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« It's not about numbers | Main | The Absence of Strategy »
Friday
Aug042006

The Purpose of Enterprise Architecture

I have been an enterprise architect since the early 1990's. Becoming an enterprise architect was a gradual process as I grew up in IT. I needed to understand the big idea in IT.

There is only one critical idea - IT is a servant of the business. The misapplication and misunderstanding of this idea has led to huge problems in many businesses. IT often fails to understand who "the business" is or what its objectives are or what part IT should play in delivering these objectives.

These questions are the realm of "IT strategy", their answers set the direction for IT. Enterprise Architecture shows how these objectives will be achieved through the use of information and technology.

Drilling down, this means that enterprise architecture is intimately connected to the objectives that the business has for its operational processes.

But, strategy and architecture are worse than irrelevant without implementation. Painting pictures of the future and writing clever documents is a meaningless waste of time and money unless the business benefits as a result. Delivery is all.

Key points -
  • Enterprise architecture derives from the business's objectives for IT
  • Enterprise architecture starts with business processes
  • Enterprise architecture provides the direction for the use of information, communications, applications and infrastructure
  • Enterprise architecture management must find ways to ensure delivery

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Reader Comments (1)

At 8/05/2006 10:57:00 AM, James McGovern said...

Absolutely, IT is a servant of the business. We get it twisted whenever we attempt to convince ourselves otherwise...

(From the original blog site)

February 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Inglis

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