Babcock transforms IT from a cost centre to business enabler

Babcock International says implementing enterprise architecture (EA) software has helped transform its IT department from being seen as a cost centre to a business enabler.

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Babcock International says implementing enterprise architecture (EA) software has helped transform its IT department from being seen as a cost centre to a business enabler.

The British engineering support services firm, which provides services to customers like the Royal Navy, told the Forrester Forum for Technology Management Leaders in London that it started from a point where it had no common IT responsibilities, principles or accountability across the group and between its four business divisions.

“Our problem with architecture and IS (information systems) was it was very much seen as a cost centre,” Kevin Symes, enterprise architect at Babcock told the conference.

“We have a handful of architecture resource (staff). They’re constantly a ‘pinch point’ when we try and do projects. [But] we want to deliver service to our customers, enabling the business.”

By customers, Symes was referring to the internal business.

MEGA relationship

In July 2013, Babcock decided to start working with EA solutions provider MEGA, starting with a couple of pilots to show the value of EA in IT processes.

The firm used MEGA to provide expertise in mapping fragmented processes and identifying process improvements.

As part of its requirements, Babcock wanted to enable the business make appropriate technology decisions, so that pressure could be taken off the limited number of enterprise architecture staff.

It also wanted to integrate application management into existing systems, and to create multiple user interfaces for more self-service portals, to get rid of the demand for a service desk. The company also wanted to identify potential areas for automation.

“We absolutely wants users to do things for themselves,” Symes said.

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