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!

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