Melbourne Water Case Study: Enterprise Architecture

Laying a foundation for successful Digital Transformation with Enterprise Architecture

Company Profile
Melbourne Water manages water supply catchments, removes and treats sewage and manages waterways for more than 4.4 million people across the greater Melbourne region. They provide more than 400 billion litres of the world’s best drinking water, treat more than 300 billion litres of sewage and are responsible for 8,400 kilometres of waterways. 

Business Situation
In late 2014 Melbourne Water finalised a five year digital strategy. A customer focused organisation, Melbourne Water was looking to take this to the next level by reinventing their business model for enhanced customer service, speed and efficiency. The challenge for the executive team was to build a compelling vision of the future to support the digital strategy and build consensus, commitment and capability across the entire organisation.

The newly appointed CTO recognised that creating an Enterprise Architecture(EA) capability would allow them to build that vision and integrate the digital strategy with IT projects, and provide clarity for decision making across the digital architecture. Like most traditional utilities, Melbourne Water was organised by function, and the introduction of an EA would allow them to adopt and develop a standardised approach across the enterprise, unlock information silos and identify opportunities to re-use capability.

The company engaged Business Aspect – which brought deep EA experience and business expertise – to lead the creation of its EA practice that would be accountable for driving key digital strategy enabling architecture functions including: Cloud Adoption, Mobility, Integration, Business Intelligence and Security, across the entire enterprise application landscape. 

Objectives

  • Industry benchmark the existing enterprise architecture practice maturity
  • Establish an enterprise architecture practice;
  • Define the EA group charter, governance and framework; and 
  • Create strategic architecture roadmaps aligned to the digital strategy

What we achieved
Architecting a business is a vast undertaking; covering people, processes, infrastructure and accountabilities. To be successful, the EA needed to be accepted across the organisation and woven into Melbourne Water’s culture. Business Aspect looked for some early wins to achieve this.  Within four months of embarking on the project the EA team delivered its earliest architecture roadmaps that allowed the business to view the impact of change and make informed investment decisions. 

“We were able to shift the perception of ‘digital’ in the business from an IT concept to something tangible that can improve the way business is done.”
Geoff Purcell, CTO, Melbourne Water

An in-house EA team was established with formal architecture oversight and governance across 50 projects. Working closely with the business, the team developed 16 architecture roadmaps that outlined how the IT landscape needs to change over a two to five-year period. This established the direction for development of key systems including Mobility, Security, IT/OT Convergence, Asset Transformation, CRM, Business Intelligence, Cloud Adoption, Integration, Web/Online, Operational Support Systems and Finance and Procurement Systems Consolidation.    

Outcome

“The program led by Business Aspect managed to stand up an Enterprise Architecture practice in 11 months – that’s impressive!” 
Geoff Purcell, CTO, Melbourne Water

The creation of an EA has allowed Melbourne Water to apply a well thought out decision making framework throughout the change program.  It provides a mechanism to view future state practices and a common language for business and IT to understand if a project contributes to the overall enterprise vision.

Equipped with a clear set of architecture standards and policies, the team is able to guide the organisation through the process and technology changes required to achieve its corporate objectives beyond the five year digital strategy and into the long term.

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