Wednesday Jul 24, 2013

The Chief Marketing Technology Officer - CMTO - and the EA

The Chief Marketing Technology Officer (CMTO) is recently an often-proposed role, that combines the interactive marketing savvy and experience of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and the traditional information technology operations, management and investment knowledge of a CIO or CTO. More and more often, digital marketing requirements of an organization need a healthy integration of both marketing and IT skills. A good deal of the CMTO/CMO's "enterprise" scope to address is actually outside of their organization, i.e. dealing with Internet-based services, tools or 3rd-party sourced data and information.  This expanded, external scope can effectively, and should be addressed by the Enterprise Architect.[Read More]

Tuesday Jul 16, 2013

What is culture and how does it affect the practice of Enterprise Architecture?

As Architects we often spend countless hours working toward delivering great artifacts, including a future state, current state and roadmap to assist our customers in developing a vision and plan toward transformation or maturity. This work is often completed and finds its place on the CIO’s bookshelf or the Lead Architect’s desk with little action or even a second look. Why is this work not actively embraced by many organizations beyond the IT walls or even within the IT organization?

Don’t misunderstand my position, I believe all of the work completed during an iterative EA process that outputs the artifacts I mentioned above add value, although if the organization is not “culturally” ready to embrace the work and transform then the effort is for not.

Culture is defined in many ways by many scholars, although I find it easiest to define culture as interactions and relationships between members of an organization or unit within that organization. This assumes there is an organizational culture and sub cultures within that organization. With this said, it is important that we as architects focus on the overarching organizational culture to better understand whether our customers are ready for an EA engagement.

Our first priority is to ensure we are engaged with the highest level of sponsorship within the organization. For instance, developing physical architectures with the platform division does not constitute Enterprise Architecture, but rather a Technical Architecture and will only have an effect on that sub culture within the organization. EAs need to ensure they are seated alongside the CIO, CFO, COO or even the Chief Executive to ensure efforts toward cultural transformation can be enabled via strong sponsorship.

In the public sector this can be a difficult task as most executives are focused on business related practices and often see the CIO and vendors as “IT focused.” It is critical for our communication during initial contact to be business focused. Conversations about technology are not held until key items, like capability modeling, guiding principles and governance structures are embraced by the organization as a result of cultural change. Once these cultural elements are embraced and socialized technology decisions will be easily facilitated with little debate or power struggles. Remember, the “sponsor” understands how important organizational transformation is at this point in the evolution and will help sub groups understand the vision. Communication and vision are critical elements at this point in the journey toward transformation.

Once we have commitment from the sponsor it is critical for the sponsor to understand the partnership needed between the EA Team and Executive Team. The EA Team is not chartered with creating mission, vision, strategy etc. but rather with understanding the Executive Team’s goals and objectives for the organization and aligning the technology investments with these goals and objectives. Every investment decision made is a direct representation of how the organization’s culture is manifesting itself physically.


This blog is written and maintained by the Oracle Public Sector Enterprise Architecture & Strategy Community. We are senior Enterprise Architects across Canada and the United States dedicated to helping public sector customers use the discipline of enterprise architecture to turn strategy into successful execution.


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