Enterprise Architecture Role Becoming More Collaborative

Susan Hall

With CIOs increasingly expected to drive business growth, it makes sense that all of IT must do so.


Now Gartner's advising that enterprise architects shift their focus to their business's strategic vision instead of the IT organization alone, reports Information Management. That sounds like a big "duh!" to me.


My colleague Loraine Lawson wrote last summer that EAs seem to be moving beyond just defining their role to explaining what they do to outsiders.


She writes that the enterprise architect should be able to evaluate problems from all the viewpoints for your organization. She quotes enterprise architect Brian Hopkins, saying:

This is the heart of Enterprise Architecture-the ability to look at things both holistically, and from various views to come up with an architecture that is complete. Not fixated on a single solution to a perceived technology problem, EA should solve business problems with business solutions where technology plays a role.

Meanwhile, Gartner predicts that by 2016, 30 percent of enterprise architecture programs will be collaborations between business and IT, up from 9 percent in early 2011. Among the factors it cites in driving this change: business users making technology decisions, increased management pressure on EAs to demonstrate business value and continued emergence of new disciplines to enhance collaboration.


It quotes Philip Allega, research vice president at Gartner, saying:

Enterprise architects have woken up to the fact that a collaborative relationship with the business is essential to their success. These things aren't independent, they're interdependent. Enterprise architects are lifting their heads out of the work of creating deliverables in EA to think about "consumability" and the results of that consumption on the organization's future.

Computerworld also quotes Allega, saying:

Enterprise architects need to assess their own aspirations, their senior management's expectations for EA, and the type of IT service management (ITSM) they are operating under in order to understand the opportunities and constraints on their ability to collaborate with business leaders.

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