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Cloud Computing makes Enterprise Architecture more important & supremely relevant. Enterprise Architecture is not a cookie cutter approach which has the same duck shape for children, large circle for adults, and guitar heroes for teenagers. Enterprise Architecture will use Cloud Computing as an arrow in the quiver, if you will.

Even within Cloud Computing there are many options for which to apply it within an organization’s Enterprise Architecture (private, public, or mixture thereof). While the similarity may exist based upon industry, organization size, and leadership style, each organization has a unique element which allows them to differentiate in the market. Thus, their Enterprise Architecture will vary within an acceptable range as established by the practice of Enterprise Architecture as a framework.

The notion that an organization can simply hand over the reigns to their “infrastructure” or “services” without due diligence on their part is preposterous. Only when an organization understands, in finite detail, what their Enterprise Architecture is can they effectively utilize any arrow in their quiver (cloud computing, backup, disaster recovery, service management, and so forth). There will be organizations which will use Cloud Computing as a way to “refine” cost; however, the cost savings will be short lived. Outsourcing your mess for less is and always has been a recipe for disaster, if your objective is lower TCO (total cost of ownership). In the long run (not Wall Street short sightedness), the only way for outsourcing to be wildly successful for the “user” (organization outsourcing to a provider) is when the user has mastered Enterprise Architecture and can then commoditize pieces which make sense (i.e. “infrastructure” management).

Mastering Enterprise Architecture implies that an organization has also mastered the concept of Service Management with Vital Mission Activities that support mulitple levels of service in a leveraged manner. Subsequently, business and IT are aligned on customer experience expectations / value and outcomes. Agility and Results do not come without rigor, efficiency, and simplicity.

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