A Closer Look at Enterprise Architecture at Intel

As described in the IT@Intel white paper, “Enterprise Architecture: Enabling Digital Transformation at Intel,” Intel IT’s unique enterprise-wide view plus our business savvy and technology expertise empowers us to lead Intel’s digital transformation. Our efforts pivot around defining an enterprise architecture (EA)—a blueprint for growing the business and delivering business outcomes through technology. Who would build a house without a detailed blueprint? Just so, an enterprise cannot transform and grow without a well-defined strategy. EA is the blueprint for the corporation: how it works and how IT can deliver business strategy and ultimately business outcomes.

We are familiar with the challenges and opportunities enterprise architects are tackling in the midst of digital transformation.

Meeting Business Needs through Technology to Deliver Business Outcomes

EA, despite its seemingly technology-based name, is really a prudent mix of people, processes, and tools. Note that “tools” comes last. People and processes that drive business needs come first. An EA starts at the boardroom table with a discussion about where the business needs to go, then it’s the enterprise architect’s job to transform “business speak” into technical capabilities through modernized and standardized processes and the right skill sets.

This approach is far different than the stereotypical IT tendency to pursue the latest technology just because it’s cool. It’s truly a culture shift, from “geek” to “business partner.” Ultimately, an EA is successful only if it’s delivering the desired business outcomes and/or adds direct or indirect value through rapid analysis to accelerate transformation. Therefore, Intel IT approaches EA by establishing a business outcome statement at the very outset and following up with governance processes to verify that we’re achieving those business outcomes and adhering to the EA blueprint.

We Want an Ecosystem Architecture, not Just an Enterprise Architecture

Remember the house analogy? Without a blueprint, an architect may add a room here, forget about wiring there, and fail to follow the local municipal codes and regulations. In the same way, without an EA, large enterprises typically develop isolated architectures characterized by ad hoc development and multiple and uncoordinated customizations. The end result of the no-blueprint approach is substantial complexity, enterprise-wide performance and stability problems, and a staggering amount of technical debt that cripples business agility. In today’s fast-paced market, with disruptions occurring continually, loss of business agility can mean business failure.

Therefore, it is not sufficient to address individual business pain points with a short-term view. Similarly, it is necessary to develop a broad, ecosystem-based approach to EA that encompasses not just not only on-premises hardware, but the entire ecosystem: business, data, applications, and technology (BDAT)—both on-premises and off-premises. A good EA provides a mechanism for ensuring that today’s decisions won’t hinder the business tomorrow, or next month, or in the next five years.

Want to Learn More?

The EA that we have developed will help Intel embrace new and dynamic industry trends more rapidly with managed cost—enabling the company to stay ahead of the curve. To learn more about Intel’s EA and how it enables digital transformation, read the white paper, “Enterprise Architecture: Enabling Digital Transformation at Intel.”

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Palvinder Singh

About Palvinder Singh

Palvinder Singh, Principal Engineer and Chief Enterprise and Data Architect at Intel, is responsible for delivering a world class modern and secure enterprise architecture and corporate data architecture to help Intel meet its strategic initiatives towards innovation and digital transformation. His career started in high school as a programmer and he started at Intel in 1998. He has over 27 years of experience in IT industry as an entrepreneur, thought leader, change agent and strategic partner with diverse stakeholders. Learn more and connect with Palvinder on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/PalvinderSingh