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« Effective architecture diagrams | Main | What does a Technical Architect do next? »
Wednesday
Jan162008

Europe ahead of North America in Enterprise Architecture?

Joe McKendrick asked why Europe seems to be ahead of North America in EA. John Michelsen asks is Europe ahead in SOA. Ronald Schmelzer thinks that the USA is not behind but its not ahead either.

From my European perspective, this is an odd debate. I have the impression that a lot more money has gone in to enterprise architecture over the last 10 years in the USA particularly from government. Obviously, this has not been the case across the board but the struggling American architecture manager has not had a very high profile.

If you have millions of dollars and years to deliver then what pressure is there to be pragmatic? This has meant that the dominant approaches to Enterprise Architecture are Big Architecture Up Front approaches. Where architecture has had less acceptance and less money, we have had to evolve alternative ways of achieving our goals. We have had to develop creative approaches to making our money go further.

If I am right then, what we may be seeing in action is natural selection. Perhaps the reason that we can move ahead more quickly with SOA is that we are more focused on delivering benefits, we have had to be more pragmatic, and we have had to work out how to move incrementally down a strategic path. Because we have been under greater environmental stress, we have evolved enhanced capabilities to manage architecture effectively, to demonstrate its direct business benefits and now our SOA initiatives are reaping the benefits.

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