Sunday, June 01, 2008


Why Enterprise Architecture is a Joke!

Jeff of MomentumSI presented an interesting but otherwise incomplete perspective on Why Enterprise Architecture is a Joke...

Being an Enterprise Architect and blogger, I have been somewhat saddened that the typical discussion of enterprise architecture always starts with Zachman. Can folks take a minute to say that documenting enterprise architecture is not the same as practicing enterprise architecture? Can we acknowledge that grids help us classify our documentation but that enterprise architecture is more about enabling the strategic intent of our business which documentation of current state rarely helps with?

There are several Enterprise Architects in the blogosphere including Todd Biske, James Tarbell, Scott Mark and others. Have you heard any of us ever talk about Zachman as something we even think about every once in a blue moon or for heaven sakes use on a daily basis? Can we acknowledge only those who insultconsult in the enterprise architecture space and the government types tend to talk about Zachman? Just because you provide enterprise architecture consulting services, doesn't mean you are practicing enterprise architecture.

In terms of tooling, only vendors believe that every single problem requires its own unique tool. Isn't enterprise architecture supposed to provide the answer of when an enterprise has enough tools? I would argue that enterprise architecture doesn't lack tools at all, and in fact has too many. Are you of the belief that I need to spend millions on enterprise architecture software such as Troux and that spending this kind of money provides a better return than say spending the same on enterprise security or BPM? Many enterprise architects are successful with their daily IDE of PowerPoint and Visio. Besides, if you are inventory-oriented then what is wrong with a simple Access database or spreadsheet?

Let's be really honest about funding. No matter how you partition an enterprise, the architecture will always reflect the funding model. If I organize towards a funding model that is aligned based on a business vertical, then my architecture will take that form. If I align based on customer demographic such as individual vs institutional, my architecture will also take that form. Funding models should never look like enterprise architecture and besides they are managed by two different entities...

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