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What's the Next Big Thing in Enterprise Architecture?

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What do you think will be the next big thing in EA?

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  • The next big thing is Less is More.

    Giving up / compromising on functionality to be able to use the same tool/application as the end users, so there is a single/shared model for both EA and the business operational processes.

    Not possible. Wrong. We have clients with over 75 operating units and 250,000 staff achieving it. And IT were the ones that agreed to give up on EA functionality to get i) end user adoption ii) version control iii) auditable collaborative change cycle

  • The problem with many EA advocates is they take the "static view" of the business: looking at the process here, service there. IMHO we need to move to understanding and using:
    - the agents of change affcting our business, the events that "can" as well as "do" occur, and associated value chains
    - the motivations and goals of the agents, departments and service providers, and how they interplay.

    With these an enterprise viewpoint can better able support the business, and provide real value in coordinating services and processes, as well as being a strategic asset for management.

  • An agreed EA framework that defines EA, its scope and provides an associated metamodel, reference business map and design templates besides process (TOGAF ADM) and a way of thinking (Zachman). That would help us move from the discussion phase in the implementation phase.

  • What ever the next big thing is, let's hope it's not market driven to move more product ! My own view is that if a consensus could be reached on a relatively simple standard for making data and functionality securely accessible from other applications, we could focus on the business requirements instead of continually replumbing systems with integration frameworks. While this may sound like Nirvana, remember when we were still discussing TCP/IP or SNA and various other flavours of connectivity? I look back now and wonder how we ever worked with SNA. Is there anyone that would disagree with using TCP/IP now? The next big move will be interoperation and my own view is that REST and SOAP do this very well, others I'm sure have different views but a consensus on this would be nice.

  • There are 2 Next Big Things in Enterprise Architecture:

    1) merge or integration with Business Architecture

    2) surviving Cloud Computing

  • My gut reaction to the question was why do we need a "next big thing"? It seems that we're already having enough challenges trying to have a consistently successful practice.

    So, I'm going to change the question. I think the question should be, what things need to change to make enterprise architecture successful through 2020. I have two things:

    1) Senior management must come to agreement on their operating model at a strategic level, rather than handling everything on a decision-by-decision basis. EA cannot be systemically successful without this, because otherwise we waste vast amounts of energy on things that could be of enterprise value, but whose outcome is really completely dependent on the political climate at the time. That's guesswork and that's a risky spot.

    2) Capabilities are your friend. Rather than walk around with a portfolio of technologies (i.e. solutions), walk around with a portfolio of capabilities (i.e. problem classifications). Go deep enough into capabilities where you can clearly align it with the operating model, and get everyone to align on the capability needs before any even begins to talk about possible solutions.

  • Agree with Michael -- dealing with cloud computing, and the erroneous perception that using cloud services somehow means less EA work to do. With cloud, as with SOA, people forget that it's about the business, not the technology. And the business demands scalable, secure, cost effective, flexible, elegant (if at all possible) solutions -- regardless if the technology itself is onsite or somewhere else.

  • I Totally agree with Todd, further to add on the same lines apart from the Organizations coming up with the strategies for technical challenges to meet the Business Requirements, Let Business Team come up with the Road map of the things that are planned down the line for at least 3 to 4 years this will be an in put to the Technology team to come up at the road map, So that the Business and Technical teams of an Organization are in Sync with Each other. To Have Robust Infrastructure and Technical Solutions for the Business Problems and to Reduce the Cost on the Operations which is the major problem, Organizations should focus on the Business Road Map. It is not so easy in today's Enterprise world to have easy solutions for the problems related to the Sensitive data that will be passed over the Network, Security is the Major Factor that drives the Success, As of now all the SOA services or the Web Services are following the Traditional One way Authentication using the PKCS based on RSA Algorithm, the way needs to be changed to have the 2SSL Authentication where the Authentication is done 2 ways both by the Provider and the Consumer, take the Example of Push Notifications feature that Apple has implemented.

    Educating the Business the importance of the Road Map is important to have the technical challenges eased out on the implementation.

  • How about "following through" on actually providing the business with "meaningful" solutions, and actually getting these solutions into production in days and weeks not months and years. Of course, this requires decisions to be made and unfortunately in today's current state of mind to many folks are all to consumed with more pressing issues, such as, what's the next big thing, or dare I say whats the next big thing that marketing wants to make up!!!

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    Thomas has a great point. EA's must "follow through" on providing the business with solutions that matter. I do think that it's important to stay ahead of the times if that is even possible. From my conversations with EA professionals they are so busy that sometimes it's hard to take a step back and think about 3-5 yrs down the road. They have so many things that are on their plate that I think they forget that they do have to plan ahead. Planning for the future is key, but sometimes you do what it takes because the organization needs it even if it is more tatical than strategic. I'm not saying that's ok, but create value, relationships must be built. Especially in the beginning

    Twitter: @cdetzel

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