Engineering approach in management: who is the architect of the enterprise?

On May 21, a lecture on the architecture of enterprises was held at GSOM SPbSU. What does the term “enterprise architecture” mean? How does it work? And why it is necessary? These and other issues were covered on the lecture by GSOM SPbU Senior Lecturer Maxim Y. Arzumanyan and Yury Orlov from Smart Architects.



The event was organized for MBA graduates and company managers. Maxim Y. Arzumanyan started the meeting with the question: who heard about enterprise architecture? It turned out that one person was familiar with this concept. So lecturer explained that the architecture of the enterprise was a tool to reduce complexity in a modern organization. 


According to Maxim Y. Arzumanyan, nowadays the final product is simplified for the users but the process of creating it becomes more difficult. For example everyone knows how to use iPhone, but not everyone can understand how it is made. 


Another slightly different example is hotel in China which was built in 360 hours. The constructors from Chinese company The Broad Group took more time to prepare for organizing the building process of this hotel than to actually build it. The hotel was designed around a reinforced steel core and constructors used tapered steel frame to lock in the prefabricated steel decks for each of the floors. The decks, prepared beforehand offsite, contained all the plumbing, electrical wiring and other ancilliaries to enable swift assembly. The architecture of enterprises is approximately the same: specialists create organizational modules to describe the current state of the company and then start to ask questions, what if we change this or that. 


Maxim Y. Arzumanyan told that architecture helped to overcome disagreements in organization. One of the functions of the architect is to create an information model of the enterprise so managers can use it and understand the current situation. Based on this model, they can take decisions about changes in company. Answering the question where such specialists come from, lecturer said that usually future enterprise architects work in IT. According to him, the architecture of the enterprise creates the ability to rebuild organization without losing integrity, which is necessary for digital transformation.


Maxim Y. Arzumanyan now leads the project of digital transformation of GSOM SPbU. It was officially launched on May 18. At the first meeting participants discussed the prerequisites, goals, expected outcomes, interaction formats and the possibility of participating in the program. The second meeting is scheduled on May 31.