There are many theories about what Enterprise Architecture is, and there should be. But ultimately, it is not the theory that matters. The make-up of the people, the organizational structure and the circumstances of the enterprise drive what people end up doing, and what architecture looks and feels like.
Prefixes are free: The “x” Architect
EA practices within different enterprises look and feel very different. For example, one enterprise may have a Content Architect but not a Security Architect. A different enterprise may have a Payments Architect, reflecting a specific domain within that company. Just imagine if medical professionals were as free with prefixes and specialization tags as we have been in architecture!
I get your title, but what do you really do?
The role of an architect and the person behind that role are two different things. The varying interests, skills, traits and experiences of an architect determine how the role is played out. Skillsets also vary widely across architects. Some are great at executive-level communication and change management, but may delegate technical decisions. Other architects may be experts in specific technology domains, and may not have much involvement in broader business dialogues.
Organizing, Reporting and Engaging
Architecture organizations look and feel very different too. The roles may vary among organizations, for example; the activities and artifacts may be different, the criteria used to measure architects may be unique to each organization, and the reporting structure may be matrixed, centralized or something in between.
The Engagement Model is also a differentiating factor that might be determined by the existence of other management practices such as Lean/Six Sigma, IT governance vs Architecture governance, the existence of a strong PMO function, and to whom the CIO reports (to the COO, CFO, CEO, etc.), to name a few.
An upcoming issue of Cutter IT Journal with Guest Editor Balaji Prasad seeks different perspectives on the state of EA at organizations today. We encourage insight on how EA roles have evolved over the years to align better and meet the requirements of today’s enterprise; and to showcase the differences between EA theory and actual practices in the real world.
Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- What is an ideal architecture organization (the theory)? How helpful have analysts’ opinions and frameworks been in defining organizational and engagement models? How helpful have methods such as TOGAF been?
- What is an effective architecture organization (in practice, not in theory)? What does “effective” mean?
- How has the role of the enterprise architect changed over the years?
- What are the traits and skills an employer should emphasize in the architects they hire, train and manage?
- What role can architecture consultants play to get organizations on the right track?
- What are the elements of an effective engagement model?
- How can the value of an architecture practice and its architects be realized and optimized?
- What are valid specializations for architects?
- What does a year in the life of an architect look like?
- What has not worked, and why?
- What is the best way to define the practice — as an EA practice or an IT Architecture practice?
TO SUBMIT AN ARTICLE IDEA: 21 November 2014
Please respond to bprasad[at]cutter[dot]com, with a copy to cgenerali[at]cutter[dot]com no later than 17 November 2014 and include an extended abstract and a short article outline showing major discussion points.
ARTICLE DEADLINE: 8 January 2015
Most Cutter IT Journal articles are approximately 2,500-3,000 words long, plus whatever graphics are appropriate. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact CITJ’s Group Publisher, Christine Generali at cgenerali[at]cutter[dot]com. Editorial guidelines are available online.