On IT EAs and Business Architects

Notes from a recent EA roundtable that I  attended:

  • Success factors for business architecture:
    • business architecture focusses on the what, and why rather than the how
    • initiative-driven, i.e. do it in the context of an initiative
  • All participants worked in organisations where business architecture is separate from IT architecture (even if the “EA” sits in the IT architecture space).  This was interesting for me because there’s been quite a bit of noise in the blogosphere to suggest that they should be together.  I think I was the only one who was  more of an IT architect than a business architect.
  • Some EA goals and/or measures:
    • reuseability
    • avoidance of project blowouts or gaps
    • complexity reduction (both people and systems)
    • eliminating single points of failure
    • simply avoiding building a Winchester House!

I think positioning of EA including whether there is a single business/IT architecture team depends a lot on organisational dynamics.  If architecture is only spoken of in the context of IT, then that’s where it will sit, although interestingly over time what happens is you have business people, not necessarily with the title ‘architect’ doing enterprise architecture-type things.  A few of the other participants came from organisations that have groups with names such as ‘business strategy and  delivery’.  I believe the trick to aligning the IT and business architecture is to encourage IT archtects to stop being such techies.   Drag them into a central team and give them a few problems to solve where technology is clearly not the best solution.   Not for everyone, but I think it could be a useful career builder for people whose future isn’t necessarily all in the nuts and bolts of the technology.

More later ..

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