Webinar Review: A&G The State of EA: Is 2010 the Transformational Year?

This is my review of this morning’s Architecture & Governance magazine webinar “The State of EA: Is 2010 the Transformational Year?”

Presenters:

  • George Paras, Editor-in-Chief, A&G, Managing Director, EAdirections – gparas@EAdirections.com
  • Alex Cullen, Vice President, Research Director, Enterprise Architecture, Forrester Research – acullen@forrester.com

1. What is the current state of EA? Forrester conducted a survey of 416 IT professionals and found the following:

  • Increasing awareness and acceptance of EA – this is change in that there is much more broad support for EA as a discipline in organizations
  • EA teams are part of senior IT management – more focus at a senior level instead of a tactical level in IT (* true in my case moving from a staff EA position to a management EA position)
  • Primary drivers for EA programs 1) better strategic planning 2) consolidation of technology 3) improve business agility4) enable business-IT alignment
  • Infrastructure, Security and Application architectures are the most complete, next Integration and Information architecture are underway and business architecture is the least complete
  • Where to architecture groups spend their time 1/2 time spent on non-project activities – supporting enterprise planning, strategic planning, collaborating with business and governance
  • CIOs look for EA to address their priorities – and guide and staff their EA teams accordingly – strongest technical thinkers, best problem solvers on EA team, business application area as EA lead

2. The Transformation of EA

  • IT expectations for architecture vary across 2 dimensions – Project to Strategy (Focus dimension) and Technology to Business (Orientation dimension)
  • Derived a 2 x 2 model – Project/Business = Business solution architecture, Strategy/Business = Business and IT strategy, planning and alignment, Project/Technology = Infrastructure and application platform selection, Technology/Strategy = Technology and infrastructure strategy and roadmapping
  • EA provides the most value when it is strategic and business focused but must overcome expectation barriers that EA is only about technology
  • Business focused EA should mean more business awareness, acceptance and support – more work to be done with lines of business and corporate management
  • Only 13% of corporate management actively supports EA vs 66% of CIO/Head of IT (* Is this a job for the CIO to educate their C-level peers?)
  • The correlation between business engagement and Business Architecture programs for improving support for EA in organizations – almost double the support from the business
  • The correlation holds for Information Architecture programs too – (* think of data and information as the currency that the business runs on)
  • Why the correlation for business and information architecture programs?
    • make EA engage with business leaders about their business
    • address problems at the boundary of business and IT
    • provide the rationale justifying application and infrastructure architecture efforts
  • Good discussion on capabilities and how to leverage those to engage the business – find something that is key to a business area and work with them to improve it using EA techniques
  • The ongoing challenge for IT and IT based EA is credibility with the business “To support you better, we need to understand you better.  Can you help us do that?’

Had to run to a standup meeting with my team, so I missed the summary of the presentation.  I did get back in time to listen to the Q &A section.  Here are a few questions:

  • Do business people differentiate between business architecture and information architecture? The business does not really see information architecture. The can focus clearly on their business and how data is used in their line of business but are challenged to see information as a corporate asset
  • What are good examples for people to think about information holistically?  One example was the failure to share data about the Christmas plane bomber. Almost need to find situations where failures highlight a cost to the business
  • How do you incorporate EA into a metrics based scorecard approach like the Balanced Scorecard?  What are the measures – the dollar value of EA? find successes in the business that EA contributed to.

Overall, a valuable session for me and it gives me an approach using the 2 x 2 model to engage my EA stakeholders, particularly the business.