Helpful Tips
Get to the information you want quicker by selecting a category name or a popular tag.

Lets consider, if you will, that there are multiple layers of Enterprise Architecture. One aspect is the business aspect. Another aspect is divisional aspect.

The basic premise of people, process, and enablement applies in either case. I would agree with the argument that organizations worldwide have lost the art of Enterprise Architecture as is obvious by the numerous structures and departments littered across the landscape of business today. Even more substantial is the structure of governmental bodies proliferating the map (i.e. take IT – 27 CIOs for one department of the US Government).

The economic downturn and organizational dysfunction (http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/?p=476) have simply provided more light by which we can examine this lack of Enterprise Architecture at any level. Enterprise Architecture is needed at the business level and at the IT level; ideally working hand in hand (i.e. http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/?p=488). An Enterprise Architect at each level does require a different skillset but yet complimentary. Arguments made for either aspect, business or divisional, are valid; however, they must work in tandem for success.

The same issues plague both roles: the vision, strategy, and execution of any business. Economics apply pressure which stress these elements. IT is a business unit and thus needs alignment with the rest of the enterprise. Just as CPAs/Actuaries, Lawyers, and Technologists are often segragated due to common interests and dialects, so to are their business units for a good functional reason to deliver upon their portion of the execution, strategy, and vision.

Building any organization takes an enterprise view. Subsequently, each division must also take an enterprise view in how it serves the others (http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/?p=54) as well as structuring itself. A basketball team is not made up of all guards or all centers since the competition can counter easily; however, maintaining one of each is not a good practice either. The coaching structure is diverse to provide instruction and support for different positions and offensive/defensive plans. Often the Head Coach must take on the role of Enterprise Architect to make sure that all of the position coaches are instructing in the same manner and not in direct conflict. Economics has little to do with this structure or these roles with the exception of applying pressure to how many people reside within this structure and how many roles they must play.

Apply this to business as we see it today, and we find that in most organizations the CEO has taken on (and most often simply neglected) the role of Enterprise Architect. The CEO generally looks to his functional team members (CFO, CIO, COO, etc.) to rule their roosts. Arguably, each functional team member must serve as or employ an Enterprise Architect within their division. This is where we have allowed a perversion of the functionality of Enterprise Architect to occur. As mentioned as a basis to this discussion, each of these functional team members (CFO, CIO, COO, CEO, etc.) has become a manager of people, neglecting the role which they “absorbed” to architect how things come together. So, I would agree that the lack of Enterprise Architecture on many levels has led to the economic pressure many managers feel because they have neglected proper alignment provided by Enterprise Architecture.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Close
loading...