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Is Enterprise Architecture the Solution to Business / IT Misfits?

by Douwe Pieter van den Bos on September 10, 2010 · 0 comments

What's in A Cube?

If you believe a lot of marketing around Enterprise Architecture it is. But in the practice the overkill of EA strategies and implementation really brings a lot to mind when it comes to solutions on Business and IT misfits. IT doesn’t support Business as much as it should. IT doesn’t push Business as hard as it could.

But where does the problem lie? Probably in the simple fact that, although, Enterprise Architecture tends to focus on infrastructural issues and application challenges instead of focusing on Business Architecture and the goals and challenges of organizations.

Besides this, there is a bigger issue at hand. Enterprise Architecture’s main implementation within organizations is to avoid and address risk within large enterprise IT projects. To make sure the project will have the right focus and responsibility is taken in account. Not to support Business / IT Alignment. Because of this, EA has the tendency of becoming nothing more than a ‘must have’ documentation strategy. Instead of real added value.

Too bad, because the right implementation of Enterprise Architecture, using a creative, pragmatic and agile approach, really can be a solution for non-performing Business and IT strategies. The proper way of looking at EA is, in this case, not a risk manager, but a facilitator to change.

On Monday September 20th, I will attend Oracle’s Enterprise Architecture Executive Summit (gee, that’s a long name…). One of the breakout streams is on the topic of ‘EA and Business Alignment’. I really do hope that we (finally) start talking about agility in Enterprise Architecture instead of control and management of pre-defined outcomes.

In my humble opinion (which everything in this blog is actually about, my opinion) Enterprise Architecture has the possibility to drive Business goals and facilitate change and agility. But the main question remains: are the present Architects able to change themselves?

(Disclaimer: It’s not my intention, nor is it ever, to offend or make fun of anyone. The above simply states the notions I have during my work. If, in any way, you disagree or feel offended, please let me know.)

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