Question 1 Describe a 'future state' that improves upon their architecture.
The current state of the organization is where there are proper organization and integration of information systems. There organization has key components of the enterprise architecture include; the point-of-sale system (POS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resource management system (HRMS) and warehouse management system (WMS) (Spewak, & Hill, 1993). Having investment in that entire information technology infrastructure is key to development of the organization. The BJs are focusing on the future state where there will be high demand for technological services. The organization has a lot of online shopping stores with a lot of members who access the system. There is a need to prepare for the growth of the organization. According to Polizzi the company vice president, "BJ's is talking about getting back on a growth path that would be 5% to 7% in square footage, meaning sales floor which equates to seven to eight new clubs [per year]”. This means that there will be a need for flexible information systems that will deal with such demands and growth.
The key information systems that should be given much importance in dealing with the future state are the point of sale (POS), Payroll and warehouse management. Operational systems in the future will be needed to handle the high demands on the market.
System integration is also another future state of the organization. The enterprise architecture will change because most of the systems that are stand alone will be integrated. For instance, payroll systems will be integrated with HR systems. Many other applications will need to be integrated where information will be generated to only one database. This means that there will be warehouse technology and other storage technology that will enable the organization to have several system interfaces generate data to a single database. This will result into the master data management (MDA) approach where data is produced and managed (White, Newman, Logan & Radcliffe, 2006). Data management is perceived as one of the most important aspects of the future state. This means that the architecture should be designed in such a way as to facilitate correct analysis and presentation of data.
Business intelligence is another aspect of the future states that BJ’s aims to achieve. There is a need to have reports that are analyzed by different departments to be accurate and up to date. ERP is the perfect solution that the organization is thinking of implementing (Dreibelbis, et al., 2008). The solution is important for the finance and merchandise department because they offer operational services. The organization needs to be certain that it is offering the correct solutions.
Question 2 gap between the future and current state
There is a difference between the current state and the future state.
- Currently, BJ’s has over 175 member location across US, in future this number is expected to grow by 5 to 7 percent.
- Currently, the enterprise architecture does not support generating of reports based on data from different departments. This is because each department comes up with their own report. The systems are not integrated. In the future, there will be systems that will provide reports that will be based on data across all the departments.
- The current information systems are not integrated, this implies that the payroll systems are not linked with HR management systems. The future systems will be connected and integrated.
- Currently, there are no business intelligent systems such as ERP and data warehouses. The future enterprise architecture will have business intelligence and data warehouses. This means that there will be system technology based on master data management approach.
Decision to come up with the future designed is based on the Enterprise Architecture Principles. Te first principle is the mission driven. Every business entity has its own vision and mission. The decision of the future architecture is based on the BJ’s mission. The mission ensures that the organization has clear strategies that enable it to work towards the realizing the mission. Coming up with business intelligence and proper data management enables the business not only to have a competitive advantage but also serve its customers better.
The second principle is bout simplification. This means that there should be future systems that will simply the business processes of BJ’s. Automation of data management and report generation makes the simplification of services and operations of the company. The third principle is about reuse. Having a single database means that data can be used by different departments concurrently. There is also a possibility of reusing information in the data warehouse in the future. Data mining can be used to reuse previously business activities to meet the new market needs. The future state will need such information to make certain decisions.
The fourth principle is about explicitness that is achieved through integration of the systems. This will result into business intelligence that is greatly beneficial to the company. Business intelligence involves using techniques such as data warehouse and data mining to have a complete picture of the organization’s performance.
The other dimension on why decisions are made on the future state of the enterprise architecture will be to have control technical and supplier diversity. This means that good vendors who are reputable are selected to ensure that there is efficient and control of the system. Having strong relationship with the vendors who have deep knowledge of the solutions they are providing such as Oracle, IBM among others.
With the decisions to have such solutions for BJ’s, it is aimed at attaining application independence of technology. This means that BJ’s will have reduced operation cost because of improved hardware and software system. It will be able to upgrade, update and maintain the systems. The principle of having technological infrastructure will enable BJ’s to have the ability to adaptability and flexibility. This will ensure that they have a competitive advantage in the market. Business continuity will also be achieved because it can overcome dynamic economic changes.
The decision to have integration is to ensure that there is a user friendly interface application. This is because the vendors will be having an opportunity to involve all the stakeholders in the design process. Making sure that the business adapts to changes is also another principle based on requirement based changes. The future changes will not get the company by surprise since it has already adopted capable systems. The company may incur a lot of losses if it does not keep up with technological advancement. The decision to have this type of technological systems ensures that the company has hardware security.
Dreibelbis, A., Hechler, E., Milman, I., Oberhofer, M., van Run, P., & Wolfson, D. (2008). Enterprise master data management: an SOA approach to managing core information. Pearson Education.
Spewak, S. H., & Hill, S. C. (1993). Enterprise architecture planning: developing a blueprint for data, applications and technology. QED Information Sciences, Inc..
White, A., Newman, D., Logan, D., & Radcliffe, J. (2006). Mastering master data management. Gartner Group, Stamford.