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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

Transformational initiatives require considerable culture change. To drive that change and to ensure the success of the IT strategy and the FSA, EA was embedded into IT leadership and helped make the architectural approach more strategic. To drive this forward while being pragmatic, they educated teams on embracing transitional architecture, so the FSA could move forward incrementally rather than an all-or-nothing approach.

To make the FSA actionable, Humana established a centralized enterprise integration competency within EA. This enabled EA to provide a reference architecture through integration patterns, standards, and guidance. Leveraging synergies identified in the IT strategy, the company developed enterprise-class utility services and provided oversight on core integration technologies, resulting in significant economies of scale. For example, the fax utility service saved more than $1 million by “building once” and adding two dozen consumers.

Humana believes "Enterprise Architecture" is a verb and a noun. The federated architecture approach, coupled with enterprise integration competency, constantly endeavors to make the FSA a reality. As EA Awards judge David Trice remarked, “a strong mix of practical steps and higher-order approaches that ensured the EA team was relevant at both the tactical and strategic levels."

MassMutual: EA drives transformation

MassMutual brings innovative insurance and investments solutions to a broad swath of customers. In today’s dynamic business environment -- defined by shifting consumer expectations, low margins, regulatory headwinds, and the threat of disruption -- MassMutual must balance sound risk management and efficiency with the ability to innovate and create compelling customer experiences.

To pivot from a traditional financial product “manufacturer” to a customer-centric, digitally enabled business, MassMutual’s technology team needed to change the way it approached its mandate. This shift focused on instilling the business fundamentals of customer orientation, dependable delivery, service excellence, and fiscal responsibility alongside technology skill.

To be successful, the company needed to develop and enhance critical business platforms powering day-to-day business operations -- while at the same time creating contemporary consumer-facing digital capabilities to meet the changing needs of the marketplace. This “bimodal IT,” with multiple teams working on different fundamentals, requires a strong EA practice focused on providing a consistent, disciplined, and standardized approach to how technology is implemented.

To achieve this, the EA practice has reoriented its focus on two key areas. First, it has maximized the value of technology investments by empowering distributed decision-makers inside and outside of IT to quickly understand their options and make data-driven and architecturally sound technology decisions.

Second, the EA practice has served as an agent of innovation. In the past, the lack of a true understanding of the technology portfolio or a common view of the business not only inhibited the ability to optimize technology investments, but also created drag on the business resulting from narrow, disjointed decisions. This often led to redundancy, greater exposure to risk, and a suboptimal customer experience.


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