Why is Enterprise Architecture not enough anymore?

Hello and welcome to our EDS Touchpoints Blog! We are Nils and Julia, two members of the Enterprise Design Services team, and we are writing this blog to discuss about recent topics in the fast paced, changing, more and more digital world. We interview experts on their field of specialty and want to understand what it takes for businesses to make it in today’s competitive world. 

In our first ever post we are interviewing Kristian Backman, leading KPMG’s Enterprise Design Services (EDS) to learn what EDS is in a nutshell and how does Kristian apply EDS both in his professional and personal life.


Q: Enterprise Design Services, that sure sounds exciting, but for someone who’s never heard of the term how would you explain EDS in a nutshell?

Enterprise Design Services is a one-stop-shop for delivering Enterprise Architecture, Business Design and Information Management. These three practices all intersect in a sweet spot when you, as an example, develop new customer facing digital services. What you need is:

  • a well-designed architecture (e.g. infrastructure, information, integrations, security) to serve your customer’s journey in the digital service
  • human centric services that create value to both the customer as well as the business by involving the customer in the design process (e.g. design thinking methods, prototyping and testing)
  • understanding and management of the information, that the service consumes or produces (e.g. information governance, classification, data privacy)

EDS brings the right mix of skills together to ensure all these matters are considered and to holistically analyze and solve complex challenges.


Q: The team was previously called Enterprise Architecture before you transformed it into EDS. Why did you change it?

The motivation for this change came from the following observations I have made:

  1. I saw business designers working with clients and was amazed with the level of engagement in workshops and the creativity it unleashed, which resonated in the results. However, we observed that many times the designs did not take the current architecture and needed information into consideration, and therefore the actual implementation became challenging and overly complex.
  2. Enterprise architecture is an approach to solve complex challenges holistically. However, it is often implemented in a too heavy way, consuming more time and money than needed, and sometimes not even understood in organizations at all. EDS makes it more understandable as design is all around us.
  3. Architectural transformation projects basically always have an impact on information and interfaces, and it needs to be reconsidered where, which information resides and how the whole lifecycle of information is managed.

This has led me to the conclusion that having all the three practices combined to a “one-stop-shop” would be beneficial. This was also a rather natural step for enterprise architects, since business architecture and information architecture are two of the layers of enterprise architecture and now extended to business design and information management.

By combining all three practices enables to produce design blueprints for human-centric, information aware and enterprise-wide change.


Q: Can you give us an example for combining all these three practices?

Yes, there’s one I would like to highlight here.

One being a recent project about the procurement process of a core system renewal project we have supported with our Enterprise Design Services. We started with business design workshops to create personas of the key stakeholder of the system and how they will interact with the system and what new ways of working it will bring. We also created storyboards of scenarios where the system will be used in.

It was crucial from the data perspective to see which information will be managed on the system, which needs to be migrated and which data will be integrated. Additionally, we designed with the client how the information’s lifecycle will be managed in the system.

From the architectural standpoint we needed to analyze how the new system will fit in the existing landscape and what implications different deployment models like cloud or on-premise entail.


Q: Did you get any feedback from the client for using EDS in this context?

The client especially liked that the workshops were a lot more engaging than what they were used to with having boring sessions with a big Excel sheet open.

We also got positive feedback from the vendors who were competing the system renewal that we were able to communicate a lot clearer what the client wanted to achieve and what they will do with the system.


Q: So, could you summarize the top 3 reasons why companies should invest in Enterprise Design Services?

  1. To ensure that in all development tasks you are always aware of what value it bring to the client and your business
  2. Never forget the environment: from technical components, up to the strategy.  It is the link to why are you doing this specific task, which is the input our services give.
  3. The Team; including designers, information management specialists; including privacy and security, and to have architects. You get the one stop shop from one place, where we give a true definition of the current state and the target state so that it is executable.

Q: How do you apply Enterprise Design in your personal life?

Actually, I think I have done it all my life, because I tend to always plan ahead. I have these pictures in my head on how things should look like in the future, but then I’m also too pragmatic to believe in those pictures that I see. Basically, I need evidence for that, and I think that’s the architect part of me that always tries to find the building blocks for how to get there.


Q: Do you have an example to share?

For instance, when I was 18 and got my first car, after a year I decided to change the engine to a bigger one, which I hadn’t ever done before. I had this picture in my head of how it would fit into the car. So, bit by bit I started to investigate on how to do it. I was able to drive 30 000 km with no problems before I sold it. To do that without previous knowledge on how to do it, I think it was kind of Enterprise Design in its own way!


Q: As the first guest in our blog, do you have any questions for our readers?

Yes, I would like to know their thoughts about EDS. Especially about:

  • What do they think about when hearing the term Enterprise Design?
  • Have they heard had any experiences with similar concepts?
  • Which aspects are most interesting to them?

Getting to know; Kristian Backman

Favorite book: Intersection
Person you admire: From work attitude perspective Daniel Ricciardo – the honey badger! Always coming back when something goes sideways, funny guy!
Favorite place on Earth: Home!
Song you never get tired of: There’s a few, but perhaps Chris Cornell – Our time in the universe
Favorite free-time activity:  Boating through archipelago, maintaining the house, building stuff, work around home
Best advice you’ve received: Use your imagination!
Best advice you’ve given:  Use your imagination!