Sunday, March 01, 2009


Mega associations for Enterprise Architects

Joe McKendrick discusses a merger between Enterprise Architecture Organizations and cites some interesting statistics but leaves out some more important considerations.

Being that I am an enterprise architect who likes to network with other enterprise architects employed in other verticals, the first question that comes to mind is that I don't know of a single one in the blogosphere that is a member of either organization. At some level, we have all figured out that the biggest value proposition that any organization could provide to us would be in enabling networking that we otherwise couldn't establish on our own.

Do you believe these two organizations actually have a mechanism to connect others of like interests above and beyond just the theme of enterprise architecture. For example, I would love to be connected to other enterprise architects within the insurance vertical that have some understanding of federated identity. One obvious conclusion one could think about would be why am I not asking vendors such as Ping Identity, Sun, Oracle, IBM and RSA for these types of introductions. You can probably guess that they too have no interest in wiring up their own customers to each other and if it is not about a sales lead then they don't even bother.

So, if I ask Gartner the same question, it is equally guaranteed that failure is immiment, either because they don't actually have a clue as to how products are used that are covered within their quadrants or they spend an inordinate amount of time on software vendors and find us enterprise end-users less interesting and therefore have no clue. Even for those analysts at Gartner that may have a clue, they will pull out their finely polished NDA disclaimer and immediately abstract out all of the details. If anyone ever wanted to know about where I work, Gartner would tell them a Fortune 200 company somewhere in the Northeast without any other detail.

People want to connect to their peers above and beyond just some abstract concept of enterprise architecture. They want to network with those who have the same passion and spirit on topics as others. Enterprise architecture sometimes is a catch-all bucket that is overdistilled where some practitioners may care about forms of comprehensive documentation such as Zachmann or TOGAF while others may be more interested in metrics and governance while another crowd may be interested in rationalization and so on.

So, what the industry needs is a way for vendors and analyst firms to start helping their clients connect to each other. What we don't need are more organizations to be created that we won't join...

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