The Main Issue with Enterprise Architecture

I spend time weekly trying to think of “shareable” things I’ve done I can put up on the to spread the wealth in creating more and better I.T. Architects.

I sat down the other day with a napkin and a pen, trying to list all of the issues I’ve heard clients mention or express concern about and thought these would be ideal subjects for blogs or newsletters.

Issue Number 1 – Getting Enterprise Architecture Funded.

See my new 30 page report if you want the answers! ** Note – as of Jan 1/2009 this report is no longer publicly available.  For access, visit our architecture portal.

If you have Mr. Sarbanes, or Mr. Oxley knocking on the door – you have already danced this dance. Executives fully understand the value of architecture, and you’ve likely got a good head start on a program and maybe even a plan.

If you were to say to a CEO “If you don’t fund this project, it tells me you are not really serious about this business strategy” what do you think you’d get back in response?

If every time you were handed a new business initiative to “implement” – I mean – make all I.T. modifications or additions to support it, wouldn’t it be great if the CEO also had budgeted a step for “update Enterprise Architecture and align I.T. with this strategy”. Ok – so many of you are now leaving saying – yeah, right.

But what if you could prove to the executive, or demonstrate to them that each time they come to you asking for a strategy to be “IT-ized”, the planning and development of it could be on a gradually reducing time line if you had architecture in place? Now we’re talking. It’s so hard, and you continually have to prove value. These are the reasons that EA is hard to justify – it takes doing it and proving it to show value, and you can’t really do it or prove it until you’ve done it.

Not quite entirely true – you do components or pieces of it all of the time, usually by means of projects. What if you were to document the wins from those projects, and tie them to a framework, or lite view of framework to show you’ve been working on this all along. You might have a conversation to get this rolling about the possible benefits. An extra win might be in order if you happen to mention some of those times that the Executive was happen with I.T. results and demonstrate the Architecture components or efforts.

Happy Architecting,

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