This presentation was given by Richard J. Reese, VP of Enterprise Architecture for Discover Financial Services.
He started by showing some of the Discover “Peggy” commercials (look them up on YouTube, they’re pretty funny) and emphasized that Discover is known for their cash back programs and their customer service.
EA resource allocation at Discover is 35% solution architecture, 24% on governance, standards and frameworks, 2% on innovation and research, 5% on IT strategy planning, and 28% on roadmaps and assessments. Rick recognizes that the emphasis on current projects is an issue. Their challenge is to move from project focus to a strategy focus, generate measurable business value, manage the federated architecture discipline, and change the perception of EA (it had been seen as a roadblock/police force).
Their approach was to build credibility through their IT metadata. They have collected data from a number of different sources throughout the enterprise, integrating it into their EA repository. They had to standardize application names, and worked with internal audit to make it happen. Out of this, they built a number of business models, including ones that mapped the IT metadata to key business capabilities. Business capabilities have short, terse descriptions and they map these to the application that provide them.
Another area for improvement was to streamline their ARB (architecture review board) process. They have a standing weekly meeting where they can tie a product name to an ARB approval number, and they worked with finance to make sure nothing was funded that did not have an ARB approval number. This echoes a previous speaker who encouraged us to follow the money. Make finance/procurement a friend of EA.
They also created an EA value log, capturing value created, costs avoided, and other traditional measures.
- Set an EA strategy with metric based goals
- Develop credibility through collecting facts
- Know what works in your culture
- Find sympathetic partners (e.g. Audit, Risk, Compliance)
- Invest incrementally
- Promote successes