Sunday, February 12, 2006


Enterprise Architecture and Internet Startups

I have noticed a change in many startup companies that enterprise architects should be paying attention to. Several startups have been becoming savage in recruiting enterprise architects to become members of their advisory boards. Worst practices of the past were when startups would only want CIOs for their name knowing that they didn't really have the time to provide real value. On the other hand, enterprise architects interest in technology using is strong, honest and unwavering...

Enterprise architects who are harnessing technology to solve big business issues sets you apart from the CIOs of yesteryear and marks you as a progressive. Advisory boards want technologists who are strategists, focused on great solutions—the ones who consider costs, risks and the company’s mission rather than the coolest technology. Undertake initiatives that clearly advance the organization’s goals while providing a win-win for all parties.

By participating on an advisory board, the enterprise benefits immensely since it has a stronger ability to influence direction at this point while the startup also benefits in that it not only gets the "named" individual with industry recognition and all the marketing benefits it carries with it but can also understand the first hand buyers perspective.

Many software CEOs though still continue to make the mistake of filling their advisory boards with others from a startup. Maybe one of the things that architects should consider is not just volunteering for such positions but demanding them. I have been known in the past to serve on advisory boards. Likewise, if someone is attempting to pitch me and I acquire as to the makeup of one and I get a response that indicates that they have filled it with "named" individuals who have zero technical credibility and/or just other industry CTOs I will immediately tell the person on the other end to call me back when they fix this problem.

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