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Time to Re-Invent "Enterprise Architecture"

Time to Re-Invent "Enterprise Architecture"

CEO of a Pharmaceuticals company wants to reduce the “Time to Market” of bringing in a new drug. CEO of a Bank wants to provide Mobile Banking and Payment Services using Social Media. CEO of a Retail organisation wants to extend their Retail Channels. CEO of an Energy company wants to diversify to alternate sources of Power.

These are Enterprise Problems and need Architecting or Re-Architecting the Enterprise.

What is the likely scenario here?

He or She might ask their Corporate Strategy and Planning dept to come up with a Strategy and Plan. Lets assume for a moment that the CEO suggests involving the Enterprise Architects. The Planning manager might say  “Our Enterprise Architects are a competent lot but they are IT experts. They spend a lot of time with Technology standards and Governance meetings for Technology solutions. Their processes take too long and they also tend to create very complicated models and diagrams. They are also controversial because they often have run-ins with SME’s, Project managers because they seem to step on their toes too often. Let us talk to them once we identify a technical solution, then we will involve them to Architect the implementation.”

You see the problem here? The activity of Enterprise Architecture is not something only the EA’s should be doing but it is something that is carried out in parts by various actors including the CEO, Planning Manager, Business Managers, Enterprise Architects, Solution Architects, Designers etc. Yet, the popular methodologies prescribe Architecture activities for IT professionals only. The Business Managers and Decision Makers (so called “Stakeholders”) play a passive role of review and sign off.

We need an approach that re-invents Enterprise Architecture. Whatever is the approach, it should accommodate any type of modelling so that it doesn’t get bogged down with modelling notational issues. It should have architecting activities for Business Managers and Decision Makers. It should look at the Enterprise as a “Living Organism” and be able to diagnose the problems effectively using current and relevant “X Rays” instead of treating Enterprise Architecture as a Design exercise that should be completed using some “templates” by modifying some other Design (“Reference Architecture”). It should help us to maintain a common repository of Enterprise Building Blocks at an “Elemental” level from which we can dynamically create composite artifacts on the fly to address multiple Stakeholder concerns.

Multiple teams working on different problems should be able to use a single source of these “Elements”. There should be traceability across these artifacts. We should be able to see the full impact of any proposed change. We should be able to see relationship between the building blocks. We should be able to do all this in a matter of days rather than months. Is this possible? Then it will be relevant to the CEO, the Business Managers and Decision Makers because it will be very responsive to their needs and the implemented solutions will align with Executive Strategy.

The short answer is yes, it is possible and at iCMG we have perfected it. We are happy to educate and evangelise and also are happy to provide Consultancy to those who are excited by it.  We are already seeing a growing interest in this approach in places as diverse as Sydney, Zurich, Dubai, Bangalore and New Delhi   and if you like to know more, please visit http://live.icmgworld.com/enterprisearchitecture/

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