Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The changing nature of Enterprise Architecture
In the past, I enjoyed working on projects that brought new capabilities to the business and where innovation was demanded. Nowadays, the most innovative thought I may have is what color to use in my Visio diagrams. With that being said, those who are futurists and thought leaders need to adjust their thinking to be relevant in a world of tactical actions.
The new priorities for 2011 for many Enterprise Architects feel less like Cloud, Social Media or any of the technologies used by the cool kids, but will feel more like:
- Optimization of current portfolio The ability to harness existing legacy code and improve it cheaply is on the radar with the notion of refactoring moving away from being just something a developer does without EA input to actually becoming an EA strategy. More importantly, if you have legacy languages in your portfolio, this most certainly won't be the year where you will get to rip and replace them.
- Cost Reduction IT at large are pressured to do more with less. Initiating programs that look at cost reductions will be a major property for architects. You will find more "governance" being placed on things that in the past that wouldn't have been considered.
- Compliance – Around the world new regulations will emerge to control all aspects of how enterprises run their business. The financial crisis has proven that a large majority of insurance companies, banks, automobile manufacturers and those on Wall Street weren't capable of governing themselves. Compliance projects are a gift to the enterprise architecture community since they tend to be done in a manner that takes less shortcuts and can serve as reference models for how projects should be executed.
- Customer - The definition of customer is changing again or should I say reverting back to a less mature definition that relies more on internal focus. External customers see technologies such as mobile, web 2.0 and social media but since we have concluded they are not on our radar, our shift goes towards the internal customer demand and will focus on pent up needs around data warehousing and business intelligence and increased reporting needs.