John Gøtze introduces this number.
Architect in the Spotlight: Robert Weisman
John Gøtze interviews Robert Weisman.
Enterprise Architecture – Critical to Large Transformation Programs
Business transformation is increasingly a key driver for many organizations in today’s competitive environment where the focus is either on cost reduction by means of improving operational efficiency or on increasing the market share through innovation and other means of growth. Information Technology (IT) is looked upon as one of the key enablers for business innovation and competitive differentiation. As a result, many organizations identify a number of IT initiatives that enable business transformation and alignment of IT to business objectives and drivers. Such initiatives are often undertaken as part of large, multi-year business transformation programs that are aimed at changing and optimizing business processes and enhancing the IT capabilities that enable them. The initial effort and excitement of such changes often propel many transformational projects directly into an execution phase where focus is often on delivery without appropriate investments in program planning and further in planning and definition of the enterprise architecture. Such an approach often results in lack of appropriate guidance for the implementation projects and leads to large pitfalls. Organizations become unclear of what to deliver and how to deliver the change that can provide value to business and provide a return on the investment. Eventually this lack of planning leads to a failure to achieve the transformational objectives. This article highlights the need for enterprise architecture definition in large transformation programs, key considerations for defining the enterprise architecture, key challenges involved, and concludes with the benefits enterprise architecture brings to various stakeholders involved in transformation programs.
The Successful Enterprise Architecture Effort
In this article the conditions for a successful Enterprise Architecture (EA) effort within an enterprise are discussed. EA as a discipline has so far had a turbulent existence, with many EA efforts failing. This has earned EA as a whole a tarnished reputation in some public and private enterprises. In the article it is established that one reason for failed EA efforts could be that in parts of EA theory there is still is a very mechanistically focused mind-set. This was found on the basis of a theoretical study, analyzing three leading EA frameworks: TOGAF, Bernard’s EA3, and Ross, Weill, and Robertson’s Enterprise Architecture as Strategy. The article is also based on an empirical study consisting of four case studies in Danish enterprises. Consequently it was found that there is a need for the EA discipline to change its mechanistic focus towards a more organic one to be able to succeed in the future. Based on these studies it was recognized that EA governance could be the remedy to ensure a more successful practice of EA in the future. Following this is a guide to EA governance inspired by the Agile Governance Model and the empirical findings were formulated as the means to achieve a successful EA effort.
Getting More out of Government Enterprise Architecture
The achievement of business value in organizations has been attributed to a higher Enterprise Architecture (EA) maturity level. In attempting to achieve business value, managing performance is necessary because it acts as the sensor to an organization’s management control system. While the Government of Ontario (GO) deserves recognition for instituting corporate governance to ensure its information and information technology (I&IT) initiatives are strategically justified and the proposed solutions are architecturally sound, IT governance goes beyond that. To unlock value from IT investments, the COBIT framework advocates having an internal control system, which measures achievements, evaluates efforts, and signals problem areas, so that an organization deploys its resources and processes appropriately to minimize deviations from desired values. This article presents the case for GO’s EA program, as a means to help fulfill IT governance’s dual- goal of risk management and value creation, to go beyond the alignment and integration decisions to help make EA practices more credible.