Last month, I attended the The Open Group Summit and Member Meeting in Madrid. I was on a mission to see how things stand with Forums such as Architecture (TOGAF), IT4IT and Open Platform 3.0. It was an interesting week. However, the absolute high of the event for me was the presentation on Day 2 by Mariano Arnaiz, CIO of Grupo CESCE. CESCE is a globally operating company based in Spain that provides credit risk insurance to companies.
The year 2008 was not a good year for CESCE, as you can imagine. Surprisingly, the year 2009 was an excellent year for them. They are the only company in their line of work that did not need government support. How did they manage that?
The simple reason is that they have a CIO who realized CESCE had to reinvent itself and dared to take the plunge – by turning themselves into a data-driven company, taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by Big Data and Analytics, they turned their fortunes around. CESCE has the figures to prove it. They realized the importance of data and turned the data, they had gathered and analyzed, into new services for their clients. In this way, they became (for instance) the first credit risk insurance company that offers variable pricing and a choice in the area of insurance. But they also turned their data into information, which is valuable to their clients, and transformed that into new offerings.
This is exactly the kind of transformation, I have been talking about in my previous blog posts. This is the reason why we, enterprise architects, have to reinvent ourselves as well. So, I was pleased that Mariano Arnaiz ended his presentation with six considerations for enterprise architects:
- Be proactive
- Go beyond frameworks
- Exhibit agility
- Show audacity
… considerations that I can fully subscribe to. This presentation filled my heart with hope. Not because of its message on the need for digital transformation, but because of who presented it and the proof he offered that digital transformation is a very ‘real’ thing that you can make happen, even in times of crisis. For us (architects) to play our role in this, we really have to embrace the paradigm shift that is happening right now. I, for one, am fully engaged in this.