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Nissan Group Uses Enterprise Architecture to Weather Perfect Storm

nissan (select to view enlarged photo)

LONDON--October 14, 2013: When the Nissan division serving Africa, Middle East, India and Europe (AMIE) found itself in the midst of multiple demands to align IT with business, document rapidly changing information, and standardise processes, it decided to use enterprise architecture (EA) to create a comprehensive, instantly accessible view of its technology environment.

“This program will make Nissan a stronger company. We’ve already seen how much it aids in decisions, in efficiency, in quality. We have seen good value in what we have accomplished”

The project focuses on capturing and documenting information across the entire technology stack. It includes describing and linking 624 applications and 1000+ assets in the IT environment, and creating some 3000 diagrams that show the links between business processes and IT resources.

The company selected MEGA’s EA solutions to help it forge closer links between IT and business as a way to continue the company’s tradition of fostering innovation, creating growth, and improving efficiency.

Nissan, and its luxury car brand Infiniti, are popular choices among car buyers worldwide. The company sells nearly five million cars each year.

“This program will make Nissan a stronger company. We’ve already seen how much it aids in decisions, in efficiency, in quality. We have seen good value in what we have accomplished,” explained John Ferguson, senior enterprise architect, Nissan AMIE.

The company’s original EA program, established in 2005, was the foundation for this recent initiative. The company, the sixth largest car manufacturer in the world, is using EA to meet potential business challenges and security incidents. As business needs evolve, Nissan will be able to use the information from the program to support effective corporate decisions.

In addition, the documentation of IT applications and business processes will help with a planned transfer of support operations to a third party. This is the first time Nissan AMIE has undertaken such a transition, and the EA program will insure that it is done safely and efficiently.

One of the other important goals that Nissan AMIE wanted to achieve was standardisation of business processes around the globe. With a multi-national, multi-cultural market and workforce, this standardisation is expected to ensure that company operations are seamless from country to country.

Application portfolio management (APM) was also important. The company had long since moved away from tracking applications on spreadsheets, so having a sophisticated APM program to provide vital information strengthened the value of the EA program.

Nissan AMIE decided that the MEGA software solutions would be the ideal platform to expand its knowledge of the company’s complex processes and resources. For over 20 years, MEGA solutions have helped companies meet their goals of business transformation, improved efficiency and reduced costs.

The program has been carried out by a team of 19, located in the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. It included enterprise architects, domain architects, application analysts, technology analysts, application and technology administrators, as well as a project manager and MEGA consultant.

The project schedule was divided into several phases; technology modeling and technology check and repair were the first efforts. The applications supporting administration and finance, as well as sales and marketing, were completed within six months. The teams then moved on to manufacturing and supply chain applications, and then to applications for local sales and dealers.

While the company is wrapping up the final push on the project, it has already been recognised as providing business value because it met the primary goals and critical milestones.

As a result of this initiative, there is better visibility into the connections between business processes and technology, and more accessible information on how each application relates to technology resources. The documentation on applications is much more comprehensive, which eases knowledge transfer between groups, or with outside vendors.