Business and IT – Strategic Partners

2022 is just around the corner and enterprises are navigating new risks while looking to expand their digital capabilities.  Every business is now a digital business. In recent surveys, business leaders indicate that supply-chain, inflation, labor shortages and COVID-19 are now the top risks to business growth, and the cybersecurity risks have not gone away.

The supply-chain disruptions and shipping delays are impacting enterprise IT departments. The semiconductors and components required to build new electronic devices, appliances, autos, etc. are expected to be in short supply into 2023. If you are upgrading routers, switches, and servers, order with an expectation of a 9-month delay.

Canada's inflation rate rose to a new 18-year high of 4.7%in October and the US inflation rate is now 6.2%.  Equipment manufacturers are passing along their increased costs to the end customer as a surcharge, budget with an expectation of an 8 to 12% price increase for hardware.


Before the pandemic hit IT skills were already in short supply.  “The Great Resignation” is creating even more shortages in IT (security, developers, digital, AI/ML, cloud, etc.) along with other labor shortages across all industries.  IT hiring is accelerating, for example, Microsoft wants to fill 250,000 cybersecurity jobs.  Every enterprise (including Charter) has open positions to fill with limited candidates. Managers, this is the new reality.

IT leaders, there has never been a greater opportunity for your teams to be a strategic business partner and enable digital transformation while helping the businesses navigate these risks.   And there has never been a better time to rethink and reinvent how you provide IT services and drive innovation for your stakeholders.

At Charter, our digital transformation framework that aligns IT with business strategy and mitigates business risks is Business Architecture for IT (BA4IT).  BA4IT is a framework for strategic IT and is a blend of ITIL, TOGAF, Agile, Lean and Design Thinking.  The key principle of BA4IT is human-centred design, empathy and innovation.  We strive to understand and walk in the shoes of those that will use the systems and capabilities (people, process, technology) we build.  



We would like to share the elements of the framework.

The BA4IT framework:

1.    Stakeholder analysis.

2.    Interviews with the stakeholders.

3.    Identify business priorities, drivers, outcomes and KPIs.

4.    DefineVision, Mission and Principles.

5.    Research industry and business trends.

6.    Identify key personas

7.    DesignThinking Workshops.

8.    DigitalTransformation Roadmap.

9.    Execution plan.

10.  Measure progress using the KPIs.


IT leaders can start using this framework by:

·      Creating a map of your internal and external stakeholders.  

·      Identify the top 4 or 5 business priorities and top business risks for your business.

·      Define the Vision, Mission and Principals for IT.

·      Innovate by brainstorming on how you might create new capabilities that align with your business's priorities.

Challenge your team:

·      How might we transform/improve the experience/services of our key user/customer?

·      How might we mitigate supply-chain risks for our stakeholders?

·      How might we reduce the impact of the IT skills shortage?


We have several digital transformation internal and external projects ongoing, and with each project we have fine-tuned our framework.  We would be excited to share with you our lessons learned. Please contact us if you would like to learn more or if you would like help with your strategic roadmap.

Author: Wade Crick (Principal Business Architect)