Using iServer to Manage Rapid Growth
EA, Portal, ERP
Bega Cheese is an Australian dairy company that became publicly listed in 2011. Since then, it has gone through a number of mergers and acquisitions, which coupled with organic growth, have made it one of the largest organizations within the sector.
It provides an array of cheeses, spreads and other dairy products, as well as Vegemite, peanut butter and ZoOSH, which are exported around the world to over 40 countries.
In 2014, having undergone a period of rapid growth, Bega launched a new formalized enterprise architecture initiative to manage the increased volume of data and artifacts. The initial projects involved building out a roadmap for consolidating and merging IT services and applications, and launching a major ERP program. The main drivers included being able to connect data, keep information up to date and manage the relationship between objects effectively. iServer was a logical tool of choice because of the ease of use, including the Microsoft interface and integrations. Moreover, iServer has a lot of built in support, and templates for, methodologies such as TOGAF and ArchiMate, ensuring the team could hit the ground running.
- Managing an evolving technical landscape
- Difficulty locating information stored in Excel or Visio
- Information was falling out of date
- Disconnected silos of data
- Lack of visibility across the organization
Prior to onboarding iServer all information was kept in Excel files and Visio diagrams, but the disconnected data created a number of issues. Within the iServer repository all information is accessed in a list view or diagram and the connections are immediately evident. This ensures accuracy and consistency, whereas, when using an array of spreadsheets, the architect needed to know every location details of an application were stored. Moreover, visibility is improved as the portal means anyone can access information without changing the details.
The architecture practice at Bega is now instrumental in helping the organization plan programs of work and roadmaps. The iServer repository has proven a crucial source of information for both the IT department and wider stakeholders, supplying important data on all aspects of an application, including if a piece of software is out of date, if it has become a risk, how it can be updated and so on. For example, if the quality testing team is running an old system which keeps crashing, the product can’t be released, or if it is, it will be done so incorrectly. Prior to the onboarding of iServer there was no logical place for information on the landscape to be stored or managed. Now the organization knows what it needs to do, why they need to do it and how to go about planning the execution.
As the technical landscapes evolves, so has the need to plan and prepare for change by identifying and managing the wider business implications. With iServer it has become possible for Bega to correlate drivers, goals, business processes and the tech landscape, which is already saving up to A$600,000 in resource investment per year. Furthermore, the architecture artifacts and iServer repository keep objectives and execution on track. It is, for example, possible to see how a given work package is affecting a specific application or business process, which in turn is correlated to a high level objective from senior management. Ultimately, iServer mitigates risks by preventing work being duplicated, undertaken on the wrong project or in the incorrect fashion.
In light of completing a recent large scale ERP installation and migration, Bega are currently running a vast number of project and programs from iServer. This includes a vast amount of decommissioning and integration work to optimize the new portfolio of applications, as well as:
- IT service management and IT asset management
- Rolling out new applications.
- Network management and updates
Bega will continue to use iServer in a similar fashion moving forward, but are also looking to integrate further with IT service desk and asset management software. Moreover, having put the appropriate groundwork in place it’s possible to better harness Power BI, and utilize the out-of-the-box reports iServer supplies, aligning business users with IT.
Since being installed, iServer has been utilized in the delivery of a number of projects – in particular as part of the strategic planning and roadmapping phases. The iServer portal means that everyone in IT can access content in relation to application and technology landscapes encouraging a collaborative environment, while at the same time business focused stakeholders can identify org charts, processes and objects to set the context when initiating new projects.
Typically, the enterprise architecture team use iServer in a cyclical fashion. At the start of the fiscal year they will outline domain plans, establishing the current plans of various teams and outlining financial projections. During this phase, impact analysis renders it possible to determine potential implications for the technology landscape and wider business. The enterprise architect team would then begin with a project brief utilizing artifacts stored in iServer in the project scope.
Subsequently, the capability mapping part of the project is undertaken by doing external research, identifying industry best practices and incorporating them into Bega’s methodology. Business reviews are then carried out and any additional requirements added.
Although of the execution phase is often monitored or carried out by a tool such as MS Project, the loop is closed within iServer by updating and reflecting any changes that may have happened to the landscape.
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