Some Takeaways from LeanIX Connect Summit 2022

This blog is going out to the Enterprise Architecture (EA) community.

From 9/20/2022 to 9/21/2022 the LeanIX Connect Summit Europe 2022 took place at Kosmos in Berlin. The Kosmos was the premiere cinema of the former GDR and is located at Karl-Marx-Allee, the splendid boulevard street of the former GDR. Today the Kosmos is a great event location. SAP was the diamond sponsor of the event and was present with many presentations.

What was the event about? LeanIX is a tool for enterprise architecture management. It is not about solution architectures, as they are represented e.g. in UML, but about a representation of the IT of an enterprise: applications, data objects, interfaces, IT components, technology platforms, transformations, but also processes, business capabilities, transformations but also objectives, which are to be achieved by transformation projects. LeanIX makes it possible to evaluate IT systems according to criteria. Here is an overview of the entities of the LeanIX EAM and BTM modules:

As you can see, this model is very simple. But it is precisely in simplicity that its strength lies. The goal is to find a common language that can be understood by many stakeholders in the company.

But LeanIX is more than that: It is a platform on which partners can build solutions. Such an integration exists with SAP Signavio, for example.

Networking with peers

There was a lot that reminded me of SAP TechEd. There were keynotes, inspiring talks from thought leaders on topics such as Digitization, Innovation, opportunities for certification with LeanIX products, information on LeanIX news, deep dives on product features, discussions on further development, and most importantly many talks from customers telling how they use the product. LeanIX was represented by many employees, so many talks were possible. A nice evening program rounded off the event.

Most importantly, it was an opportunity to talk with other enterprise architects. How do they manage complex IT landscapes with SAP and non-SAP systems? How does digitization succeed? What are the recipes for success? What are strategic goals? How are they achieved? How do enterprise architects work?

In general, the professional self-conception of enterprise architects has changed. They are no longer pure governance organizations, but they want to be enablers of innovation, collaborating and consulting with various stakeholders such as business units and solution architects. They want to offer guidance and also challenge solution architects.

Without exception, the presentations at the LeanIX Summit were very good to excellent. I recommend watching the recordings. At this point, I only want to talk about a few things with a reference to SAP products and methodologies.

SAP Signavio and LeanIX

Several presentations showed how the two tools work together. The strength of SAP Signavio lies in processes, modeling, analytics, etc… These processes can be linked to applications in SAP Signavio and these data can be imported to LeanIX as special fact sheets. There you can work with them analogous to the usual entities of processes.

SAP Signavio is also working on developing business capability models, which can be imported into LeanIX as well. So LeanIX and SAP Signavio complement each other.

SAP RISE & LeanIX

How LeanIX is used in a S/4HANA cloud transformation was shown in a presentation. Here, the typical things where LeanIX can showcase its strengths were shown, including

  • the plan of the transformation project as well as the Impacts
  • target architecture
  • changes in system landscapes and integration architecture
  • supported business capabilities
  • post GoLive monitoring in the Hyper care phase

On the last point, a member of the audience noted that there was no LeanIX adapter for this yet and that the data transfer had to be developed individually. Here, reusable integration content would certainly be very useful.

SAP Methodologies & LeanIX

At the risk of making myself unpopular, I often find SAP methodologies too heavyweight and, above all, sometimes very academic. Does someone still remmber eSOA? At the time it was fashionable, SAP consultants told the board members that they had to map all(!) processes of the company with heavyweight tools before they could tackle an SOA strategy. If one applied the complete procedure of the eSOA methodology, the conception and development of a single SOA enterprise service would take at least 1 ½ years.

The LeanIX tool follows a completely different philosophy and takes the word “lean” seriously. The data model is easy to extend and customize to your own needs in a matter of minutes. And it provides a holistic view of IT systems, not just SAP landscapes.

LeanIX allows you to work pragmatically and consciously forces you to simplify. If that is not enough, you can still use parts from the pool of SAP methodologies that are extremely useful.

Summary

I found the LeanIX Connect Summit extremely inspiring and showed me how urgent it is to exchange ideas with experts from other industries. During the last years of the pandemic, this was only possible online, if at all. Unfortunately, this is a poor substitute for real life conversations. Likewise, it’s important to engage in extended conversations with direct work colleagues who you’ve seen almost only virtually lately.

I highly recommend everyone to watch the recordings of the presentations. Very impressive in my opinion was the presentation “True Innovation: What It Is, What It Takes and Why It Matters” by Inma Martinez, Digital Pioneer & A.I. Scientist.

Who else was there? What were your impressions? What were the key takeaways for you? What have been your favorite talks you listened to?