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Data #3 is a national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solution company.  When organisations grow fast and have lots of different departments, they run the risk of not talking to each other, causing communication and information to be lost. Data #3 realised this was affecting their workplace and practices and they found there was a need to: improve planning, reduce complex systems and improve IT business alignment. After thorough research, it was evident that they needed to implement ‘Enterprise Architecture’ (EA).

 
 L to R: Cathy Ford (Data#3) with Katie Ingram (CEED student)

EA is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organisation. It is intended to determine how an organisation can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives. In effect, EA will directly benefit Data #3 in a number of ways: improved decision making, improved adaptability to changed market conditions or demands, removal of inefficient processes and better employee retention. Related to the last point, new employees would be able to access a list of processes and key information associated with their job – thereby helping them to be effective in their role, very quickly.

Katie Ingram (QUT MBA student) worked with Data #3 to complete the EA Strategy Development, as a CEED project. She worked on how to implement EA for the organisation. The project was to assist and to better manage the company’s IT business needs. Katie really enjoyed working with new people and enjoyed working out the solutions to these problems. “This project has helped me get my foot in the door, it has given me confidence in myself and I have been able to apply what I have learnt at university to real life situations.” It was important for Katie to not only start implementation of EA, but get ideas of systems that would create a better structure.

During the Data #3 project, it became evident that it was not possible to use the tool TOGAF (an Enterprise Architecture Framework) as originally planned, and that another solution was to be adopted. It was at this time Katie developed an innovative way to link documents to the Business Architecture map. Katie created a tool as a replacement of TOGAF which utilises Microsoft Visio (a ‘diagramming’ program). This linking process is also known as a knowledge management portal. The information is stored in MS Sharepoint (software that allows users to store information for websites, documents and other applications) as a back-end to Visio. This was a cost effective decision as other alternatives were very expensive and did not produce the same functionality/outcome.

This project finished end-November. At the time of writing, Katie was in the process of finalising more effective ways to display the information for users. Cathy Ford, the General Manager at Data #3, has been extremely pleased with Katie’s work. “She continues to amaze me with her research skills and is proactive in the way she looks for solutions to problems,” Cathy said. This project has initiated a series of activities at Data#3 that will lead to more informed decision making, improved knowledge management around applications and facilitate better communication

Thanks to Katie’s project, Data#3 are well on the way to achieving this objective.

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