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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

The future of Enterprise Architecture

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I just thought that it is not a bad time to attempt to forecast myself the future of EA given the high interest still attracted by the topic. After all, Gartner does it with profusion of detail.

Is Enterprise Architecture going anywhere? This looks like a legitimate question. It is, albeit slowly in the absence of an agreed practical framework and clear proof of its business case. The reason is straightforward: EA is a necessary "evil". Any system needs a blueprint enabling proper operation, maintenance, planning... To fulfill the expectations, EA  needs to satisfy its many stakeholders in top management, business, technology/IT and organization.  Here are a few directions, I can see the Enterprise Architecture progressing, in no particular order, but happening in the next five years or so:

A.      EA will finally be recognized as a business discipline, having incorporated Value Chains,  Business Models, Strategic Planning...

B.      The EA evolves to increasingly cover business architecture rather than IT alone; the Enterprise Architecture will be the result of the fusion of IT, Business and Organization/People architectures; what is the value of an applications architecture, without the process it implements or the people operating it?

C.      The governance for EA will be more & more business and top management heavy; this is because it would be used in mapping the strategy to components, to derive the enterprise transformation portfolio, make investments and take strategic and tactical decisions.

D.      The EA development will be increasingly triggered by Mergers & Acquisitions and outsourcing activities; IT BPO, SaaS(ASP) are riding a strong current right now.

E.       The Enterprise Architect would be more and more called in the business decision making process; because the EA architect deals with the business logic, technology operation and strategy, is able to understand both worlds and use both business and IT vocabularies.

F.       A combined EA framework emerges to take advantage of the strengths of various frameworks, such as Zachman, TOGAF, FEA and others.

G.      SOA is recognized as part of the EA program as the target EA style of architecture and technology, rather than executed in isolation as it often happens

H.      EA would be increasingly required by shareholders/owners/investors to provide the blueprint of the business operation to describe assets, provide proof of regulatory compliance, map costs and profits on various operations and align strategy. The US government mandates EA to the public sector. EA would become a regulatory feature for public listed companies.

What do you think?

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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

Tom, I'll answer with the next post.

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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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