Enterprise Architecture – Where Business Meets IT

 

I believe that a Enterprise Architect must be well grounded in the big picture business view of a company just as much as any technological aspect. 

In an blog post by Eric Roach, this concept is echoed:

The business was promised great benefits from SOA that often turned out to be non-tangible or non-existent. Large amounts of money were spent on software and infrastructure with no clear plans on how to achieve business value. The fundamental concepts of starting small, proving ROI and gaining business sponsorship where ignored in the avalanche of SOA marketing hype.

Read the article at: SOA Sponsorship and The Business

EA’s need to be in close contact with the business units to understand business goals from a MACRO perspective. Only when armed with that view can they effectively take, and translate, those goals into architectural concepts and practices that IT can follow to meet those goals.

Some advice to Architects: Don’t spend all your time engrossed in the latest technology trends (though they are important). Break away and spend time with business counterparts and find out WHAT needs to get done across multiple LOB’s.  Then you can focus on HOW to get things done with approaches like SOA, Cloud, etc., that best meet the business goals.

Comments:

Absolutely! The architect needs a clear view of the business vision and the incremental roadmap to realize that vision. With the business vision and roadmap in mind, the architect can prioritize and recommend the services and interfaces that need to be created.

Posted by Chuck Peterson on August 04, 2009 at 04:03 AM EDT #

I have found that the introduction of Basel II to financial services has lent itself to becoming the basis for EA to prove its value to the enterprise. Operational risk forms one of the pillars of Basel II and the recording of financial losses is an integral part of the required reporting to the central bank. By analysisng the processes that have failed and resulted in financial losses the business architect can detect which business process components have failed and utilise this as a starting point for discussions with both business management and IT management to eradicate the error and thus the chances of the same error occuring again. These discussions could point to one of the following aspects: 1/. People - Skills, required number, training. 2/. Process - re-engineering, controls. 3/. Technology - Insufficient utilisation of technology. 4/. Infrastructure - Centralised Vs Decentralised The financial improvement in Operational losses can therefore be utilised as a barometer to judge the net value add which EA is contributing to the enterprise, and add a new dimension to the EA cause which has struggled to quantify the contribution in financial terms to the organisation of the architecture initiative.

Posted by robert McKee on August 10, 2009 at 04:51 AM EDT #

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Art, Artifacts, and Best Practices for Enterprise Architects

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