Will Barnet and myself went to Dublin last Thursday…an interesting day to be in Dublin, but another subject, another blog.
We hosted lunch for the members of CIO Connect and the subject was Enterprise Architecture but with a recognition of the current state of the economy. The role has really changed since the economic downturn. The EA role was an easy one to cut when looking for headcount reduction, particularly if they were not perceived to have delivered much. Unfortunately great, multi-coloured technical models were not the flavour of the day.
So, what do smart enterprise architects do today? They look at the organisation and they work out, what it’s going to take to succeed. How do they do that? No magic bullet here! Build good supportive relationships that means that the EA understands what the organisation wants to do, the constraints within which it’s working, and structures an environment that supports that.
What does this really mean? It means not only looking at models and technologies but best practices across organisation structures, processes and ways of working. It means effective delivery of IT services to the organisation, and effective delivery of products and services to the organisation’s customers. It’s really about focusing on the reason for the organisation’s existence and working from that point inwards.
We talked about the requirements for an Architect today.
- Demonstrate strong business engagement resulting in business credibility
- Able to challenge by asking the hard questions
- Capable of bringing disparate views together
- Articulate options and their impact, making strong recommendations
- Able to drive change
Architects are key to transformation success but they need to focus on business value, covering the whole organisation.
Many would argue, that’s what we should have been doing all along, but many of us may have concentrated a little too long on various frameworks and the relative value of one approach over another. We don’t have that luxury any more, and the organisation really needs us to step up and deliver that cost effective, agile environment. If you want to hear more about this pragmatic approach to architecture, or if you have any comments, lets discuss them here.