If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering LeanIX, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?
It all depends on how you put together the inventory. You need to be cognizant of what kinds of information you will need and what kinds searches you foresee. It's a tool. There should be an enterprise architect who understands what outcome he is looking for. You can then build that outcome using Lean IX. It's a tool that has a specific way of working. You need to understand the tool very well and determine if it works for your use case, for whatever you're trying to achieve. So first of all, you need to know what you want to achieve. You will need to spend time to get an agreement, internally, on how you model your business architecture and your application and infrastructure architecture, to build better expectations of outcomes of the system. There will definitely be internal work to get to a collaborative agreement. Once you do have that agreement and you understand how LeanIX works — and it is not a very complicated system — then it's easy to see how it will work for you, or at least how much it can bend. When you look into it, your first impression might be, "Oh, it's a little bit more of a closed system." Understand that this aspect does help you with adoption, and then look at the customization techniques and whether you can support them. Do you have the skillset, someone who will be able to work with it if you want to expand the system? That will be someone who works in Node.js and someone who knows GraphQL. If you're just at the beginning, in addition to those questions, I would go a little bit more in-depth into what exactly is included in the package, because sometimes that's not very intuitive. Ask questions about what is included and how much it will benefit you. For example, the ServiceNow add-on is a little bit more expensive and you need to understand if you are ready for it. Otherwise, you will be paying for nothing. Its overall ease-of-use plays a big role in adoption. As usual, you need to sell this tool, and the practice of EA in general, to the people who will contribute to it, and that's where LeanIX is really valuable. It helps you to drive the practice. They have put good effort into making it very easy to automate things and that is a valuable part of establishing an EA practice and for the adoption of it. It's not only the only part of that process. It cannot build the whole EA practice. You can't do that with one tool.
LeanIX is typically a data center application. So first prepare your internal organization for data repository and where you want to conceptualize. Have that in hand and then speak to businesses, gather all the system information, and process information. Then go to LeanIX and start building based as per their model. So your part is only bringing your data to support the application. The native connectors look very attractive but comes with a huge price for certain products. Please be informed on price part before getting attracted towards the benefits that you are going get from those native connector, Because like us, we may not be in a position to have more ROI than the actual expense that we incur for that native connectors. Its good to avoid the surprises later stage and struck with contract sign without learning the actual impact. Overall, we are very happy with the LeanIX features and functionalities, the way they are with customers but the bitter part is their customer payment strategies for native connectors. LeanIX CEO Andre Christ is real visionary in EA, appreciate that, sincere suggestion is addressing customer concerns in win-win mode would greatly help in long relationship. I would rate it an eight out of ten. I would recommend this tool for sure.
My recommendation would depend on the use case. We cannot go to the customer and just advise them to have one kind of tool. It depends on what they have in the architecture and what kind of solution they want to have. Some companies are just fine with a seven-point solution. Some companies want to implement very difficult workflows. Then I would tend to use Alfabet from Software AG but it really depends on the use case. If you have a company that's setting up Enterprise Architecture and already has all the documents produced in Microsoft environments, iServer's a nice solution. It really depends. I would rate it a nine out of ten. Not a ten because you always have that gap between complexity and easy to use. And the more complex the tool becomes, the more difficult it is to get the usability. For example, Alfabet is not bad, it looks good and it's not bad, it's easy to use. But therefore the meta-model has over 700 classes from the standard in comparison to the 10 classes in LeanIX. LeanIX is very, nice from the visibility side. This is the one point that I wouldn't give, but this was something that the gap is really hard to fill.
In terms of advice I would give to others thinking of using this solution, I would say that you need to be aware of what you want to achieve in terms of functionality and documentation. It has some limitations. I would rate this solution eight out of ten. It's a good solution in the sense of what it was designed for: formulating business capabilities, application factors, and managing dashboards. It's a very powerful and flexible tool for making nice reports. However, it's not made for handling tasks such as architecture design like Enterprise Architect is.
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