapitalOne; David Trice, IS strategy and architecture director for Centrica; and Gary Smylie, information management enterprise architect for Idaho National Laboratory. Their insight and expertise resulted in the selection of these five winners, all stellar examples of the transformative impact EA can have.

Humana: Architecting for change

Over the past five years, Humana has transformed from a health insurance company into a combination of more than 40 companies and business units that span all aspects of health care. At the same time, the health care industry has been subject to broad regulatory changes along with a big shift in the way consumers purchase and interact with health care services. Humana’s response to this has been to grow through M&A, business development, and the launch of new lines of business and subsidiaries.

This transformation demanded an enterprise architecture strategy to deliver on the ambitious new business strategy. Two and a half years ago, Humana’s IT and its business partners began focusing technology investment around key strategic areas.

Humana’s EA practice identified synergies across the strategic focus areas, which became the genesis of a Future State Architecture (FSA). The FSA is composed of business-oriented domains, which provide a logical collection of business processes, data subjects, systems, and services that enable a business competency -- and are exposed as enterprise services and APIs.

IT leadership observed the value of the FSA and the associated challenges and responded by aligning the IT operating model organizationally with the FSA. As the FSA was developed, Humana leveraged many disparate architect roles that spanned organizational boundaries. A highly distributed, yet centrally coordinated, federated architecture practice ensured close proximity to business and delivery.

 

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