Monday, August 20, 2007


Call for more EA collaboration

Mike Kavis discusses the Call for more EA collaboration and specifically mentions something regarding my blog that I have publicly declared for years and that is to use trackbacks over commenting...

One of the tools used in the blogosphere by many is technorati where they can subscribe to their favorite bloggers as well as receive a list of those who have linked to them. My daily reading starts with these two lists in a merged form and whenever I see something that appeals to me I either respond and/or put it into my daily links. Since I blog either really late at night and/or really early in the morning, I tend to run out of time and don't necessarily get around to reading comments on my own blog as frequently as I read other bloggers thoughts.

In terms of selling SOA, I think I have several strong opinions of which the first is that IT is expected to always constantly improve themselves without folks having to ask them to do so. Imagine finding a carpenter with thirty years of experience and having him ask you whether it is OK if he uses a nailer instead of the trusty hammer and nail. Wouldn't this feel absurd?

If you work in a shop where selling is not really about convincing but more about perception management then the notion of SOA also should be avoided. Instead if you are attempting to manage perception, then how about selling the notion of business architecture which provides more lift for both parties. The hard part about selling business architecture is that you can't outsource the PowerPoint to BEA, IBM, Oracle, Sun or your favorite product vendor to do thinly veiled chock-a-block eye candy presentations as it has to be all about your enterprise and not about products.

Likewise, you also can't lift the so-called research from industry analyst firms since the vast majority of them focus solely on productecture and not how businesses actually work. Of course there are a few exceptions such as Brenda Michelson of Elemental LInks, the folks over at Celent Research, etc.

In terms of how Mike uses the term collaboration, it is somewhat constrained. The blogosphere is one of many mechanisms that can be used by enterprise architects to collaborate across enterprises but there are many more that also need to be explored. How about starting an initiative within your industry vertical where you collaborate with folks in other enterprises on topics such as federated identity? I haven't ran across an industry vertical that couldn't benefit from this type of initiative. Have you also considered presenting at upcoming industry conferences? After all face-to-face conversations usually are the best form of collaboration.

Before I get called out, I am doing all three. If you happen to be in the same industry vertical as me, then drop me a note and lets talk. Likewise, I will be presenting in NYC in October on enterprise security and November on SOA. Let me not forget, that the forth form of collaboration not discussed is how to work with other enterprises in terms of open source and creation. If EAs aren't championing open source and not just in a cost reduction scenario but in terms of how it can enable collaboration then they are missing the bigger picture.

In terms of my own transparency, if Nick Malik, Jack van Hoof, Alastair Bathgate or others want to know something about how my peers and I practice enterprise architecture then simply trackback and we will surely respond...

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