Sunday, April 19, 2009

Good discussion on Enterprise Architect

Came across an interesting discussion on the role of Enterprise Architect in the groups. and my take on this is as below:

Though EA is all about engineering the enterprise, which is primarily the business side of the architecture, it emerged and evolved with IT in the last decade or may be since little earlier than that. The EA role is like a swiss army knife, to craft the enterprise IT needs including infrastructure, hardware and software.

In the Software Development perspective, it will be Solution Architect or Technical Architect and the parameters will vary by project. Solution Architect's role is confined within the project's / product's constraints and SA is expected to determine the most appropriate technical solution for the given business problem / requirement confined within the customer's enterprise IT infrastructure / needs.

This will require the Architect to have high degree of understanding of the business domain of the enterprise and in addition should be highly knowledgeable in diversified Technologies, so as to choose the best solution. The SA / EA should also be a continuous learner and shall keep abreast of the technology happenings and keep an eye on the future. This will also require the Architect to be good enough in adopting the technology to suit the business needs.

Update - July 27, 2012:
This blog post has been created couple of years ago. I recently happened to participate in the Enteprise & IT Architecture Global excellence Awards 2012 and was amazed with the participation from various industries and from all over the world. The list of participants are listed in their website and the winners would also be published there soon. It was interesting to note that government and public sector organizations also are practicing EA within their organization and are reaping the benefits.

While that is showing a positive trend, there are still many enterprises who are finding it difficult to leverage the EA to their strategic business advantage. Nick Malik in his recent blog post titled as Will Enterprise Architecture Ever “Cross the Chasm?” expresses the same view,

"Unfortunately, while EA has been successful in some target markets in the Early Majority (like Telecom and Federal), the lack of consistency in the approach, terminology, and even value proposition of EA across industries poses an obstacle for increasing EA adoption. In other words, the success of EA in one or two areas is failing to help EA gain a foothold among other industries. Could it be because they don’t use the same words to describe success?"

He continues to summarize that the EA profession is plagued by the following three problems:
  1. Enterprise Architecture is poorly defined by a wide array of discordant opinions, overlapping and industry-specific frameworks.
  2. Enterprise Architecture is hobbled by an inability to build momentum among Early Majority companies on the adoption curve.
  3. Enterprise Architecture has responded by focusing on the wrong set of problems: describing short-term-quick-win initiatives using methods and tools designed to produce long-term value.