Business Value from IT

Business Value from IT

Macmillan – Architecture Roadmap

Macmillan Science and Education is a global academic and educational publisher of prestigious brands including Nature, Palgrave and Scientific American.

The Challenge

MSE was formed in 2012 by combining various businesses in the Macmillan portfolio (notably, Nature Publishing Group, Macmillan Higher Education and Palgrave Macmillan). Since its inception, the company has been undergoing a programme of consolidation into two divisions: Science & Scholarly and Education. Although progress has been made already to advance this consolidation from an IT perspective, the estate remains largely fragmented yet the company’s strategic challenges remain: how to build momentum in the market as a content/technology product leader whilst, at the same time, to overcome the inertia of a currently federated architecture with legacy technology-enabled workflows. Virtrium were commissioned to develop an Enterprise Architecture Blueprint strategy (Blueprint) to address these current strategic challenges.

Virtrium’s Approach

Working closely with MSE’s Enterprise Architecture team, Virtrium used its industry best- practice techniques to conduct an appraisal of the company’s current state business, technology and information architectures and, in alignment with its business strategy, develop the desired end state enterprise architecture. After formulating a set of business-focused architectural guiding principles, the project team’s sophisticated modelling techniques examined over 100 opportunities for change to develop a prioritised roadmap for guiding strategic investment.

The Outcomes

Virtrium and the MSE project team were able to deliver a comprehensive Blueprint strategy for achieving cost reduction and risk mitigation that would:

  • deliver the potential to reduce IT spend by approx. 50% against budgeted baseline through system consolidation, increase standardisation and make more effective use of suppliers
  • provide pragmatic architectural governance processes to ensure appropriate levels of guidance and technical leadership could be applied to ensure technology investments would be able to deliver the strategic outcomes of the Blueprint strategy; and
  • improve the ongoing capability of the architecture team with a set of foundational architectural artifacts, tools and techniques.


"Virtrium provided us with the required depth and breadth of expertise to complete a complex initiative, exactly in the time frame required. This has helped underpin our ambitious consolidation and rationalisation roadmap."

David McNally - Chief Technology Officer

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