Understanding - and Appreciating - Enterprise Architecture

By Voytek Janisz, VP of IT and EA, AmTrust Financial Services

It’s the one challenge shared by nearly every business operating in the 21st century: integrating technology with business strategy.

Used to make businesses agile and flexible, Enterprise Architecture (EA) helps lay out how information, business and technology flow together.

enterprise architecture

Imagine EA as a group within an enterprise/business that is responsible for creating and maintaining the blueprint used to standardize and organize the business’s information technology (IT) infrastructure. This blueprint enables the IT infrastructure to align with the organization’s business goals. EA supports digital transformation, IT growth and the modernization of IT as a department.

Developed by experienced IT staff comprised of enterprise architects and solution architects, EA makes it possible for businesses like AmTrust to utilize technologies like the cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and other emerging trends to operate efficiently – and collaboratively – in a technology-driven world.


Modern, Managed Architecture

Most EA takes into account these key components:
  • The company’s mission and business strategy
  • Stakeholders and customers
  • Processes
  • Applications
  • Infrastructure
  • Data
  • Security


Collaborative by Design

Understandably, designing effective enterprise architecture requires some serious planning. According to CompTIA, one of the IT industry’s top trade associations, having a dedicated group to focus on enterprise architecture planning does the following:
  • Allows more open collaboration between IT and an organization’s business units
  • Gives the organization the ability to prioritize its investments
  • Makes it easier to evaluate existing architecture against long-term goals
  • Establishes processes to evaluate and procure new technology
  • Gives a comprehensive view of IT architecture to all business units outside of IT
  • Provides a benchmarking framework to compare results against other organizations or standards


Change is in the Works

Primed for a groundbreaking 2019, the AmTrust IT team is in the process of evaluating and redesigning the company’s enterprise architecture. Here’s the state of our current architecture:
  • Over 200 applications are in our U.S. portfolio alone, with even more in the international space
  • Strong dependencies between apps make it difficult to apply changes quickly and with quality
  • In the U.S. space, 62 applications are targeted for redesign, with another 25 apps targeted for replacement or consolidation
  • About 90 percent of our homegrown apps require remediation to move to the cloud

With our eyes on the future, the IT team is working to implement modern architecture companywide. Here’s what’s on the horizon:
  • Highly modular business systems with maximum reuse of shared components
  • API-fueled components, enabling faster integration of applications; (an API is a software intermediary that allows two apps to talk to each other)
  • A managed, secure gateway, allowing seamless integration with AmTrust business partners
  • Normalized data that is protected and shielded from unauthorized changes


A Blueprint for Success

It takes a skilled and structured approach to foster innovation within an organization. The different systems within our company – both business and technological – work together to achieve a wide array of goals. Modernization, like any other transformative change, requires a holistic and systemized approach. In other words, every stage of this gradual process involves the laying of strategic groundwork.

A highly collaborative process, enterprise architecture encompasses the assessment, planning and designing of a business’s use of technology to achieve its goals. EA truly is a blueprint for modernization.

AmTrust is well on its way to making the best use of the latest technology to support our colleagues, agent partners and customers. To learn more about AmTrust’s IT goals for 2019, contact Voytek Janisz, Vice President of Information Technology, Enterprise Architecture, at voytek.janisz@amtrustgroup.com.

Voytek Janisz is the Vice President of Information Technology at AmTrust Financial Services, a multinational property and casualty insurer headquartered in New York City. In addition to AmTrust, Mr. Janisz has defined and optimized enterprise architectures and system development processes for Avery Dennison, Progressive Insurance and others.
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