Evolving Enterprise Architecture

Evolving Enterprise Architecture. This is the first of a three-part series in which we explore how Enterprise Architecture is evolving.

Executive Summary

Changing dynamics from the business and IT perspective finally seem to be hitting the enterprise. Whether it is the nexus of social, mobile, analytics, cloud (SMAC) or the disruption in business models, the enterprise has gone from waiting and talking about change to being engulfed in it.

Enterprise Architecture as a discipline and practice seems to be facing an identity crisis of sorts. As much as there is a need to focus on strategy and design (which is where most of architecture has existed in recent years), there is a need to operationalize and guide the organization in rapidly changing times.

What capabilities and competencies does it focus on? How does it organize itself to stay relevant and take a leading role in this enterprise paradigm shift?

We explore some of the trends, our observations, experiences, and some perspectives on making the function of enterprise architecture dynamic.

Context

 Enterprise Architecture has been parading through organizations as a planning discipline to help resolve the fixations of quality, cost and time. The theory has been that Enterprise Architecture helps the enterprise as whole or departments to:

  • overcome religious wars concerning technology choices
  • provide consistent and disciplined use of technology
  • reduce stovepipe solutions & reduce integration complexity
  • define and align business to an organization’s goals and priorities

Whether the focus was business or technology architecture-centric and irrespective of where the sponsorship came from, the primary purpose of Enterprise Architecture was to be the gatekeeper and in some instances the vanguard.

Is this sufficient in the new hybrid age of digital and customer-centric organizations? Is it a roadblock – standing in the way of change or a function that’s purpose needs to adapt and evolve?

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