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

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

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.