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The Artist Formerly Known as Enterprise Architect

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments
enterprise architecture framework
Is the role of EA evolving?

At the Enterprise Architecture Forum 2011 in San Francisco Forrester Research VP Gene Leganza asked, “Enterprise Architecture In The Year 2020: Strategic Nexus or Oblivion?” The role of the EA has always been nebulous.  “What do you do?”,  is one my least favorite questions in the world.  Good EAs must skilly combine business acumen, technology knowledge, risk management, process, excellent communication skills and alchemy to align technology resources to whatever will be needed to meet the future competitive goals of the business.

It is so important for EAs to be aligned with the business that a new trend is emmerging.  4% of enterprise architects report to a business executive, a chief operating officer, or chief executive officer, for example. 43% report to the CIO and 12% report to the CTO, Leganza said. The 4% is a new development.

Business decision makers are increasingly driving technology decisions and they need advisors. It is a logical move, but definitely introduces some messiness in the organizational hierarchy. Leganza suggested that EA role may split by 2020 into a technology architect and a business architect. While I can understand the thought process I think it is dangerous. EA that only business aligned or only technology aligned are simply not as valuable due to their biases.

Information Week explored this evolution in the EA role  in more detail.

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