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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

Enterprise Architecture relation to Strategy, Innovation, Risk, Investment and Transformation

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 This is an answer to a question to the previous post:
Tom: "Please talk to us regarding the business value of these five enterprise architecture capabilities".
1.     Strategy Formation, Planning and Alignment
2. Emerging Technologies and New Technology Innovation
3. Technology Risk and Impact 
4. Investment Oversight and Architecture Governance
5. Architecture and Transformation

1. Strategy formulation is not an EA discipline. The EA would enable though the strategy mapping on the functions, processes and organizational units so that it can be executed.
Also the Enterprise transformation process that executes the strategy is guided by the EA
You'll find a whole chapter in my book about strategy formulation and a clear diagram summarising the whole process for business or IT strategists.

2. Emerging technologies and innovation are similarly not in the scope EA; but are essential to the Enterprise survival. EA plays a key role though in standardising the technology of the future and establishing principles that may promote innovation. It's upon you ultimately to include this far seeing aspects.

3. Technology risk and impacts are part of the EA gap analysis. The EA blueprint would also enable visualisation of issues and hot areas that may present risks and need investment (valid for 4).

4. Investment oversight; by establishing technology selection guidelines and architecture principles the EA would render the investment decision making  consistent and fast. 

5. Transformation is the major potential benefit of architecture. The blueprint, the current situation documentation, the gap analysis would enable you to plan the transformation of the Enterprise in synch, without losing parts, and ultimately effect change for tactical or strategical purposes.

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One item to re- consider, "Strategy formulation is not an EA discipline". EA itself does have a strategy which is communicated across the organization. Yes there is a business strategy and operations strategy, but most people forget that EA develops its own strategy.

In addition, risk and impact are performed at the portfolio level, both capital and asset.

EA may have a strategy (how to do or evolve EA) but it is very different from the Enterprise strategy.
EA architects do not specify E strategy, it's not part of their skill set or job description. But the exception proves the rule.
IT strategy functions are often separate from the EA function; as such EAs do IT strategy sometimes. But EA enables strategy execution. That's my experience.
Adrian G

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Adrian Grigoriu blogs about everything relating to enterprise and business architecture, SOA, frameworks, design, planning, execution, organization and related issues.

Adrian Grigoriu

Adrian is an executive consultant in enterprise architecture, former head of enterprise architecture at Ofcom, the spectrum and broadcasting U.K. regulatory agency and chief architect at TM Forum, an organization providing a reference integrated business architecture framework, best practices and standards for the telecommunications and digital media industries. He also was a high technology, enterprise architecture and strategy senior manager at Accenture and Vodafone, and a principal consultant and lead architect at Qantas, Logica, Lucent Bell Labs and Nokia. He is the author of two books on enterprise architecture development available on Kindle and published articles with BPTrends, the Microsoft Architecture Journal and the EI magazine. Shortlisted by Computer Weekly for the IT Industry blogger of the year 2011.

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