By: Ben Geller, VP Marketing, Troux
Enterprise Architecture (EA) has changed exponentially over the years with transforming from an IT-driven initiative to a business strategy necessity. EA as a field formally took shape in 1987 with the publication of John Zachman’s article “A Framework For Information Systems Architecture”. The paper described both the need for and the challenges of managing increasingly scattered systems:
“The cost involved and the success of the business depending increasingly on its information systems require a disciplined approach to the management of those systems.”
In today’s world we are seeing dramatic changes in how reaching this information system nirvana plays out. Why? Because we live in a world where digital access and apps are available for everything and anything. With digital and technological disruptors firmly rooted in our world there is a massive mind shift at play in how we interact with technology as well as how we expect to get things done.
Naturally, that has significant impact on EA, an IT-rooted discipline that both drives and manages change across the technology landscape.
Consumers are now accustomed to doing things themselves, and those expectations carry over into the business environment. Thanks to our “there’s-an-app-for-that” world, the IT department isn’t the only one who interacts with technology. We live in a world where everyone wants to be hands-on to leverage IT solutions and information.
What does this mean for EA?
These shifts open up a world of opportunity, or better yet a major necessity, for a function that can connect the enterprise dots to achieve a greater business outcome. EA is in the best position to step into that role. Critical business decisions require seeing the big picture in any situation. The big picture is gained through insights that answer the businesses most important questions. Successful EA should empower and inform stakeholders to answer these questions and make sound decisions using combined enterprise knowledge.
Today’s Version of EA: Beyond the IT Function
In December 2013 Gartner published Predicts 2014: Enterprise Architect Role Headed for Dramatic Change, highlighting the future version of EA which crosses business functions and often lives outside of IT altogether.
- Over 78% of EA practitioners are focused on leveraging EA to integrate business and IT, as well as to grow and transform their businesses.
- Today, 55% of organizations are supporting EA with either the collaboration or participation of business leaders.
At Troux, we call this new era of EA enterprise intelligence. Enterprise intelligence gives the C-suite and their decision-making counterparts a heightened level of transparency by establishing a line-of-site that spans the enterprise as a whole without weighing down IT resources to make it happen.
The Way Forward
If you are reading this thinking, we are so behind the curve, go easy on yourself. The new era is in the early stages. Gartner estimates that market penetration of business architecture is at 20 percent. There is a lot of ground to be covered. Just be sure your business and IT worlds are interacting and integrating – that is what the people want, after all.
Make Strategic Business and IT Decisions: Download the Troux Answers Guide to gauge your ability to make strategic business and IT decisions. The guide takes you through questions like:
- Where do we have disconnects between IT and the business?
- What are our current IT costs for supporting the business?
- What is the consolidated view of our application landscape?
- What are our enterprise interdependencies?
- How should the future landscape need to look to support our business?