Applying “Enterprise Architecture” (EA) can be done at many levels, both wider and smaller than a traditional EA practice seen in very large organizations. For example, EA at the “enterprise” level, to be optimized, must also consider relations and systems with organizations outside the enterprise, such as in a supply chain use case for a manufacturing or retail vertical. However, EA can also be done at a much more focused level, as illustrated in an article in this month’s newsletter: A Digital Transformation Factory for Developing Countries and Small Enterprises. Therefore, it is more important than ever to understand EA thinking and application.
 
Another article in this issue, Enterprise Architects Must Apply Abstraction for Effective Communication with Stakeholders, emphasizes a critical skill for Enterprise Architects to be effective in explaining and getting buy-in from stakeholders for transformation initiatives. A third article in this issue recommends Leveraging the Management Mesh Approach for More Flexible EA Planning. This article is an excellent complement to the one on abstraction in that it emphasizes more fluidity in decision making, but with major “abstracted” dimensions of the challenge in mind.
 
There are so many facets to a mature EA program that designing and rolling one out requires a lot of contextual planning and patience for it to be successful. This issue of the EA Principal monthly newsletter demonstrates some aspects to be considered. Because establishing a successful EA program is a complex undertaking, one usually assigned to CIOs, many CIOs are reaching out for 3rd party consulting support. I confirmed this recently playing a round of golf in Arlington, VA with an executive at Gartner, the leading resource globally for CIOs.
 
She explained that EA consulting is a major revenue stream for Gartner consulting because “EA touches everything that CIOs can be responsible for.” Furthermore, as a Gartner speaker at a Gartner ITxpo/Symposium admitted a few years ago: “There are so many ways to do EA wrong, and so few to get it right in a particular context.” Right after that comment, he suggested that CIOs should look to EAs as Digital Business Advisors…alluding to their high-level capabilities for effective planning, communication, and governance related to increasingly complex business and technical disruptions..
 
Authored by Dr. Steve Else, Chief Architect & Principal Instructors

 

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