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Do you agree with Gartner that by 2016, 30 percent of EA programs will be collaborations between business and IT

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Gartner recently stated, "Enterprise architecture (EA) is a key strategic initiative, as the majority of practitioners have shifted their focus to their business's strategic vision, not focusing on the IT organization alone, according to Gartner, Inc. By 2016, 30 percent of EA efforts will be supported as a collaboration between business and IT, up from 9 percent in early 2011." Do you agree?

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  • That's depressing. EA should be 100% collaboration between IT and "business" anyway.

    Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but isn't IT *for* the business anyway? There really shouldn't be these artifical boundaries between IT and business folk.

  • The parallels between EA and PPM (project and portfolio management) interest me. Over the last decade PPM has followed the Gartner Hype Cycle and today we find ourselves somewhere between the "trough of disillusionment" and "the slope of enlightenment". Many customers I talk to love the idea of PPM but are daunted by the task of the perpetual need to enter data into the system to keep the information up to date. "For the number of decisions we take based on the data in [the tool]" a customer recently told me "the amount of data entry doesn't seem worth it."

    My concern is that EA tools have the same heavy demand for accurate and current data. If EA is going to be an integral part of the enterprise decision making process they must solve the problem of obtaining live data as a byproduct of IT, and business, activity.

    One way EA tools can avoid the "disillusionment" part of the cycle is to connect to the business process automation tools. With this intersection it becomes possible to collect the state changes real-time and record this content in the EA tool eliminating the manual data entry. If this is factored in from the beginning it makes the solution much more effective.

    Given all of that: I am sure that Gartner are correct. EA is going to be a critical decision support tool and will be vital in bringing business and IT together and aligning them ... and maybe before 2016.

  • Just wondering if anyone has any choice in the matter. Either there is a demand/requirement for creating or aligning the different EA classes like IT, processes, services etc. - or there isn't.

    I don't see that number - or actually any number - as a benchmark. Rather, it should be decided on a case by case basis...although i'm sceptical if the basic understanding of EA and the how-to knowledge is sufficiently developed to achieve even 30%.

  • It's only 9 percent now? What exactly are the other 91% EA efforts doing if they're not bridging technology to the business?

  • Sadly, if you are working in the line of business (Ops Director, Call Center Supervisor, Finance Controller), you cannot see where Enterprise Architecture is connected to getting the day job done. This is partly the business users lack of understanding of the key role of EA, and partly that EA seems wedded to IT and talks about the business operations in terms of entities, data flows, IT services and activities. The interviening manual activities between the IT systems are not considered.

    As business users get more power over IT procurement decisions and they start using cloud apps (the Stealth Cloud) to bypass IT, the role of the EA could become a quiet backwater - ignored, irrelevant - at a time when it is even more critical to architect the complex mashups of on-premise and cloud apps.

    But the EA needs a 'makeover' so that they engage with business users rather than appear the aloof high priests of data and systems with their complex diagrams of hieroglyphics.

    But the first step is to realise that they are not supporting the business - certainly not from the business' perspective. Perception is reality.

  • Could be anywhere from 0 to 100 based on who you ask and how you ask. today. tomorrow. a decade back. a decade later. :)

    BTW, What is EA?

  • This is one of the reasons why business people get so frustrated with IT people and why so many IT initiatives that mean well, dont align with business strategy, needs or basic requirements!

    IT is there to implement a business strategy. Great technology and IT will have a positive impact on a busineses strategy, allowing business to push the boundaries of that strategy and business drive, but its a collaboration between the two always.

    Those IT professionals that failto engage the business will more often than not, fail the business. Its also this kind of thinking that leads to so many silo approaches to business needs, which ultimately dont align well with the actual business need...

  • 100% of all EA programs should be a collaboration between business and IT - TODAY not in a few years. I have no idea when the rest of the 91% companies will wake up, but I do feel sorry for them.

