Agility isn’t a mere buzzword when you need to help make it happen.
With the rapid growth of technology across enterprises – and demand from the business to support an increasingly collaborative, data-driven approach to IT – today’s Enterprise Architecture (EA) practitioners face a host of challenges to help their organizations become more agile.
LeanIX CEO, André Christ, sat down with Krzysztof Kwiatek, Enterprise Architect, from consumer goods company Reckitt to explore how they’re approaching EA.
According to Krzysztof, Reckitt has executed multiple acquisitions, resulting in numerous additions to a company-wide IT portfolio of more than 1,500 applications. Having brought well-loved brands into people’s daily lives around the world for more than 200 years – including Enfamil, Nurofen, Durex, and Finish – its 43,000 people are now on a journey of continuous transformation to positively impact communities across the globe.
But while growth through acquisition helps drive rapid corporate expansion, it also presents challenges to the merged company’s EA and application ecosystems. Reckitt is on a mission to enhance company-wide collaboration across myriad business units, while keeping its applications and processes compliant across disparate jurisdictions.
But the latest stage of its continuous transformation – reforging its EA to better support the business – had to happen the right way. The company needed practical solutions, which is why it formed an EA review board to gather information about the future, with an eye toward operating with greater agility across all its businesses.
An IT paradigm shift
Nothing short of a new approach to EA was needed for Reckitt to more nimbly bring innovative products into its customers’ lives in an increasingly competitive market landscape. The company’s Enterprise Architect, Krzysztof Kwiatek, needed to help it switch from being a domain-oriented organization to a service-oriented one. One of the key elements required was the data necessary to help synchronize its business unit portfolios with an automated EA tool.
Among other factors, Reckitt’s decision to purchase an EA solution came down to the fundamental need to stop trying to manage its application portfolio manually in Excel. And LeanIX was one of the tools that made it easy for the wider business to contribute to a centralized source of truth.
In essence, Reckitt saw LeanIX as more than a solution to an IT problem, but rather a way to enable the business. The tool would give business owners, technical owners, quality owners, and others company-wide collaboration capabilities, and EAs could now meet the increasing demands from the business through an automated source of data.
Capitalizing on the cloud
After a company decision to move all applications from on-prem data centers to the public cloud, Reckitt required support to manage the transition. Total cost of ownership of their application portfolio was also becoming more of a priority. Krzysztof speaks to how the combination of LeanIX’s EA management and transformation capabilities, along with their SaaS Intelligence tool is helping Reckitt significantly in their transformation journey.
For other organizations on their own transformation journeys, a major takeaway from Reckitt’s evolution is that it takes staunch commitment to embrace a new tool and make the necessary cultural changes for full adoption. Moreover, to help the company be agile, EA needs to switch from being domain oriented to be service oriented. With LeanIX tools in place – providing full visibility over its EA and SaaS – Reckitt is better able to launch major initiatives in weeks rather than months.
A community around a solution
Reckitt has built a supportive and collaborative group of IT practitioners around the LeanIX tool, holding regular meetings to talk about new features with those among its 400 LeanIX onboarded platform users. The tool has taken on a bigger role than a mere technology solution, bringing together a major portion of users not just from EA, but also from professionals in the various businesses who are looking for data-supported insights into their operations.
Reckitt has assembled a strong internal product team to shepherd its EA future and continues to work with Customer Success Managers at LeanIX to shape it.