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Enterprise architecture needs more art along with the science

A veteran enterprise architect ponders the rigid trappings of his profession.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

Enterprise architecture is a highly process-driven and systematic approach to IT planning. But good EA also calls for lots of creativity and innovation.

Veteran EA Chris Lockhart, inspired by a discussion at the recent TEDx conference, pondered the rigid trappings of his profession:  "As I observe the technology industry around me, as I watch others in my field of IT architecture, I'm distressed to see a decided lack of innovation," he says.

This is the missing ingredient in many EA engagements with the business, Chris adds. EAs need more art along with the science: "I'm advocating for more artistic architects, less prosaic practitioners of technology. We must work to build up the right thinking parts of our IT organizations."

As Chris put it:

"If practitioners of enterprise architecture wish to provide maximum value to the business units we support, we must take a bilateral view of our capabilities. We must ensure our logical capabilities are sufficiently built up so that we may think analytically. But we must also, crucially, ensure our other side is developed enough to enable us to think in non-linear ways."

We are in a hyper-competitive economy. The economy may improve, but businesses will need to keep fighting harder and harder to keep their edge. The way to get the edge is through constant, unfettered innovation. Technology needs to be based on innovation just as much as the business.

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