Split enterprise architecture into five or more specialities: proposal

Summary:The medical profession has a lot of specialties to tackle complicated problems. Why not enterprise architecture?

Is enterprise architecture trying to take on too much?  Enterprises are complicated organizations after all, to which we're trying to apply complicated technology.

Nick Malik, for one, proposes that EA actually be subdivided into five specialties, to address different business IT problems. In the medical world, there are specialties for each type of condition (ENT specialists, heart specialists, neurologists, and so forth). Here are Nick's proposed EA specialties:

Alignment or Business Architects: "Focused on interpreting strategy, making it actionable, and using it to scope and define business change initiatives.

Application or Enterprise IT Architects: "Implement successful enterprise applications or enterprise systems."

Information Architects: "Manage information assets at the enterprise level in a consistent way

Process Architects: "Improve business processes or reorient business processes to place the customer first."

Strategy Architects: "Help business leaders create new strategies, open new markets, develop new products."

Does such a line-up make sense?

ebizQ colleague Peter Schooff recently posted Nick Malik's proposal, and generated some interesting discussion. Forrester's Gene Leganza, for one,  posits that "most EA programs are already highly dependent upon specialists." However, JP Morgenthal says anytime someone that proposes fixing what ails enterprise architecture "should be seen as a major red flag." A better term for EA would be "multidimensional architecture," since "it's really about applying multiple disciplines in a holistic manner toward a particular scope, which may not be enterprise."

Topics: CXO


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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