American Express Case Study Essay
What are the key components of the architecture American Express has created? The key components of the architecture American Express has created were the ability to more effectively do business utilizing new payment methods and mobile devices. This was done through technology road map, reference architecture road map and utility/capacity road map. The enterprise architecture team created road maps to understand the leadership, organizational structure and directions and processes to make sure American Express’s Information Technology correlates with this changes in demand placed upon the use of new payment methods and mobile devices and their alignment with the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. This is the architecture governance. In addition, it is important to understand the strategic intent of the company so that the business architecture helps to guide and direct the processes correctly. The technology architecture ensures that the processes and templates provided work in compliance with the needs of the organization. Discuss two advantages and three disadvantages of standard enterprise architecture for American Express?
An advantage of standard enterprise architecture for American Express includes the ability to provide more consistent user experience. In addition, standard enterprise architecture use can deduce risk and exposure and reduce operating costs. Optimally it will allow product and services to be brought to market more quickly. Disadvantages of standard enterprise architecture include the concept that architecture must guide rather than dictate. The architecture process must seen as a “fit” for the employees and customers of American Express. It should be value to projects and be accepted on its own merits. It must also serve a mission: in this case American Express has a strategic need for enterprise architecture that addressed the specific need of shorter time to market products and services and new delivery changes like mobile devices. Another disadvantage is that increased costs can be incurred if the system is not properly managed. How might they address the disadvantages?
Since architecture must guide rather than dictate an organization it is key that the company’s strategy actually drives the architecture (which, as our text points out, drives infrastructure). IT must carefully manage the architecture to ensure that it is being managed in this manner, rather than having the company be limited by the architecture or guided by the architecture based on its perimeters, rather than careful planning of the needs of the organization. Since “enterprise architecture is the broad design that includes both the information system, architecture and the interrelationships in the enterprise” (Pearlson & Saunders, 2013), it is key that each aspect works together to support strategy and more efficiently help the organization. Costs of managing standard enterprise architecture must be managed. Standardization should lead to reduced operating costs and greater consistency within the organization. However, in order to do so, IT must carefully manage the system and look forward as new technologies emerge, ensuring that the system can adapt and flex to adjust for projected needs.