Sunday, January 31, 2016

Is this good governance?

Compliance is only one of the key aspects of Governance, albeit one of the most well know ones. Sometimes it seems like governance gets too mired in setting up command and control, and never matures to the next level.

Gartner defines Governance with a higher purpose - "The goal of Governance is to achieve business results"!. Governance, according to Gartner includes areas such as Investment Decision Making, Establishing Decision Rights etc.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how you or your organization has successfully put governance structures to use. Do you have a success story to share when it comes to governance? Thank you for sharing!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Trust or Process or Both?

Recently, this thought has been coming to mind more and more... does a high trust environment alleviate the need for onerous processes? Should organizations focus on creating trust as much as they focus on processes using PMP, ITIL, TOGAF or other frameworks?

Let me venture my thoughts on this issue, so you know where my head is at on this.. In low trust environments I have always struggled with making processes effective, it is often too much of a drain. Whereas in high trust environments, even simple and informal processes end up resulting in higher impact.

Would love to hear from you, what do you think?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It works, but do they love it?

Great technical architecture isn't it? After all, meets the business requirements, is modular, is robust and most importantly... is approved by the Architecture Review Board!! :-) LOL

Even though the above invention (errr.. architecture) looks ridiculous, it does represent the state of architecture and user experience of many a legacy applications today. I personally think that consumerization of technology is the best thing that happened to Enterprise Information Technology - we are forced to compete with slick, user friendly, consumer grade applications OR be relegated to back benches for good.

Source: Unknown. I saw it in a presentation and was inspired to use it. If you know the source, kindly let me know and I will promptly credit it here.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Innovation - Edges or Center??

The speed of innovation is accelerating at the edges. Actually, it has always been like that - some times in the form of shadow IT; some times in the form of one-trick mobile apps; some times in the form of technology diversity that an EA might not like! I feel that the edges have always been more close to innovation.

Recently, I saw some EA discussion threads trying to counter this mobile app acceleration at the edges by trying to "rationalize" and "consolidate" etc.

In my humble opinion, we should be the first to promote the acceptance of "Not Invented Here" ideas and lead from the front when it comes to innovation. However, for that we will need to spend more time at manufacturing locations, branch offices and shadow IT and less time in the Ivory Tower err.. board room!! :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Cheap Information Officer evolves!

We all have experienced that the focus and clout of an Enterprise Architect is closely linked with the stage of evolution the CIO is in! Even at the risk of stereotyping the CIO maturation process, lets review a typical CIO evolution cycle together. I would love if you could add to it or let me know of some stages that I might have missed! :-)

Chief Irritation Officer - CIO's main value in this stage is very unclear. He is trying to introduce his "Chief"ness but no one seems to agree. He is trying to introduce new buzzwords, frameworks and processes and no one seems to believe in them. He is perceived as more of an irritation and to be tolerated by IT and business folks.

Cheap Information Officer - Now that CIO has established her usefulness and getting invited to (some of) strategy discussions, her very next task is to cut IT costs. She constantly hears from the business leadership - "IT projects are too expensive"; "our IT is slow"; "why do you cost so much!" Her main role is to somehow get IT cheaper..

Chief Implementation Officer - There are a few transformational projects being kicked off by the company and the CIO is expected to get his head down and deliver them. CEO and CFO say, "Forget the technology roadmaps, forget the strategies, forget the buzzwords - just make sure that IT does not mess up these projects!"

Chief Improvement Officer - Business leadership believes in the CIO. "Hey, if she can run her business of IT so well, we can trust her with ours too!". She is regularly invited to strategy meetings, business sees her as a partner and look up to her advice. Things are good in CIO-ville! :-)

I am sure I missed some other stages that you would like to add, please feel free to suggest some more. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Enterprise Architect or Enterprise Archaeologist?

Do you sometimes feel like an Enterprise Archaeologist instead of Enterprise Architect? :-)

Please indulge me as I talk IT for a second. Age old legacy systems, thousands of shadow applications, complex dependencies and inability to respond to changing business needs - this is far too common of a sight that an Enterprise Architect is presented with. This especially comes to the forefront when consolidating data centers, evaluating major ERP implementations, upgrading operating systems and upgrading applications etc.

It is very important to use any (or each!) of these opportunities to dig up and organize the findings in a ready-to-use form for future use, for example - a global application inventory, an up to date business process model, key risk areas etc. I like to see these digging expeditions as golden opportunities that allow us to mature architecture and lay the foundation for participating in major transformational programs in the future.

So don't despair even if you feel like an archaeologist some times because it is an important phase in the evolution of EA. If done right, it can significantly contribute to achieving business outcomes!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Too late for Enterprise Architecture?

"Hey, should we call the Enterprise Architects now, or is still too early?"

Photo Credit: Unknown, saw it at an EA presentation.

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