Tonik Energy is a dynamic, award-winning energy company supplying 100% renewable electricity and green gas to UK homes; Tonik is striving to create an environmentally and financially sustainable ecosystem which balances the interests of the customer, the nation and the planet. By 2022, Tonik plans to halve their customers’ energy bills by enabling each customer to control how they generate, store and use energy, and encouraging the use of renewable energy, microgeneration and in-home battery storage.
The architecture owner had an urgent requirement to understand whether the existing enterprise architecture was fit for purpose, both in the short term and for the longer term.
Tonik’s business and growth plans required an environment which was simple, easily expandable, clearly understood, maintainable and supportable.
The environment was largely cloud based, using modern development frameworks and technologies, however there were some significant gaps in knowledge and documentation, and a lack of consistency in the service delivery and change management processes.
Given the organic growth of the existing enterprise architecture, our consulting practice proposed a solution architecture and development audit, focusing on what was in place and how it was managed.
During the investigation and analysis, it became apparent that a broader context was needed. The scope was therefore extended to include the wider IT function and adjacent infrastructure.
We agreed with the architecture owner the optimum balance of scope versus value delivered, to ensure that the audit covered the required scope but didn’t gather more data, take longer or cost more than was necessary.
We conducted four days of workshops and interviews with stakeholders across the company from C-level to developers. Our workshops were tailored for each audience and included both business representatives and targeted technical representatives.
We used TOGAF Standard as a reference to carry out and document the findings of the audit.
The outputs from our audit were a comprehensive report which summarised the findings from each of the workshop sessions, and a representation of each of the architecture layers (business, data, applications, technology).
We presented our assessment of how well the business aspirations, plans and strategies were understood by the IT function and how well the architecture supported the business requirements. We also assessed how well the various stakeholders were aligned based on the feedback gathered.
The observations arising were grouped into three layers, enterprise level, solutions and technical realisation. We also carried out a detailed risk assessment to identify improvements and gaps, which were presented as a risk mitigation plan.
The risk mitigation plan contained both tactical and strategic actions, grouped by the stakeholders who owned the risks and who were accountable for implementation of the identified actions.
The actions were prioritised based on business value versus technical complexity to identify the quick wins and strategic projects, and to deprioritise the actions where the cost and effort required did not deliver a return on investment.
Approach and methods
- The audit was conducted by Objectivity’s Consulting auditing framework for solution architecture and development practice
- The audit was delivered through onsite interviews and workshops with the business team and technical team
- The audit was enriched with TOGAF Standard to deliver architecture baseline to target state description and analysis outputs
- The final report documented our analysis and findings, and presented prioritised actions to deliver the best return on investment
Our findings and action plan to achieve both quick wins and strategic benefit were accepted by Tonik. The recommendations are being actioned, and Tonik is working together with Objectivity on establishing an overarching Enterprise Architecture discipline to manage gaps, improvements and strategic planning for the IT landscape.