Globally, organizations are working on offsetting economic dampening behavior with new products and services in regular interval. CEOs are working hard to retain their market share. Very often, results are not favorable due to the inherent business complexity and associated business structure. As a result, even incremental changes are expensive and time-consuming.
In 2014 November, Chief Executive magazine reported that nearly 90% of the CEO's have failed to meet their target. Almost 40 CEOs in the Retail industry were replaced in 2014 that included likes of Walmart, Barnes & Noble, GAP, etc.
Ideally speaking Enterprise Architecture should have been used for engineering or re-engineering of an enterprise.
Unfortunately, it's not so. In fact, the current breed of Enterprise Architects is not part of direct meetings with CEOs. Recently, one of the Chief Architect confided that he had only one meeting with the CEO for the whole of the last year.
So, here we have an interesting scenario. In one hand we have several enterprises facing disorders which if not treated in time, might result in nemesis of the enterprise. On the contrary, we have emerging discipline (Enterprise Architecture) which is supposed to address the enterprise disorders in a timely and consistent manner.
The questions are why two don't meet? There are several reasons why it has happened:
1. Business Managers see "Enterprise Architecture" as a descipline for IT folks as its origin come from people who worked in IT companies at some point in time. Interestingly, they keep sponsoring IT team for training and certification in Enterprise Architecture
2. If at all any skill available for doing Enterprise Architecture exists, it is still mostly concentrated around IT team.
Krish Ayyar, Director iCMG Australia added that Enterprise Architecture is still seen as an IT activity, i.e., to manage the IT complexity rather than an approach to solving Business problems. It is partly but not wholly the Enterprise Architect's fault. Many organizations don't even have Business Strategists. It is all operational. The situation will improve when EA's have a mandate to and present information on the basis of Capabilities, Functionalities, Services, Service Qualities, etc., without using any Technology, Vendor, and Product related jargons. In fact, Krish wrote a blog "Can CIO's afford to ignore Enterprise Architecture anymore?
3. Most of the trainers who teach this subject are IT practitioners who continue to use Enterprise Architecture for IT solutions
4. Business Strategists' hands are full helping their customers with "best practices." You will not hear a "strategist" being fired because they can always blame the failure to "implementation" and escape. The real problem is the lack of understanding of the underlying "engineering" principles and building blocks of an "enterprise" i.e. enterprise anatomy. Several of them are like alchemists of pre-Periodic Table era driven by "best practice" i.e. I know this works. In fact, HBR's Top 100 CEOs list, over 70% of the CEOs are "insiders." This clearly drives the point that it takes long years to master the "building blocks" of an enterprise. There is definite "Anatomy" and "pattern" of communications among components. And defining a strategy in the absence of drawing a line to "realization" or "transformation" would look like "daydreaming."
5.Business Process Experts think "Enterprise Architecture" is a subset of "BPM"???? So, if an organization does BPM, Enterprise Architecture is not needed.
In fact, I would hear several BPM experts say this for years. Only last 2-3 years reality has dawned, and they get it right.
The widespread confusion in this discipline can be gauzed from the fact that there are over 400 BPM methodologies? Maybe every expert has one?
The list will go on...
What we are failing to realize that everything is part of "Enterprise." Every enterprise has an "anatomy." There are several building blocks (organs) for an enterprise such as strategy, rules, processes, network, data, etc. Which is more important? It's wrong to question. You will never find two doctors arguing about which is more important human organ? Did you?
But, the argument among enterprise practitioners about data more relevant or application?..is a common sight.
From a CEO's perspective, it is about solving “Enterprise” problems, in time, right first time.
IMHO, Business Managers, are most suited to address enterprise disorders while iteratively and incrementally building out the inventory of full, reusable, primitive models (building blocks) that constitute: Enterprise Architecture.
I guess the real problem is the lack of understanding of "enterprise anatomy" by industry practitioners. Just imagine if the collective wisdom of hundreds and thousands of enterprise professionals are channelised into common knowledge, its impact on creating companies which are "durable" and which can provide services which are "economical."
Today, almost all enterprises are wasting their precious resources in fighting internal "disorders." I wish if those resources are used in an efficient manner to isolate disorders and address them in a timely and consistent manner. This will help CEOs to bring next set of products and services which will strengthen evolution of society around the globe.
Most business strategists (having a seat in CEO's meeting, today!) are oblivious to the existence of the idea of "Enterprise Architecture." Is it learning something which has originated from IT is not worth? Imagine refusing to accept Thomas Edison's work like "Bulb," Electricity" just because of his early career as a telegraph operator.
To address the above issues, we have launched a new program "Enterprise Architecture for Decisions Makers."
With carefully chosen case studies and hands-on practice sessions, business managers can learn how to address business problems using above technique. Also, you will also learn how one can manage multiple disorders at the same time. What makes this methodology useful is the ability to manage the whole thing in a 45 days cycle i.e. lean and timeliness.
With the help of enterprise stakeholders like you, this workshop will make a genuine effort to bring the discipline back into the hands where it matters. No doubt, you want to have your seat in CEO's meeting? We can help. ;-)
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