To some companies, enterprise architecture is part of compliance and administration. To others, it serves as a driver of innovation.
Lockheed Martin, for one, sees EA is the innovation light. Melvin Greer, senior research engineer of service-oriented architecture and cloud computing chief architect at Lockheed Martin, recently explained to GCN how EA means innovation.
For starters, EA helps organize SOA, mobile and cloud computing strategies, Greer says. EA provides a "measuring capability" that ensures that services meet the needs of businesses. At Lockheed-Martin, for example, the company has been adopting trusted cloud services through the Cyber Security Alliance to address requirements the entire enterprise, not just one-off functions. EA is helping the company "understand how [the services] are going to fit not only as a standalone capability but how they are going to fit into the overall enterprise architecture," he says.
Those IT executives versed in EA have a competitive advantage because they're able trained to "look at the entire enterprise to measure the alignment to business process," Greer says. "They’re utilizing business processes as the criteria upon which to build candidate services in SOA, and they are using enterprise architecture to determine which part of their business might be best served by a cloud." EA helps connect the dots between business requirements and new approaches SOA and cloud services can deliver.