How to Get Data into LeanIX EAM

Step 1. Upload Application Data into LeanIX

There are several ways in which you can get data into LeanIX:

  • Via the Excel Import/Export function: This is our customers' most common approach when starting with LeanIX. Use this function if you already have an existing Excel tracker with a list of the elements described in the previous step. You can find a detailed description of this function here.
  • Add applications manually to LeanIX by simply creating a New Fact Sheet in the Inventory.
  • You can also crowdsource data into LeanIX via Surveys. Through the LeanIX Survey feature you will allow your business owners to support you in a more collaborative way. This is a slightly more advanced feature, but a powerful one that gets many responsible people involved, and increases the adoption of LeanIX.
  • You can leverage LeanIX EAM SaaS Discovery to automatically get SaaS Applications into LeanIX EAM.

In this step, you also should identify the owners and users of the applications you are assessing.

Make sure to add the details of some of your applications attributes. The most relevant ones for a portfolio assessment are Technical Fit, Functional Fit, and Business Criticality.

If you are assessing for Cloud Migration, you can think of Cloud Readiness, Current or Target Maturity, or any customized attributes that you might use within your organization.

Once you have uploaded the initial data application – let's say your first 50-300 applications – it is time to shape up your data covering some minimum requirements. The most efficient way to approach this is to go to the Inventory, select the Application Fact Sheet using the Filters on the left, choose table view by selecting the small square at the top right of the center screen, and edit information inline as you would using Excel.

Make sure to remember the following:

  • Choose a meaningful Display Name - our best practice is to use something a business user can understand at first glance.
  • Check/validate all attributes. You can do a simple inline rating or adjust any rating provided during the data collection. For example, from a business point of view using Business Criticality - which goes from "Mission critical" to "Administrative Service".
  • Gather as much relevant information on the applications in your organization, including their technical and business attributes, ownership, and costs.

Step 2. Import and Define Business Capabilities

Having business capabilities in your repository is essential to understand how IT supports the business. Business capabilities show in a structured way all an organization's high-level activities that work to achieve its goals. It is essential to understand that Business Capabilities don't represent departments of your organization – User Groups in LeanIX are meant to do this instead. Defining Business Capabilities and understanding the relation between Business Capabilities and Applications is a very useful part of your portfolio assessment as it will allow you to discover redundancies, e.g., different Applications that fulfill the same purpose. It is an excellent way to understand how your IT supports specific tasks (jobs to be done), no matter the department or country.


More on Business Capabilities

For German-speaking LeanIX users, we highly recommend the book Business Capabilities by Wolf Pfannenstiel, which is one of the most comprehensive resource on this topic.

It is not an easy task to identify business capabilities, and it is an exercise that is meant to be done hand-in-hand with your business stakeholders. To help you get started structuring your business, we have published a Best Practice Capability Map.

A study we conducted amongst our customers showed that over 50% work with only two levels or less in their Business Capabilities. It is good practice to start with a small map and only move to more detail if required.

There are two things to consider when getting business capabilities into LeanIX:

  • Organize them into a capability hierarchy. A capability hierarchy is a structured view of your business capabilities that allows you to see how they relate. You can create this hierarchy using LeanIX's built-in Capability Modeling functionality.
  • Define Capability Properties: After creating the Capability Hierarchy, you can define additional properties for each Business Capability. For example, you can subscribe the responsible owner of the capability, the technology used to enable the capability, and the cost associated with the capability. This information can help you better understand each capability's impact on your organization.

To import Business Capabilities, please follow the Import and Export your Data article. Make sure to notice the highlight on hierarchies. Your import should look similar to this:

  1. Prepare the Excel sheet with the Business Capability information.

  2. Once the import is complete, you will see the Business Capability Fact Sheets available in your Inventory.

Learn more about business capabilities in this white paper: Business Capabilities: How to win the digital age with a common language for Business & IT.

Step 3. Link Applications to Business Capabilities

Now it's time to link Applications to Business Capabilities to establish relationships; this will help you understand how IT supports your organization's high-level activities. This also can be done quickly via XLS - read the "Creating relations" note at Import and Export your Data. You will get the following result:

  1. Export your Application list with an additional column Business Capability enabled from your Inventory. Populate the Business Capability column according to the Applications. Once you are done, Import the Excel sheet back into your Inventory.

  2. Once the import is complete, you should be able to see all Applications that are related to a Business Capability in the Business Capability Fact Sheet, such as in this example: