As Enterprise architects at Deutsche Telekom, we have invited the business strategy people within our organisation to our planning meetings, and they usually provided us with insights into how we could align IT transformation with the key objectives. But so far, it’s been frustrating that we haven’t been invited to their planning meetings!’ Michael Hartges – like many other senior IT-based professionals, it seems – longs for the day when IT not only connects with ‘real business processes’ but is recognised as a key driver of them. ‘I’ve always felt that IT was detached from the overall business strategy, and have been searching for a bridge. This course is beginning to build that bridge.’ 

What were your hopes and expectations for the course? 

‘I was hoping for a combined view of things, and expected that my experience would be similar to others on the programme, especially for delegates outside of telecoms. We tend to mix and chat a lot with other telco’s, so it’s important to spend time with other businesses! And I was looking forward to the mix of international cultures.’ 

What have been the best things about the course so far? 

‘The first module in the course – dealing with various strategy models – was a really interesting and enlightening analysis, and helped to show how strategy can be applied in a very practical sense. ‘The mix of people has more than lived up to expectations; it’s fascinating to hear the different perspectives from multiple countries and sectors – being different there are still so many common themes, which make us all realise that this is a battle we’re fighting together. And that’s very empowering. Lastly, the course location is absolutely perfect.’ 

What difference has the course made so far?

‘It’s made me think differently – especially about the role of strategy in targeting a specific direction for the organisation, and about the part we are playing in a paradigm shift in the role of IT.’ Case Study ‘I’ve always felt that IT was detached from the overall business strategy, and have been searching for a bridge.’ This course is beginning to build that bridge.’ Michael Hartges from Deutsche Telekom on the Professional Programme in Business & Enterprise Architecture In what way is the role of IT changing? ‘Traditionally, IT has been seen as a service provider within an enterprise, merely supporting the overall strategy, but technological developments are rapidly elevating it to a position as one of the key drivers of that strategy.’

 What do you envisage will be the biggest challenge in implementing the change?

‘My team and I are clear that the change has to – and will – happen, but for it to happen quickly, we have to convince the rest of the decision-makers in the organisation. That means revising decades of culture, and we can only achieve that by communicating the benefits in business terms. So we have to learn how to speak a different language – not the IT speak we are accustomed to – in order to reach them with a message that says: ‘IT may still be complex, and it may still be costly, and change may be difficult, but the ROI is compelling.’ What’s your message to other CIOs/ITDs considering this course? ‘Change is happening, and the challenges for Enterprise Architecture are not specific to your company. It is really important to discuss these changes within the kind of network the course provides, and hear – and learn from – the experiences of the other delegates. The course puts lots of content you could get elsewhere into context, making it invaluable. This is an unique course, which I highly recommend.’

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