7 years, 2 months ago

Beware the Barbarians at the Gate

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By: Ben Geller, VP Marketing, Troux

barbarians 021114 2Despite its somewhat rocky start, Enterprise Architecture is now often referred to as a burgeoning field. With its origins dating back to the 60s, perhaps EA was ahead of its time when it emerged as framework used to optimize systems and technology for the business. Today, as information moves to the cloud, datacenters become defined by software, and mobile devices take over the world, that primary goal for EA initiatives has become front and center.

Businesses not only need to ensure they are fully optimized for the here and now, but they need to be prepared to make rapid changes and keep up with the pace of the future. Enterprise Architecture can help companies visualize how to make that happen and spotlight the decisions that need to be made to get there. That, I think we can all agree on.

As a result of the recent proliferation of personal technology, the rise in self-service models and the evolution of digital services we have all become technology “experts.” Technology is no longer strictly the domain of the IT department, as every function of the business uses it and everyone wants a say in the decisions that are made surrounding it. This has sparked an ongoing debate about who should now “own” the practice of EA. On the IT side, there is a lot of techy stuff to figure out and it only gets more complex as the pace of innovation accelerates. On the business side, technology now has a significant impact on results and the argument can be made that EA should live with the business decision makers.

As Arthur Cole mentions in his recent post for ITBusinessEdge, for IT, the barbarians are at the gate. Where once there was no question that business decisions should be made at the C-level and these technology decisions should be left up to the tech professionals, there are many reasonable arguments for people across the business to have their seat at the EA table.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be a debate at all. There are a lot of good points being made on both sides of the argument – but when it all nets out – meaningful decisions no longer affect one part of the enterprise.  The enterprise is now connected – it is no longer adequate to live with labels of the past, thinking of IT and the Business as separate entities with different agendas.  Now, more than ever it is important for stakeholders across the connected enterprise to realize that – EA is free – everyone owns it.

Businesses are and will continue to struggle with seeing through the complexity to make well-informed decisions… at any level.  A proper EA program can equip decision makers with the most comprehensive view of their business and provide them with the ability to better understand the impact of change, cost of change and benefit of change across the connected enterprise. Gaining this visibility before developing and implementing a plan for change is what should be driving the discussion in the corner offices – not where EA should live.  

The sooner business leaders embrace EA as a routine part of their decision making process the better – for all parties involved.  When done right, EA enables the enterprise to define better strategies and ensure better execution.  Better decisions and better execution deliver better results. Again, something we can all agree on!

Learn how the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation worked with Troux to reduce complexity, control costs and speed decision-making through alignment of Business and IT: http://resources.troux.com/cdcr


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