Business in the face of the crisis: resilience cannot be improvised



Since the start of the health crisis, and more generally on the occasion of any crisis whatsoever, the word has been in everyone’s mind and on everyone’s lips: RESILIENCE. Behind the concept, often full of hope, hides a real anticipation to survive during the crisis and bounce back after the crisis. This is one of the key roles of Enterprise Architecture (EA). Resilience, or how to focus on the essentials By definition, a crisis, if more or less weak signals can make it predictable, generally remains sudden, following a trigger: this is the case of the mortgage loan crash. Americans as early as 2006, which led to the financial crisis of 2008 or, more recently, the global Covid19 pandemic, which put a brutal brake on the economy in 2020. When the crisis strikes, it is clear that this are the best prepared organizations that will be able to deal with it most effectively, those that can focus on the capabilities most critical to their business. If this seems obvious, the reality is much more complex. Thus, beyond the criticality of the business processes and capacities, it is a question of identifying the interdependencies between the processes, and all the IT services associated with them. And therefore to prepare the organization to maintain critical business capabilities in operational conditions. Thus, with the implementation of the strict confinement of March 2020, the best prepared organizations were able to implement their emergency plan between compulsory presence, partial unemployment or teleworking, with an information system ready to welcome new ways of carrying out activities, in “downgraded mode”. The transformation, or how to adapt to the “world after” All crises, whatever their nature, have one constant: they modify, more or less substantially, the “world after”. In other words, everything does not restart in the same way, due to technological, regulatory or economic developments, generally accelerated by the crisis. This is the “B-side” of resilience: not resting on your laurels while waiting for the world to return to its initial state, but on the contrary anticipating future developments during the crisis, and preparing for them upstream, even before the crisis subsides. In other words, resilience is not just about surviving, but knowing how to bounce back, at the risk of finding oneself unsuited to the world after. During and throughout the crisis, organizations must therefore think about the evolution of their business model, their organization, their processes, their products or even their services. In this context, the role of enterprise architecture is to consider several scenarios, to associate the necessary evolution of IT services with them and to help managers make the right decisions. Enterprise architecture, the lung of Agrave resilience; on the occasion of the health crisis of 2020, its confinements, its social distancing and other barrier gestures, the EA teams were for example very solicited for the immediate and future evolution of business applications to the cloud, depending on the business criticality , feasibility, security, budget, development strategies, etc. Or also for the acceleration of the digitization of certain processes, to move from a simple search for productivity to adaptation to new customer expectations or health constraints (example: signing of distance contracts). Concretely, behind the generic term of enterprise architect, hides a multidisciplinary team able to understand the functioning of the company, as well as the transformation projects which will allow a rapid rebound once the crisis has passed. Thus alongside the Business Architect, able to capture the strategy and translate the objectives into the necessary business capabilities, we find Business Analysts, Application Owners, IT Architects and Solution Architects. Everyone in their area of ​​expertise will translate business objectives into clearly defined projects in the company’s transformation plan. At a time when the digitization of businesses is accelerating, business architects are the essential interface between IT and businesses. In times of crisis, they have a dual role: facilitating business continuity by concentrating resources on the company’s critical capacities and helping to accelerate the rebound once the crisis has passed by making the most of the new conditions. Steps. In other words, they bring real resilience to the company.