CBA Lab is driving the EAM boom – and also profiting from it

The Cross-Business-Architecture Lab has always stressed how important enterprise architecture management is when it comes to implementing a corporate strategy in processes and IT systems. In this era of digital transformation, enterprise architecture is pointing the way forward in an increasingly volatile and ambiguous (business)world. More and more companies now appear to understand that this is the case, and are therefore joining CBA Lab. BENTELER, Fresenius Netcare GmbH, Schaeffler AG, and ZEISS AG recently joined the association, which assists its members with the development of building blocks for digital transformation.

There’s good reason why more and more companies are now interested in EAM. “The digital transformation is very high up on the agenda at large organizations, which virtually all of our member companies are,” is how Dr. Johannes Helbig, Chairman of the Board of CBA Lab, explains the increasing interest in association membership. “These companies view the digital transformation as a management task and are asking themselves how it can be effectively shaped as a whole in an ongoing process.” With our track record and working groups that consistently focus on current EAM topics, on interaction, and on the exchange of knowledge, we have now become the logical organization to turn to in the German-speaking world for any company interested in transformation and EA issues,” says Dr. Karsten Schweichhart, Member of the Board of CBA Lab.

This view the association has of itself is also reflected in the expectations expressed by the companies that have joined CBA Lab over the last few months. Dr. Jürgen Klein, Chief Digital Technology Portfolio Manager at Carl Zeiss AG, is very much interested in exchanging ideas and information with other members of CBA Lab: “We are looking for such an exchange because we know that other companies are facing challenges similar to those that we face as we move forward with digitalization. ZEISS, for example, can contribute its experience with issues relating to the cloud environment and the principles, structures, and processes we use to address them. For our part, we are interested at the moment in, among other things, the experiences other companies have had with technology drivers for digitalization, such as IoT and robotic process automation. In particular, we now face a challenge to effectively manage such technologies and offer them as a company-wide professional business service.”

Olaf Reimann, Team Leader for Enterprise Architecture Management in the Corporate IT department at BENTELER, is also interested in building on existing knowledge and sharing information and experiences. He also believes in the CBA Lab motto: Knowledge increases when it is shared. “CAB Lab provides us with a network in which we can discuss and address relevant topics with other member companies – and that helps us with our mission,” Reimann explains. “We want to establish a common understanding of enterprise architecture at BENTELER. This is the only we to ensure that we can manage the existing complexity and successfully navigate the BENTELER Group through the digital transformation.”

BENTELER is a major automotive supplier, as is Schaeffler, which recently also became a member of CBA Lab (Bosch has been a member for quite some time now). “The cross-company and cross-sector exchange of EAM best practices is especially valuable,” says Dr. Karsten Schweichhart from CBA Lab. “It is precisely this abundance of different points of view that makes CBA Lab appealing to so many companies.” Joachim Schmider, Vice President Enterprise IT Architecture at Schaeffler AG, explains how this aspect motivated him to have his company join CBA Lab: “We want to work with experts from other companies to develop new approaches to current issues and challenges. We would also like to both share our experiences and gain an insight into topics that are new for us. A key role is played here by the concept of ‘helping others help themselves’ – in a group of experts who face similar challenges. We want to discuss and also question our views and approaches in a cross-sector setting in order to continuously improve our operations.”

Fresenius Netcare, which is also a new member of CBA Lab, supports the entire Fresenius Group by providing process consulting and business consulting services. Thomas Schreiner, Senior Manager Enterprise Architecture Management, expects certain things from his company’s work at CBA Lab: “Companies need more differentiated information on key capabilities that can make a digital transformation successful. We would like to work on this issue and other issues with our fellow organizations at CBA Lab. We are also prepared to share our expertise in architecture management and digitalization with the other member companies.” Dr. Helbig believes the association’s effectiveness is confirmed by the increase in its membership: “EAM is a topic that has priority, but EAM itself is also changing fundamentally at the moment. That’s why companies would be well advised to address it extensively – and I’m very happy that many companies now realize that CBA Lab offers the right community for doing this and benefiting from the joint establishment of new EAM knowledge and expertise.”