Do enterprise architects work for IT or the business or what?

Do enterprise architects work for IT or the business or what?

Summary: Enlightened EA may be hard to find, but the times they are a-changing, says one analyst.

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TOPICS: CXO
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Who's the boss?

At a recent confab, Forrester Research VP Gene Leganza provided some interesting speculation about the evolution of enterprise architecture. InformationWeek's Charles Babcock reports on Leganza's statements: Enlightened EA may be hard to find, but the times they are a-changing

"Currently only 4% of enterprise architects report to a business executive, a chief operating officer, or chief executive officer, for example, as opposed to 43% that report to the CIO and 12% that report to the CTO, Leganza said. But even that 4% is a new phenomenon. If anything, he expects it to grow much larger."

That's because businesspeople will increasingly be relying on their own IT approaches -- involving social networks, smartphones and computers -- and less on their IT departments:

"Leganza suggested to some extent this has already happened at firms like Aetna and United Airlines, where enterprise architects were busy integrating the technology strategy with the business strategy. 'The best firms are well on their way to doing this,' he said. And the closer the enterprise architect gets to the business, the more he 'owns the business planning process,' he said."

However, companies with such enlightened EA are few and far between, Leganza adds.

Topic: CXO

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  • RE: Do enterprise architects work for IT or the business or what?

    Leganza's key note address was very insightful and interesting!
    geesan
    • RE: Do enterprise architects work for IT or the business or what?

      @geesan
      Yes, it is really interesting.
      Ram U
  • Actually...

    ...everybody is supposed to be working for the business. The fact that IT is regarded in many quarters as an alien presence is the underlying problem. Note the insinuation in the quote that the CIO/CTO is not a business executive.
    John L. Ries
    • You misunderstand the term "business"...

      @John L. Ries Yes, all staff belong to a business or company, but in larger organisations there is a very clear division between those deparments or business units which generate product and therefore income versus those that provide services to the business, such as Finance, IT, HR, Purchasing...

      Such enterprises often run on a form of "matrix management" where there is a distinct dichotomy between reporting lines are separated between "Business" and "Support". In such an organisation objectives and key performance indicators tend to also be focused separately and CIO/CTO tells the Business what it can do / have instead of asking what they need.

      Of course the degree of separation varies widely from one company to another.
      david.hunt@...
  • RE: Do enterprise architects work for IT or the business or what?

    [i]That?s because businesspeople will increasingly be relying on their own IT approaches ? involving social networks, smartphones and computers ? and less on their IT departments[/i]

    Businesspeople rely on their computers? Bold prediction.
    civikminded