Oct 25, 2012
The Challenge of Making the Abstract Useful
Enterprise architecture is kind of like a health care plan: You don't appreciate it unless you've had experience with a terrible one. The problem is, of course, that enterprise architecture, like security, touches everything to do with business technology, but unlike security, has little popular mindshare with folks outside of IT.
Enterprise architecture has come a long way since the days of "code on the fly" so prevalent in organizations' first silo applications. Data architecture? What data architecture? Business process? They'll use what we give them, and like it! Ah, those were the bad old days.
Career enterprise architects have no doubt watched many successes and failures at organizations, because it's poor enterprise architecture that's at the heart of the staggering number of ERP project failures in the last decade. (Specifically, we now know that a major success factor of an ERP implementation is a focus on business process.) The problem is, your boss may not know that, but may know all about the pushback from business executives affected by changes in business process.
And, like good design for printed matter, those paying the bills sometimes think that if they shell out the bucks for apps and databases, the architecture should be included-that somehow, architecture is a luxury. Therefore, enterprise architects must deliver and communicate that they have delivered. Unlike some other fields, where certifications and technology skills rule the day (66% of respondents to InformationWeek's 2012 State of IT Staffing Survey who cite enterprise architecture as a top area of staffing increase say certifications aren't important), the ambitious enterprise architect, while technically expert, will also have good communication skills and a penchant for usefulness in order to optimally succeed. (R5801012)
Survey Name InformationWeek State of IT Staffing Survey
Survey Date July 2012
Region North America
Number of Respondents 76 respondents citing enterprise architecture as a top area of staffing increase
Purpose To gauge enterprise architecture staffing trends in the enterprise