Saturday, October 5, 2013

What is Focal Point of a Practical Enterprise Architecture

EA is not for 'boiling the ocean,' but for riding the tide... 

With the accelerated changes facing in business today, the ‘ivory tower’ style EA (Enterprise Architecture) can not adapt to such new circumstances, so, how to devise a practical approach to EA, and what should be the prime focus area?

Perhaps the answer is situational: The best opportunity is the one that does the best job of building the business, delighting the customer, adapting to the environment, reducing risks, managing complexity, minimizing costs and overhead, and returning dividends to the shareholders/stakeholders (depending on what the business wants to achieve).

Some of the focus areas of EA that have been often discussed are:

  • Building a road map for managing complexities in a Growing Business. EA is always about eliminating necessary complexity and enforce desired complexity. Everything else follows that. Manage complexity well. Then you can address business value 
  • Adding value to the business by optimized use of technology. If the Enterprise/ Business in question built its IT capability by 'design' then the prime focus should be "business value addition” 
  • Balance IT and Business budget priorities. At strategic level, EA focus should be consistent with the business's top priority 
  • Enterprise blueprint for system development for ensuring the efficiency of business processes, scalability, and consistency across systems 
  • Assist in decision making for running an enterprise optimally for change management and making efficient use of available resources. 
  • At the tactical level, EA needs to solve some tough problems, not just tame issues, either enforcing agility or reducing complexity, the goal is to satisfy customers  
There are sets of variables need to be continually checked to ensure EA success: 
  • How empowered is the EA's sponsor? 
  • Who was involved in creating the charter of the EA effort? 
  • What is the tolerance for changing the charter? 
  • What is the opinion of senior business leaders about how decisions should be made? 
  • What is the understanding among stakeholders about models?
  • What is the process for getting business change initiatives approved? 
  • How many business models are in scope? 
  • How trusted is the EA? 
  • What "school of thought" is the EA's sponsor in?


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