Shortly after reading an interesting blog post by IT Business Edge's Loraine Lawson, about the debate over the importance -- or lack thereof -- of enterprise architecture, I found an entry on InfoWorld's The Real-Time Enterprise blog coming down squarely in favor of what author Tony Bishop calls "a top down, architectural-driven approach."
Such an approach yields the kind of consistency that results in a portfolio of software assets that can be cross-leveraged. This saves money but perhaps more importantly improves time to market and makes it easier for folks to come up with innovative approaches to achieving business goals, notes Bishop.
When application development teams resist an architectural approach, says Bishop, the result is an overly complex and misaligned IT organization that is poorly positioned to serve the needs of the business. He writes:
Lessons from the oldest industry of the world -- "construction" -- have always separated architecture from building. IT needs to ensure this lesson is applied intelligently to its industry.
As part of the architectural approach, Bishop suggests introducing a role similar to the one that project management plays in other industries. This person's job is to "create situational fluency and provide creative insight," a task facilitated by his or her big-picture view of the entire IT program.