Thursday, May 9, 2013

IT or Business, which side are you on?

IT or Business?

So you are an Enterprise Architect or a budding Enterprise Architect. Good for you!

Let me ask you - even though your title says Enterprise Architect, are you still stuck with Technical Architecture only?

Well, most of the EAs come from a solid IT background - simply because there was technical architecture before any one even knew about Enterprise Architecture. For some reason that label refuses to wash away and I see EAs playing the role of a technical architect far too many times.

Is there a problem with that, you ask?

Well, lets see - in a typical manufacturing type of business, Information Technology spend is about 2-5% of the yearly revenue of the enterprise. As an "Enterprise" Architect where could you impact the enterprise the most, IT or Business?

Even though there is generous lip service to "IT and Business alignment" or "IT is the business" etc., it is a different story when the rubber hits the road. I commonly see:
  • A large percentage of EAs report into IT organizations.
  • Most of them do not have a seat at the table where business strategy is being formulated.
  • Most of them do not understand the business drivers, market pressures or direction of the segment that their company is in.
  • Most of the EAs do not know how to read the annual report of the company or make sense of key financial markers that convey the health or strategic direction of the company.
So in the subsequent posts we will try to look at what key areas an Enterprise Architect should be aware of. It is not only about Datacenters, ERP implementations and custom application development!

I would love to hear back from you, so please feel free to drop me a line or two - whether you have a question, a comment or you disagree! :-)

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