Tuesday, March 07, 2006


What is Enterprise Architecture 2.0?

Enterprises that create value through new products, services and even ideas not related to their core mission statement will prosper. Those that fail to build thought leaders and interact with a larger community outside its own walls will stagnate. Enterprise architecture 2.0 is not about process (That was first generation enterprise architecture) but more about the generation of new knowledge and a new liberated way of thinking. Enterprise Architecture 2.0 will three fundamental shifts in IT where IT not just aligns with the business but may in many cases become the business itself. Of course this will pose strategic challenges for those enterprises whose managers (distinct from leaders) aren't technical...

Moore's Law which is generally applicable to CPUs and integrated circuits used to double the speed every eighteen months. Sadly, the Mhz race is for the most part over where folks such as Intel and Azul Systems instead are focusing on power consumption. The real characteristic of Enterprise Architecture 2.0 is that Moore's Law is really pointed at corporations...

Many enterprise architects are struggling to understand the new dynamics of the marketplace. Approaches such as open source confuse them. They grasp onto open source and still believe it is about source code and equate it to productecture where they are hooked like crack heads looking for their next fix from their favorite dealersoftware vendor to supply them with Powerpoint and reports from the industry analyst to justify their habit.

Enterprise architects that understand enterprise architecture 2.0 understand that open source is not really about source code or even software. It is a business model that will flip the enterprise on its head. Eric Raymond, several years ago wrote a book entitled: The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Some folks thing he was writing about software development in the days of old, but us thought leaders understand it was something more powerful. Maybe, Eric Raymond is the Nostradamus of the software entry and really was predicting the downfall of Enterprise architecture 1.0 where folks pontificate to the minions within the corridor of large enterprises about Reference Architectures and best worst practices and how why the downfall of the Cathedral will come soon. Armageddon is upon us and the wrath of the marketplace will demand more from enterprise architecture than ceremonial chanting, consensus driven decision making and most importantly not only providing a return on investment but on providing a return on community...

Enterprise Architecture 2.0 may pose challenging questions in which there are no black and white answers. Some may be force to ask themselves: I know how to follow a plan but how to I respond to change? If kindergarter questions were so simple maybe many of us would survive. But the questions will increasingly get harder. Maybe you should think about the answer to the following: How do we as an enterprise, architect around latend needs, how do we engage the strengths (different from competencies) and energies of an often diverse and indepedent workforce who doesn't care about mission statements?

Enterprise architecture 2.0 will cause IT to move away from merely making services to making sense. So how is sense defined? If we think about community for a second, we may conclude that we must think about the notion of shared sense. I wonder if it makes sense for an enterprise to ignore practices such as ERP for IT and instead focus on stewardship of intellectual capital?

Can intellectual capital be measured? Of course, but don't get it twisted by attempting to use best practices of the past in order to do so, you'll get it wrong. What happens if you dynamically bind intellectual capital to community? The possibilities are endless...

If technology is just another ecosystem then can knowledge, community and diversity also become ecosystems? Enterprise architecture 1.0 may attempt incrementalism by thinking they can bridge the gap between ecosystems by intelligent design but we all know that ecosystems are simply not created but they evolve. The best the enterprise can do is nurture them.

Oops, Houston we have a communications problem. This phrase is oft-repeated in the corridors of corporate America. Folks who sit in the same building and sometimes next to each other cannot seem to get on the same page yet valuable working software is created by thousands of folks who have never even talked with each other nor even know what the others look like? There are several examples of this, GNU Linux comes to mind with over 1,000 contributors. Imagine what would happen if an executive realized that he was preaching to an empty cathedral?

Enterprise architecture 2.0 is not about abstract authority as abstract authority feels logical but otherwise doesn't make sense. What if enterprise architects where to put down their laptops with Powerpoint for a moment and kick the habit of developing thinly veiled Powerpoint presentations chock-a-block with eye candy but lacking substance and instead of attempting to gain buy-in thought about community. Do you think it is possible for us egotistical enterprise architects to live the problem instead of just talking about it?

Enterprise architecture 2.0 may force us to not only obtain the buy-in of others, it may require us to buy-in to our own hype of the minute. This may require us to look in the mirror. I wonder do we like what we see? Maybe our looks would improve if we simply connected with others. We all know how to give wonderful speeches at conferences but do we know how to listen?

What would happen if we no longer listened to industry analysts (Except the ones on my blogroll) and started listening to our hearts and the conversation of a larger community? What could we learn from the cross-current of doubt, debate and exploration? Maybe enterprise architecture 2.0 is all about listening...

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