  • EA was always meant to be collaborative. However, the reality is that many business leaders may not be intimately aware of the details in this space, making it less collaborative. Considering the overall spread in the marketplace, I think Gartner’s forecast is close. I would seriously expect it to be much more than 30%, though. However, if the global economy improves dramatically and the markets go crazy all over again, this percentage will be much lesser!!

  • It is hard to say, but it is quite likely, now that the cloud enables companies to be increasingly divorced from the technical aspect of IT, and can focus more on business alignment.

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    A key principle for us has always been that EA is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. You apply EA as a method to create a business application that addresses a business problem – such as the need to balance a portfolio, or manage a complex change – and the application is used live by business people as a core part of their day job. There may be no IT involvement at all, except to host the live architecture application for business users. An architecture shouldn’t be designed for architects; in fact, many of the users of a good architecture solution will not even know that there’s an architecture inside – they just understand intuitively that there's some mechanism by which things are connected, which helps their understanding and analysis. Going back to Kevin’s piece earlier, this means that EA tools need to have many of the capabilities found in PPM and BI tools, as per the latest Gartner tools assessment paper.

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    Enterprise Architecture will be rapidly evolving into a reactive, put-the-fire-out exercise in enterprises from a pro-active, here's-how-you-need-to-do-it-if-you-want-to-play-within-ourcompany'sIT-dictating EA. With mobility, smartphones and tablets invading or about to invade enterprise in large numbers, EA will be going crazy to keep some semblance of control and overall architecture! They will be happy to keep their EA diagrams updated!

    The tail will start wagging the dog soon!

  • I've often seen the situation where a "business" person says something like this to a junior "IT" person: "I don't care how, just make it work before the end of the week"

    So they make it work.

    Business is happy, but as they rinse and repeat this solution, they add more and more technical debt.

    I guess this is what EA architects (the ones who aren't just kissing ass) are trying to deal with.

  • To collaborate “with” the business and IT, an enterprise architect has to know how the following items are working TOGETHER:
    1. The business itself
    2. Business architecture
    3. BPM
    4. PM (or PPM)
    5. SOA
    6. IT service management
    7. Etc.

    Considering that the first and last items in this list are rather specific, for how many other items do we have commonly agreed “body of knowledge” or “reference model”? Certainly, not for all of them.

    Sure, the current 9 % may become 30 % soon, but, I wonder, what would be their outcome without industrialization of EA (and majority of items from that list).

    Thanks,
    AS

  • I agree wuth Joe that the right number for appropriate Enterprise Architecture should be 100%. However, collaboration between IT and Business is a fundemntal issue, which include collaboration in Enterprise Architecture.
    SOA and BPM are about IT and Business Collaboration.
    Unfortunately, the gap between Business and IT is gorowing.
    The lack of this kind of collaboration is a major factor for the high rate of SOA initiatives failures as described in the post STKI Summit 2011 – SOA Perspective: Business Services or only Integration.
    Nobody is able to predict the actual figures of 2016.
    Unfortunately, I think that we will be closer to the 9% cited by Joe than to the Gartner's prediction of 30%, unless a fundemntal change of IT and Business realtions will take place.

    The Gartner paper includes also the following statement: "An increased ability for business users to lead and make technology decisions, with or without IT ". which may face The question: will the IT department survive at all in 2016?. IT department fighting for its survival will probably try to discriminate itself from other departments than to Collaborate with the Business on creating together an EA.

  • In many respects, I hope Gartner is wrong. By simply shooting for 30% of EA programs to be a joint collaboration between business and IT is downright appalling. Companies should strive for 100% collaboration. In my opinion, the old rule applies: 20% of the work will get you 80% to the solution. If we can't get to that 80% mark, then we have much bigger problems to solve.

    Realistically speaking, though, I believe Avi is more on the money. Avi makes an interesting point regarding the increasing gap between IT and business. Plus, Gartner questions the legitimacy of the IT department by 2016.

    We're an industry that will live by it's continued specialization. The more we muddy the waters and have "jack of all trades, master of none" groups, I fear we lose our innovative output.

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