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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

Enterprise Architecture and Strategy

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EA as the architecture of the Enterprise, i.e. integrated blueprint and associated information, offers a solid base for roadmapping, planning and strategy specification and execution because EA describes the components of the Enterprise and their relationships.

Strategic Planning is based on programs changing EA components, executed as part of the EA process of transforming the Enterprise from the current to future states.

EA does not do strategic planning for you.  But with a proper EA you should have a all the components of the Enterprise and their relationships to consider in strategy design and execution. You would be able to take into consideration all systems, technology, organizational units and their dependencies. Ideally nothing would be left out, and there would be no conflicts for resources in execution.  
Strategy execution would be implemented as an Enterprise Project Portfolio transforming all components in synchronization, according to vision.
With the EA you have an idea of how your strategy to reduce costs is supported by a reduction in  duplication of such components as IT platforms, projects, people and processes.
In my book I describe an one page strategy specification process, its mapping mechanism and  how to assemble the overall Enterprise strategy which is more than business strategy.

An issue creating confusion is that EA definitions, usually associated to an EA purpose, identify EA only with strategy. People associate EA only with strategic planning for instance. But alignment, simplification, understanding documentation are equal goals for an EA.

It is also true that the EA transformation is typically called strategy (execution) sau IT strategy sometimes and as such EA is associated only with the Enterprise transformation process, ignoring the as-is state discovery for example.

You don't need EA to do the strategic planning but EA, through that intimate knowledge of elements and dependencies, enables a holistic view and application of methods such Enterprise Project  Portfolio Management.

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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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