Enterprise Architecture is more important than ever with the increased adoption of Cloud Computing. Most companies that I work with have a range of systems and initiatives that span the continuum of “must stay in house” to “this is best run in the public cloud.” There are 3 types of Cloud Models:
Private Cloud (we like cloud, but need to manage it ourselves because of security/cost/agility/etc.. reasons)
Public Cloud (here are the systems we need, we will pay you to run it for us)
Hybrid Cloud (some systems we need to keep in-house but for other stuff it would be cost effective (or cost avoiding) if we did not have to run/maintain them ourselves)
In all cases, Cloud is an IT operational model (what systems run where) that is driven by business needs and imperatives. Even if you go 100% Public Cloud, you still need to make sure that the Applications and Information provided by those systems are meeting the ever changing business needs. The Hybrid Cloud model provides even more complexity because applications, communication, integration, data flow, and security need to be coordinated across the Cloud boundaries.
Enterprise Architecture is the glue that can help keep all of these things together and is why Cloud Computing does not get rid of the need for EA, in fact, it is this humble author’s opinion that it dramatically increases the need of EA stewardship over Cloud.
* (Latin for Seize the Cloud)